For any church to be successful, big or small, in a cathedral or in a home, we have to have a correct vision and alignment, to know why and what we are doing and where we are going. The Scriptures are our map and the Holy Spirit is our guide. It is not by pride or position or tradition we lead; rather, it is our surrender to His Lordship by which we minister to one another.
Hebrews chapter 3 gives us a template on doing a successful home church:
· We come together as Holy brothers to profess and give attention our Lord. The title of "Christian" at this time, meaning those who are sanctified by Christ was considered a profane word and was used by those who hated the people who followed Christ; later, it was picked up in a servant stance as the name for those who profess Christ as Lord. Here, it is designating the recipients of this letter and calling them to pay careful attention to what is being said (Acts 1:16; 1 Cor. 3:1; Heb. 3:12; 10:19).
· We come together as people who share and partake of His blessings. We belong to Christ, and in so doing, we can participate together with and in His blessings. It is also a call to hold on to Christ as LORD and to seek Him-as place Him first in all things and situations. This is an aspect of perseverance by our faith and confidence in Christ, as Moses had confidence in God as He used him to lead His people to the promise land.
· We come together with a Heavenly calling to persevere in the faith and grow in Christ. This helps us to focus on what is important-Christ and our inheritance and reward of heaven to come. This also denotes our invitation to salvation, which comes from heaven and leads us back to heaven. Our life on earth is a mere shadow to what is most important: Christ, His Kingdom, and Heaven to come (Heb. 9:15; 11:16).
· We come together to fix your thoughts on Jesus so we can have more confidence and faith. We are to "contemplate" and/or meditate, as to put our mind upon Christ and do so thoroughly so to increase our fidelity in Christ. This is also a call to eagerly trust Him, as who better can help us deal with life and the challenges we face. Thus, we are to pay attention to Christ and what He has taught in all things (Matt. 6:33).
· We come together as messengers to know and make known our Lord as the Father who sent the Son (Matt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 4:34; 5:24, 30, 36-38; 6:38). Jesus was sent by God and faithfully completed His mission so that we can do ours. Thus, He is the supreme Apostle who then sends us as His ambassadors to lead others to Him (Mark 6:30; John 6:38; 20:21; 1 Cor. 1:1; Heb. 2:14-15; 4:3-9; 10: 5-10; 2 Cor. 5:20).
· We come together under our High priest so we can have direct access to God, face to face. This was also the role of Aaron and his lineage, who did so ceremonially to mediate man's sin and to please God by making atonement-a shadow to what Christ does for us permanently (Num. 12:8; Heb. 1:2,10).
· We come together to confess and profess our "confession of faith," that we make a lasting pledge that transcends our will so as we are living a life that is bought by Christ, we will live for Christ by our words and our deeds through His Word and Spirit by faith and obedience (Rom. 12:1-3; 2 Cor. 9:13; 1 Tim. 6:12-13; Heb. 4:14; 10:23-25, 35-36).
· We come together as He was faithful to be faithful stewards of His principles and Way. In Judaism, this also pointed to the Sabbath rest we receive in eternity that is our reward. This Jewish prelude may also been messianic, pointing to the "salvation-rest" of Christ's redemption (Num. 12:7-8; 1 Chron. 17:4).
· We come together because Jesus has been found worthy. From Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Moses' faithfulness had no parallel; Jesus demonstrated His faithfulness as Moses and the text predicted. The question to us now is, "how do you demonstrate being authentic?"
· We come together because Jesus Christ is the Builder of a house. It is He who builds our house church. This is a statement showing Christ to be Divine and distinct from the Father. It is also a contrast of God's house and a mere building, and to say how foolish to think someone who was created is greater than the Creator. Jesus is the actual builder of the house of Israel and the Kingdom of God and our local home church too.
· We come together as a faithful servant in all God's house. Christ is the Servant leader to the universe and Church. He deserves our reverence, dignity, respect, and worship (Num. 12:7).
· We come together as the Faithful who accept the truth of God by being submitted to Him. This is the essence of obedience from our trust relationship with God as demonstrated by Moses and Jesus Christ.
· We come together Testifying to God's holiness, His regulations, and humanity's need for redemption and a Savior-who was Christ to come (John 5:46-47; Heb. 9:8-11, 24; 10:1).
· We come together under a son over God's house by His lead. Here, Christ is Heir of all things. God's house was not the Tabernacle or Temple; it was God's people and Christ the Shepherd of us all: those who are His faithful, the faithful remnant of Israel, and then those who accepted Christ (Heb. 10:21).
· When come together, we are his house. The house is God's people, The Church, which is made up of the people who profess Christ and live faithful lives (1 Sam. 2:35; 2 Sam. 7:16; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:5).
· We come together as to hold on to and hold fast, because we belong to God. Then we can respond to God by living by faith and trust in Christ. Our faith proves what He has done in us. When we persevere through life, we show Christ to the world (Psalm 95; Heb. 6:11; 10:23).
· We come together as instruments of courage and the hope. Determination of faith is the characteristic of a faithful child of God. This is a call to persevere, which reveals the depth of our character and trust in our Lord. If we do not come through trials stronger in Him and a better use for others, something is very wrong in our spiritual lives and our thinking process. Like the Parable of the Sower, our faith did not take root and the wind blew us away perhaps because we were never Christians in the first place (Matt. 13: 24-43).
· We come together to boast and rejoice in our Christian life because we have hope, wonder, excitement, and contentment. He is our all in all so we can have the confidence and distinction to be glad in it (1 Chronicles 16:10-11; Psalm 16:11; 37:4; 92:2-3; 97:1; 118:24; Matt. 5:12; John 10:10; 15:11; 16:33).
The home church is about Holy living, but it is not forced upon us. We are not adhering to a religion or a denomination, but a relationship with our Lord! Holy living comes from a life that is transformed and renewed by what Christ has done for us! We can't mature in the faith when we punish ourselves, hiding in a big church and never being fed or else, skipping any church all together, or seeking some mystic or special revelations. Rather, it is knowing, trusting, and obeying Christ as LORD. When we realize Who He is and what He has done for us, we are then better able to respond back to Him and to others in gratitude, trust, and obedience. The original hearers of this manifesto had a skewed idea of God's purity and our sinful nature; they had it half right, that God is pure and we are sin. However, the application that we can do as we please since we are in Christ is purely wrong, especially in our churches. This now becomes a form of relativism. Such thinking and behavior equates a life and a church that is meaningless and produces little to no fruit.
Please see our small group channel for resources on how to plant and promote and utilize a home church. The basic ideas are transferable, the only differences of note is home churches are larger, and more church elements are incorporated such as worship and sacraments…
© 2009, R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/