Why home church?
There is surprisingly little said about church meetings in the Bible, but there’s enough to have a basic idea of
what occurred then. They did meet in the homes of believers and not in church buildings as we do today. Verses
that indicate this are:
Acts 16:40. Acts 5:42. Acts 12:12. Rom 16:5. 1 Cor 16:19. Coll 4:15. Acts 20:20. Acts 2:46. Phil 1:2
Let’s study these home churches in more detail. In Philem 1:2 and Rom 16:5 we see that regular meetings were
held at certain homes. 1 Cor 14:26 refers to being prepared for a church meeting with a song (hymn), a word, a
revelation or “tongue and interpretation”. Obviously, we can only prepare for a meeting if it’s pre-arranged, so
the Bible is indicating regular pre-arranged meetings at homes. Meetings are pre-arranged but can also be
spontaneous as per Acts 12:12.
There is no indication that leaders/elders attended all these home meetings, believers are free to meet each
other and pray and worship and share wherever and whenever they please. There is no restriction in the Bible
because “where two or three gather” in God’s name, God is there (Matthew 18:20). There is no specific order of
events at these meetings, nowadays we would have praise and worship first, then teaching by means of a sermon.
But in these meetings, each person would bring a small contribution. 1 Cor 14:26 refers to being prepared for a church meeting with a song (hymn), a word, a revelation or “tongue and interpretation”. Obviously, those with the gift of teaching would teach something, but there is no need for 30/45-minute preaching that we see today,
everyone needs to be given a turn to contribute even if just a verse or a song.
In summary, believers meet in homes, with regular planned meetings at certain homes. Most participate,
bringing some contribution, even if it’s just a song suggestion or a verse. No leaders need to be present.
Teachings should be short to allow for more individual participation, teaching shouldn’t dominate the
The Lords supper/feasts:
Believers met in each other’s homes but there were also bigger “feasts” when the elders gathered larger groups
of believers. Acts 20:7 indicated a larger and longer gathering in an “upper room” just like the Lord’s Supper.
Jude 1 mentions “love feasts”. 1 Cor 11:20-33 describes a larger gathering specifically to feast together. These
larger gatherings are a time of self-examination in remembrance of the Lord’s Supper when believers would
remember what Jesus did for us.