Thinking Out Loud

May 14, 2011

Not All Church Migration is to Megachurches

“This disco used to be a cute cathedral”
-Steve Taylor

We see them all the time.  Former church buildings being converted to antique stores, daycare centers, or condominiums.  Sometimes the congregation moves on to a different location, but not always; sometimes the church just dies.  And occasionally, the building will be bought by a newer kind of church that had been meeting in a school, and occasionally those churches will actually pick up members of the former congregation due to their love of and history with the building.

But for the most part, we tend to picture dying churches as being out of touch, or irrelevant, and imagine the greatest appeal lying with contemporary churches.  To be honest, I can’t picture most of the people in one of the dying churches we visited recently being in the least able to connect with the contemporary, megachurch option.  But that’s fuel for another discussion.

I’m currently reading Small is Big; I’m about a third of the way through, and will do a review of it when I’ve completed it.  Authors Tony & Felicity Dale are proponents of the house church movement, aka simple church; so this book fits in with various titles I’ve reviewed here including So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacbosen, and Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola, and several of the books by Michael Frost and/or Alan Hirsch.

They remind us that the simple church format continues to attract people; that the (capital-C) Church as a whole is not dying; something anyone who attends one of the large megachurches would never consider, but wouldn’t consider it in the context of looking at what’s happening with home church groups.

So two things today.  First, visit this website to learn more about this movement.  Second, our question of the day: Have you ever or would you consider attending a church that meets in someone’s home?  Note: This does not refer to a home study group or small group that meets as an extension of a brick and mortar church.


  1. We did meet in a house Church for a short time many years ago. It was a time of great fellowship, serious Bible study, real worship and spiritual growth and support of missions/missionaries – but it lacked certain other essentials.

    As a Church we need to have a recognisable voice in our community. We need to have a venue acceptable to the public in order to have an outreach.

    I think home study groups, especially in a large Church, are great and supply close fellowship and encouragement, but as far as I see at the moment (I am open to the idea) a Home Church is not the way to go.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — May 15, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    • You struck a nerve here and I need to weigh in on this one.

      As a person who works in a Christian bookstore, I refer people to churches all the time; and I have a number of people asking me about house churches. I know of three, and the people who host them are wonderful and the people I would be referring would be a good fit; but the fact that you’re talking about someone’s home, and not a public building, can sometimes be a real liability.

      I can’t just give times and directions, but I try to set these things up with a phone call, and for some reason that’s where it all breaks down. Inadvertently, the groups become “closed” to newcomers, something that wouldn’t happen in a public facility. I should add that one of the groups is more open than the other two.

      When I started something we called Transformation Church here, we had a house church feel to it, but used a Youth For Christ facility, and occasionally did some mass advertising so people would get the message that anyone is welcome to drop in anytime.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 15, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

      • A smaller group meeting in a public hall . . . much better!

        When problems arose and a Church closed, a number of us (about 20-odd from memory) started meeting in a public hall. We had a good outreach ministry with a large children’s and youth ministry and after a few years we bought a Church building and the ministry was greatly blessed.

        Comment by meetingintheclouds — May 15, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  2. Thanks for your blog.
    I think you might enjoy mine too.
    Been housechurching 30 years now
    and we help start others. My blog is about Jesus,
    housechurch and life in general with a Star Trek theme.


    Christopher “Captain” Kirk

    Comment by oikoskrk — October 6, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

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