In order for the house fellowship concept to take root, a radical renewing of the mind must take place. The old mindset must go! There is no place in the final reformation for any individual who believes or, holds to any one of the following misnomers:
- That it is impossible for an ordinary person to understand the Bible.
- Only so-called ordained minister and pastors have the right to preach and teach the Bible.
- Before one can understand the Bible, they need to attend a Bible College.
- As an individual they will never be able to share the Bible (Jesus) with anyone.
The Great Commission: “Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28: 19-20) This is Jesus’ command to every born again Christian. Is there a definite command to establish Bible Colleges or, Seminaries? We think not! Instead, listen to what the Bible says, “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide (teach) you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come.” (Jn 16:13)
NB. The house fellowship concept is for born again Christians only. In addition, they must be baptised (fully immersed) or, on the way to being baptised.
It is generally accepted that people occupy houses/apartments/flats etc. And depending upon circumstances, the dwellings and the occupants are inseparable. In our respective lifetimes most of us have completed forms of some description. Whatever the type, there is a commonality and this usually is the need for personal information, such as: What is your name? Where do you live etc? Most of us live somewhere and we call that place home. We must be very clear on this! The house fellowship can only operate effectively in and from the home environment. Also, it is absolutely crucial that the home fellowship remain autonomous. Anything outside of this framework will render the concept useless and in no time at all there will be a church type scenario. Hear the scriptural pronouncement, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” (Pro 26:11) “But the word of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog turning to his own vomit; and, The washed sow to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet 2:22)
The ideal house fellowship is the core family unit: Husband, wife and children. From there it expands to include family members, close friends and the newly discipled – where applicable. However, in the case of Christians who do not have children, the expansion is towards family members, close friends and the newly discipled. Single parents ideally integrate with their family (Mom and Dad). If this is not possible, they would fellowship with the nearest group in proximity.
Ideally the responsibility should rest with an older man – the elder. However, for those house fellowships not blessed with an older man the husband should assume this position. In no way is this person, whoever they may be, to lord it over the others in the group. Their primary role is to ensure that the saints are equipped and therefore prepared for the work in the Lords’ vineyard.
A thumb of rule figure in terms of numbers is around twelve people. Should the group become larger than this, it must divide and start afresh in another home.
DESIGNATED FAMILY MEAL
Ideally, and in practical terms, the house fellowship would meet once a week over a communal meal. Initially the family meal is the focus of the fellowship. During the meals the scriptures relating to the so-called, breaking of the bread are read allowed. Should new people be present the scriptures are explained with emphasis being placed upon the memorial component – obedience. It is an interesting observation from the scripture that Jesus broke the bread prior to the meal and then drank the wine after the meal?
After the meal, the fellowship would continue around the family table or it would adjourn to the lounge (or any other area). Those who are led to share on the scriptures would do so. Those who are musical would perhaps lead in praise. Someone else may have a teaching; another may have a testimony etc. If there are practical issues (works) these would be discussed and relevant action taken.
The above format is for guideline purposes only. At all times the focus must be on the immediate family and then outward.
- Apostle: A sent-out one who is gifted with miraculous powers. His primary role is to plant new house fellowships. For a person who has been identified within an existing house fellowship to have the calling of an apostle there are two possible scenarios wherein they would exercise their calling:
- When an existing house fellowship needs to divide. In this instance, the apostle would move with the excess saints from the existing home fellowship to begin a new one.
- As a result of the evangelist work or, an inquiry the apostle will be called to another area to establish a new home fellowship. Once the house fellowship is established the apostle moves on. The responsibility for the house fellowship is taken over by an Elder. Once again! We stress the office of responsibility is always administered with a servant heart attitude.
- Prophet: A gifted speaker, who speaks words of edification and exhortation from the Lord to individuals and to the body. (1 Cor 14:3) He would also speak prophetically in terms of the prophetic scriptures in the Bible.
- Evangelist: One called to go out and speak the Good News. Someone with this calling posses a boldness to proclaim the gospel wherever they may be. For house fellowship purposes they would ideally minister on a one-to-one basis. The newly evangelised would be brought to the house fellowship by the evangelist to be discipled.
- Pastor (shepherd): This individual sees to the well being of the flock. Well being in terms of inter-personal relationships and practical assistance when and where required.
- Teacher (instructor): A person who is gifted in the understanding of the scriptures and has the ability to expound (explain) them in a concise and clear manner.
Each group is responsible for their own finances. From time to time they meet with other house fellowships. Be acutely aware of people with religious spirits.
Compiled by: The Final Word Internet Ministry
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