We believe a primary purpose for believers to gather together weekly is to encourage one another to live every day as though this is the day the Lord Jesus is returning.
We believe home churches offer a viable and highly effective means for believers to mutually edify, exhort, and encourage one another to victoriously run the race of faith. We believe the interactive, discussion-type teachings and weekly sharing of personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness (all of these being prevalent in home churches) are critical to such edification, exhortation and encouragement. We believe the church body is edified and encouraged when those attending the home church gathering bring with them "a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation." (I Corinthians 14:26 KJV)
We believe obedience to God in areas of personal struggle is difficult, at best, without being held accountable to other Christians for our personal walk with the Lord. We believe the informal, home-style, close-knit atmosphere of a home church is highly conducive to discipleship through intimacy and accountability.
We believe God bestows spiritual gifts on all believers (I Corinthians 7:7), with no preeminence of any one person or gift (I Corinthians 12). We believe the intimacy of home churches best encourages the full operation of the gifts (thereby encouraging spiritual growth of believers), and best discourages “Spectator Christianity” (which ultimately stunts spiritual growth). As we believe all of God's spiritual gifts and all who are "the called" (Romans 8:28 KJV) by God are of equal importance, there is no one person in the home church body who is any more important than the rest. However, this does not mean there is no spiritual leadership within the home church body. We believe God raises up pastors/elders and teachers according to Biblical standards. We also believe God raises up pastors/elders and teachers who do not necessarily have man's titles (i.e. ordained) attached to their name. We believe each individual home church is responsible for prayerfully determining whom God has raised up as Biblical pastors/elders and teachers within their own home church body. Furthermore, we believe the New Testament describes the pastoral/eldership ministry as a "shepherding" ministry. As shepherds, pastors/elders are responsible for ensuring the spiritual welfare of the sheep within their fold. In other words, they are responsible for making sure wolves in sheep's clothing do not slip into the fold. In addition, God does not necessarily give every pastor/elder the gift of teaching. Therefore, not every pastor/elder is necessarily a teacher, and not every teacher is necessarily a pastor/elder; yet each gift is equally important to the Body of Christ.
We believe communion (the elements of bread and juice being offered in remembrance of the Lord’s Supper) is to be shared weekly over a meal, New Testament-style. We believe this type of communion is best shared through the family-style atmosphere of home churches.
We believe home church participants are able to more effectively disburse God's resources (God owns everything; we are merely His stewards!) directly to the needy and toward evangelistic projects, rather than having the majority of the resources under their stewardship being used to pay church operating expenses. We believe God has directed His stewards to be personally responsible on a daily basis for obeying His promptings on how to disburse His resources. Therefore, weekly collections are not taken at the home church gatherings. Rather, individuals and families are responsible for asking God and listening to His answer on a daily (even a moment-by-moment) basis as to how He will have them disburse His resources. When special needs arise, a collection (or series of collections) may be taken (on a free-will offering basis) during the home church gathering so the whole home church body is able to help meet the special need.
We believe home churches enable effective stewardship of gathering place accommodations. Home churches are able to multiply indefinitely by adding new host homes, as opposed to being limited by the size of the gathering place and having to spend precious financial resources to either add to the current facility or build a larger facility.
We believe home churches are able to effectively avoid isolationism by periodically gathering together with other home churches.
We believe God has called for parents to be the primary spiritual teachers of their own children. We believe God desires to strengthen that which Satan has desperately tried to tear apart -- the family. Because of this, we believe participants in home churches must make a conscious effort to include the children, right alongside the adults, in the home church gathering.
After eleven years of homechurching (with other families and in a couple different locations), the Lord has led our family to return to the church we had been attending back when the Lord called us to begin our homechurching journey. We are still very much supportive of homechurching, while realizing at the same time the Lord uses both institutional churches and homechurches to accomplish His purposes. For now, the Lord has called us back to the institutional church. To learn more about our "new" (but really "old") church family, you can visit the website of NewLife Christian Fellowship in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
In the meantime, you can read our thoughts and beliefs about homechurching below.