If you have never attended a house church meeting, your first questions might be, “What would a house church be like? Would there be singing? Would there be a sermon?
“Would there be an invitation to receive Christ? Would there be baptisms and Holy Communion? What about Sunday School? Midweek prayer service?”
It is significant that neither Paul the apostle nor Jesus Himself gave specific instructions to us in the written Word as to exactly what should be done when we congregate as a church.
Jesus’ words were very simple in Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
He did not say they had to be doing certain things in order for Him to be in their midst. They just needed to be gathered together.
The Apostle Paul gave us a little insight into the nature of early church gatherings in 1 Corinthians 14:26: “What shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these things must be done for the strengthening of the church.”
Church meetings in those days did not emphasize a certain speaker. They were open meetings where each person was to contribute for the benefit of the whole body. The exercise of spiritual gifts was encouraged so that all were blessed and edified.
There are no specific instructions left to us by Jesus or His apostles as to exactly what to do in our regular gatherings. However, we can find in the Book of Acts and the epistles some of the essential elements of a church meeting. The following are some of the things that are important to observe when we come together:
Make the following bullets:
– Praise and worship
– Prophetic ministry gifts
– Other gifts of the Spirit
– Sharing testimonies
– Praying For one another
The Holy Spirit will guide you as to how much time to give to each segment and the order in which they occur. At times some of them would not be included at all, but as a rule, it would be well to include all of them.
PRAISE AND PRAYER
It is always good to begin each meeting with an extended time of ministry to the Lord through songs of praise and worship. Time should be allowed for informal prayers in the midst of the worship.
As the Holy Spirit begins to move upon us while we are worshiping, it is altogether appropriate to lift up our prayers to the Lord. Sometimes this will be done just between ourselves and God. At other times He will impress us to pray out loud so that others may say “AMEN” to our prayer.
Musicians are an added blessing during the praise time. Pray that God will give your house church a strong and skillful praise team. While this is not absolutely essential, it is certainly a boost to the praise time.