Home Church Help

What we do with our actions is always our true message, as opposed to what we say.

I will not use any names in this article, but there are men in the “home church movement” who have built big names for themselves, while their true experience in church life is questionable or limited at best.

I am not saying these guys don’t have good things to say. I actually like these men and appreciate their contributions. Some have done helpful research. The Lord can and will use these brothers. But the concern is that they draw men unto themselves and set a bad example of what we are trying to do in home church – that we would stop following men.

If you’ve written a book, why sell it for a profit? Is it to cover the publishing costs? OK, fair enough. But why not offer all the chapters for free on the internet as well? It’s because certain people want to make money from selling books. This is the kind of thing we are sick of and trying to get away from by leaving the traditional church – men trying to make money from the church and build a name for themselves. We now have rich and famous Christians even in the HOME CHURCH MOVEMENT!

If you are providing a home church conference, why charge money for people to attend the conference? Why can’t the local brothers, with whom the brother doing the conference is walking with, all pitch in to pay for the conference, so that people can attend for free? Maybe it’s because “the experts” who put on home church conferences are not usually walking closely with anyone! Maybe it’s because the home church celebrities charge so much to come speak that there has to be a registration fee to cover the costs.

I e-mailed a couple of the home church experts a while back and asked if I could come hang out with the groups they were apart of in their home towns. I just wanted to see what the Lord was doing in those groups and connect with others, which I do as often as I can. Do you know what they said to me? One of these famous home church speakers told me that they don’t accept visitors right now. The second one told me that the few families he was with were “transitioning” and that I couldn’t come for a visit. What is that supposed to mean? Hmmm, this certainly doesn’t seem like the heart of the Lord.

I understand the excuse of these guys being famous and if they let everybody come then they might be over run with people. But that sounds like a good thing to me! Wouldn’t it be great if tons of people were coming all the time to learn, grow, and fellowship with all the saints! Visitors could be loved on and refreshed. The group they were visiting could show hospitality and be refreshed by their faith as well.

A third and different expert in the home church movement recently contacted me to tell me about a meeting in which all the expert celebrities got together and had a home church leaders meeting. They do this periodically. This meeting was for men who are supposedly influential in the home church movement or for men who have started multiple home churches. To even hold such a meeting seemed very wrong to me. When men do things like this it causes all sorts of problems. By even having such a meeting these men are subtly making a distinction between those who are experts and those who are just regular brothers. This should not be. We are all just brothers and there shouldn’t be meetings that recognize some men in a certain category apart from others. What a temptation these men must feel when they are all together – “See, I’m a big shot here with the other big shots”. I absolutely refused to attend their meeting.

The truth is that some of the big names in the home church movement aren’t really walking with anyone, they don’t have established groups for you to visit, and they speak mostly from theory as opposed to true experience. A couple of them use language as if to say they are the true apostles given to America by God and that the church cannot be planted in any city unless they start it. This is nauseating.

The formats and venues of many of the “home church conferences” are ridiculous as well. I went to one of these about three years ago. We were all in a very plush hotel conference room. In order to attend, we had to pay money in advance in order to “register”. When I got there, there was a man in a suit and tie standing behind a pulpit with a worship band behind him. He talked to us a couple of hours about how to do “home church” (while wearing his suit behind the pulpit). I kid you not. After two hours, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I raised my hand in the middle of his talking. He ignored me at first, but I kept my hand up. “Yes”, he said. “Um, excuse me, can I say something”, I said a little sheepishly. “Uh, would you mind if we maybe broke up into small groups at some point, or maybe we could arrange the chairs in a circle – so that we could meet other people here and everyone could share their experiences in home church? I’m sure we would all like to hear from other people here too. People might have some questions, or maybe we could all learn from one another some different things.” You could have heard a pin drop in the room.

Now that would be interesting. A home church conference where we actually CONFERENCED TOGETHER, as in the heart of 1 Cor. 14 “What is the outcome when you assemble, each one has something to contribute.” I would actually enjoy going to something like that!

So, why do most home church conferences feel like you are in a traditional church meeting? And we are going to these, why? To learn from the men who are leading them? Huh.

There is nothing wrong with an experienced brother speaking for an hour, but for one man to dominate the time, or for people to come to a conference in order to primarily hear from and see one man, AND THEN PAY FOR IT is the complete opposite of what we are trying to do in New Testament home church. Yet, this is the very thing we are doing at home church conferences. Are you kidding me?

What kind of example are we giving people when we do this sort of thing and what are we really teaching them? Why can’t we do a home church conference in a large home or even a park? Why can’t the local brothers (plural) who are providing it, pay for it and even feed the attendees so it’s free for everyone to come. Why are famous home church celebrities charging money to come speak at home church conferences? I would understand this if it were a traditional mainstream Christian function – you expect money, hype, and men with big reputations. But to have all this at a home church conference is a complete slap in the face of what we are trying to do! Some of the best men that are really walking with the Lord and living New Testament church life are totally hidden – you’ll never know their names. These are the guys we should be seeking out to learn from.

Often the home church celebrities refer to themselves as church planters. Where in scripture are church planters charging money to come plant a church? In fact, the whole idea of a church planter is found nowhere in scripture. Paul only planted a seed (not a church), Apollos watered the seed, but God caused the growth (I Cor. 3:6). The term “apostle” means “one who is sent out”. That’s all it means. I want to know, who sent out these celebrity home church stars? Where is the healthy group of believers behind them that together, heard the Lord corporately to send these men out? To whom are these men accountable to? Anyone should be able to easily contact the “sent out man’s” home base fellowship in order to find out about his faith, and his life. If these self proclaimed home church experts don’t have a valid functioning group behind them as evidence and proof of their experience and wisdom, then what makes us think they are qualified to teach the rest of us, let alone start a home church?

The seed that Paul planted was only as good as his relationship with the Lord. The seed that many men are planting in various groups is corrupt seed. This leads to bad foundations in the group they are working with. The things these men do and the flavor they have all reveal what their true relationship with the Lord is like. I wouldn’t want some famous guy who charges money to speak and charges money for his books to be the major influence of any home church I was a part of. Would you?

If all you are doing to learn about home church is reading books or going to conferences, you will never get very far. It’s interesting how so many people will set aside their time to spend two or three days at a home church conference, but they won’t set aside two or three days to be with the church itself. What does this tell us about ourselves? It’s that we love learning about Christ more than we love Christ Himself. We love learning about church, more than we love the brothers we are with. First, you should never be more excited about home church than you are of Jesus Christ. Secondly, if you really want to learn something, you need to visit with home church groups, and stay with them as long as possible to experience New Testament church life. You need to observe and then ask questions. It can’t really be taught, it can only “be caught”.

A conference or a book will never teach you how to live church life! Only truly living church life will teach you this. Don’t bother asking the home church stars if you can visit their fellowships, they don’t have time for you and they probably don’t have any for you to visit anyway. And may the Lord help you during your search, because from my experience, people living life together in Jesus is very rare – even among home church groups. True life together in Jesus is very far and few in between, but pockets are actually happening in certain places.

There is nothing wrong with reading a book or going to a conference. But sometimes attending these can contribute to the worship of men. Even if worshiping a man is not where your heart is in going, many people are going for that reason – so why contribute to the cause?

Let’s forsake following men as we desire to meet in simpler ways. And as you meet, please don’t read or discuss men’s home church books as being the focus of your meetings. Jesus is much better than any book that any man has written! Men will always regurgitate concepts they’ve heard and try to re-sell them to you in order to make themselves rich and famous. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” (Rom 3:4) And don’t forget Psalms 62:9…”men of rank are a lie.”

4 Responses to “The Home Church Celebrities”

  1. Theodore Grey

    Excellent!!!! So true. Jesus Himself is our hope, righteousness, sanctification, wisdom, and glory. Our All.

  2. Andy zoppelt

    i read your article on house church and i had the same experience with it leadership, celebrities. I even personally met with many of them to express my problems. The held a Florida get-together and they asked me to come. I asked who was the speaker, they gave me his name and i knew he had a network of house churches under his belt. I said “You are building house church denominations.” Another had those who planted the most house churches speak in his conventions.

    I had been a pastor for thirty years, when i got out, i got out. I was sick of church. I didn’t want another method for doing anything to increase numbers. And by the way if you ever want to come to our house “assembly” and visit, i don’t use church any more, you are welcome. You have my website so you can visit it. I live in Ft Lauderdale, Florida you can even stay with me…free.

  3. Randy Harrell

    All I can say is that if you keep on goin to the same old salesman you will keep buying the same old stuff .If people could get the concept of just getting away from the same old crowd the confusion would most likely just disappear . I totally get that . The whole thing is about your personal relationship thatz\\\\’s all

  4. Kimberly

    Hi. My name is Kimberly and I currently attend a traditional church in Fort Lauderdale Florida. However I’m praying about attending a house church or starting one of my own. I listen to maybe two of the celebrity house church leaders you all are talking about. What I don’t understand is that they preach against the traditional church but they still preach at their buildings. It seems a little hypocritical to me. And I believe that is why I’m a little confused on where I need to be. Another thing is I’m confused about the leadership. The Bible states that they did have pastors deacons bishops etc. So how is that justified in the house church movement. Paul did send certain men to different cities to relay a message. So there was leadership. Can someone please elaborate. My email address kebmky@yahoo.com.
    Thank you!

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