Reposted courtesy of Randy White Ministries
In my last article, I wrote about the difficulty your church will have finding a pastor in the future, especially if it is a small to medium sized church. In previous articles, I’ve written about why I couldn’t join most churches. With these kinds of problems, now it is time to write about How to Start a Home Church.
A Bible Believer’s Biggest Problem
Without a doubt, the largest number of emails, letters, and phone calls I’ve received over the past few years has been on the topic of finding a local church. I’ve literally received hundreds of these contacts, from all parts of the country. It isn’t just small towns, its big cities also. It isn’t just from secular-minded states, it is the Bible belt as well.
A decade ago, I would have just told these people that they were expecting too much, that there was no perfect church, that they should just join, serve, and make the church better. But a lot has changed in 10 years, both in church society and in my own belief system. I used to be a pragmatist, an “already/not yet” kingdom builder, a “pick and choose your Bible translation to suit your needs” preacher. I never went all-out for secular church-growth methods, but I certainly did my fair share of “whatever it takes” kind of leadership. And it worked. It worked because there are certain principles of group dynamics that attract crowds and keep them.
But now I loath manipulation. I can’t stand soft music that sets the “evangelistic” mood. I groan over yet-another-invitation to the Pastor’s leadership conferences. I get disgusted when churches have book studies that they call Bible studies. And I am so sick and tired of hearing sermons that abuse the Word of God (if they even use the Word of God.) I don’t have a problem with churches teaching about marriage or money or even how to win friends and influence people…but I don’t want the sermon or the Sunday School Bible Study class to be used for those things.
So, in short, I’m now sympathetic when people tell me they can’t find a church.
You might need a home church if …
There are legitimate reasons to start a home church. In fact, while I don’t know the immediate circumstances, my great-grandfather started a church in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1944, a church that still exists today (I am one of 62 great-grandchildren of Frank W. Garber). I am almost certain that he, along with my grandparents and other family members, started the church for doctrinal reasons. They were from the Brethren Church, and doubtless wanted like-minded fellowship in their worship.
Like my great-grandfather, you might need a home church.
- If doctrine matters to you, you might need a home church.
- If fellowship with like-minded believers matters to you, you might need a home church.
- If the study of the Word matters to you, you might need a home church.
- If yet another “awesome” program of dazzle and glitter makes you roll your eyes, you might need a home church.
- If you’re not interested in a multi-gazillion dollar building program, you might need a home church.
- If you’ve grown weary of perfect music by hired musicians or plastic-smiled primadonnas, you might need a home church.
- If you’ve been kicked out of your church (“Brother, we think you would be more comfortable somewhere else”) because you asked too many questions, you might need a home church.
- If your pastor doesn’t know your name, and never will, you might need a home church.
Each of these issues is often problematic in today’s show-biz church environment (though almost every church denies that it is a problem, and many of the people in the pew don’t get it).
So, if you need a home church, what should you do?
(Tomorrow: Steps to Starting a Home Church)
Randy White Ministries was started in 2011 as an online and radio Bible teaching ministry. Today, the ministry is focused on producing verse-by-verse Bible teaching resources for individuals. White has 25 years of pastoral experience—including 12 years at First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas, where he ministered to a large congregation and preached numerous times each week.