In a recent interview, Frank Viola noted this typical problem with “house churches”…

In my observation, many house churches are little more than glamorized Bible studies. And most perform the same ritual every week. I’d like to see more house churches hunger and thirst for an experience of Jesus Christ and who would seek for ways to make Him central, supreme, and preeminent in their house church experience. By my lights, there is a great deal of room to grow in this area.

Another concern he expressed in his book So You Want to Start a House Church? is that some house churches are little more than coffee house discussion groups where people get together to catch up with one another. I guess these are concerns of mine too. Being in a house doesn’t necessarily make a gathering more genuine, nurturing, accountable, etc. I think we are creatures of habit and it takes effort to change things up, to think about what to do week-by-week.

In the two house churches that I meet with, we have drifted into a repeating pattern. Nonetheless, I feel like we are asking the right questions. “What is Jesus doing in your life? How have you been Jesus to those around you? Where is the Lord leading you? What are you studying this week? What difference is it making in your life?”

 We do change up when a special need arises. Sometimes in Allen, we simply go out to eat together. When one of us have had a bad day, we can stop and talk/pray through it. When we have a Halloween carnival to go to, we can have a short service. So perhaps we aren’t so rigid…. yet.

Is Jesus at the center? Supreme? Preeminent? That’s a great goal to work toward.