A. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 10:15, “How shall they preach except they be sent?” Only those who have been sent will have spiritual authority to plant churches. Even Paul did not venture to go and plant churches until he had been sent by the Holy Spirit and by the leadership of his church. (Read Acts 13:1-4.)
Q. Where will you get pastors to lead these congregations?
A. The true qualifications for elders (pastors) are found in two places in the New Testament; Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7. God has provided plenty of humble, teachable, godly men and women right in our churches who are capable of leading house churches. We do not need to send them off to be trained in Bible schools or seminaries. The apprentice method is the best method under heaven for training pastors and leaders. There never was a better method and there never will be!
Q. How can a small house church be expected to give birth to another house church?
A. When I was still a teenager, my pastor gave me the task of starting Home Bible Classes among the elderly who did not attend Sunday School. I was not given any helpers or members to start with. I was only given a few names and addresses of people who might be interested in home Bible study.
During the next several months I had the joy of establishing Bible classes in many homes. My task was not only to teach the Word of God to the elderly but to learn how to start house groups.
This is a part of the training of an elder. He is given a territory and the task of starting a new house church. In most cases he will be given at least one or two couples to help him get started. Ideally, one of the couples will be pastors-in- training so that from the very beginning of a new church there is vision for church planting.
A very small house church can send out two or three couples each year to give birth to a new church.
Q. How do you start a house church?
A. In Acts chapter 13 it was the Holy Spirit Who sent Paul and Barnabas out to start churches. But He did it by revealing to the leaders of the church in Antioch that He had called them to do this.
In Acts 15:24 some people got into trouble who “went” without being “sent.” Assuming that you have been sent out by responsible spiritual authority, get two or three people who are not already involved in a church to agree to meet with you regularly to worship Jesus and to walk in His ways together and you have planted a new church.
When Paul and his teams went out, they first proclaimed the good news and then they gathered the disciples together. The gathering of the disciples together is church.
Q. Are you suggesting that everyone leave the traditional church and become a member of a house church?