Christians are coming out of the mega church phase in search of a more intimate form of worship, and rightly so.
Since the 1st century, the church has taken many shapes, and most – if not all – have been a reaction to the dominant church at the time. We are living one of those hairpin turns now.
In past few years, Christians have started to veer from from the mega churches that swept the worship landscape in the early 2000s for a more intimate, discussion-based setting.
They got tired of the faceless droves and one-way messages that filled the super-sized auditoriums and sanctuaries of Protestant churches across America.
In increasing numbers, Christians are finding the close-knit community they seek in a living room. A 2010 study shows that 10 percent of Christians report that they worship in a house church setting.
The typical house church is made up of 10-15 people who meet in a member’s house. Instead of forming a larger congregation as membership rises, churches split off ameba style. This forms a network of small groups of Christians who travel from between houses to worship.
The small size of a house church makes the biblical discussion and familiarity between members missing from large congregations easy to participate in. Lessons often consist of all of the members of a church discussing a topic or verse that is relevant in their life at the time.
This type of spiritual learning works well in an age where people like to participate in learning through discussion and where an expert can be found online when needed.
While the house church is satisfying on a spiritual level, problems arise when it comes to other forms of support.
Because of the reduced number of people it can be hard for the members to support each other in monetary terms.
If one member gets in a bind, the others have to dig deep to help out. And it takes more from each member to help out without the larger membership to spread the debt over.
One of the roles of the church is to serve as a community of support to its members and others who need help. The members must form a spiritual and economical safety net.
So, though members of a house church can fulfill each other’s needs on a spiritual level, it takes more a community of 10 to take care of each other economically.