Vision for house churches

Introduction

In the early 1970's the Holy Spirit led groups of Christians all over the nation to meet in homes, as opposed to church buildings, for worship, fellowship, breaking of bread, teaching, etc.

A way of life

Those involved saw Christianity as a way of life, 24/7, not just a series of religious meetings at weekends in church buildings.  They believed in the priesthood of all believers and began to rediscover the gifts and operation of the Holy Spirit.  The House Church Movement was reborn - the first house church movement can be read about in the Book of Acts!  Many of the current leaders drew their inspiration from these particular scriptures.

Collier Row house churches

Here in Collier Row we were part of the new movement.  Many individuals and families moved close together to be part of what was taking place, some sharing homes or living in extended families.  As the number of people grew, however, one home could no longer contain all the members who wanted to meet for worship and so larger premises had to be found.  House Church had given way to congregational church.  We grew to around 250 church members over the years, virtually all of whom lived in close proximity.

Re-envisioned

A few years ago however, we began to feel that we'd lost something of the close fellowship afforded by the original vision of the church meeting in the home.  We read books by Wolfgang Simson (Houses that Change the World) and James Thwaites (Church Beyond the Congregation) which prompted us to ask what the Holy Spirit was saying about how to be the church in the 21st century.  As a result, after much prayer and deliberation, we began the process of breaking down the congregational format to establish a number of autonomous house churches affiliated by relationship to what was then Immanuel Ministries, but is now Immanuel Community.

In the early 1970's the Holy Spirit led groups of Christians all over the nation to meet in homes, as opposed to church buildings, for worship, fellowship, breaking of bread, teaching, etc.

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