What is a Biblical House Church?

by Dale Partridge

The idea of “house church” generates a variety of questions. How does church work in a house? Is it like a Bible study? How many people are in a house church? What about the children, do they stay with their parents or do something in another room?

All of these are both important and valid questions for a generation of Christians far removed from church gatherings within a home. In this episode of Real Christianity, Relearn.org Founder, Dale Partridge offers a detailed description of a biblical house church. He shares not only the practical layout and format of these gatherings but also the theological and ecclesiological doctrine behind them.

This Episode’s Question

“Dale, I know you’re a house church planter and pastor, and the idea of Christians gathering in homes is becoming more intriguing to me these past several months. Tell me, what does an average gathering look like in a house church? Do these types of gatherings have a certain structure or is it more organic like a Bible study?”

Jarrid -Chicago, Illinois

Additional Resources

Scripture References

  • 1 Timothy 3:1-7

    “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

  • 1 Timothy 3:8-13

    “8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

  • 1 Timothy 3:14-16

    “14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

    God  was manifested in the flesh,
    Justified in the Spirit,
    Seen by angels,
    Preached among the Gentiles,
    Believed on in the world,
    Received up in glory.”

  • Titus 1:1-5

    “5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

  • Titus 1:10-16

    “10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”

What is Biblical House Church?

Learn more about the thousands of Christians who are gathering in intimate, missional, and biblical communities. Get started by downloading our free PDF titled "The Basics of Biblical House Church."

After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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