How Does a Home Fellowship Function

I have been asked many questions about our home fellowship and will be putting together some articles in Q and A format. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section and I will answer them in upcoming articles. (Other home fellowships function differently and I'll be sharing more about that soon)

When and where do we meet?

We gather in my home on Monday nights. We rent a clubhouse for larger gatherings every so often. Where we live, we have access to a clubhouse with a deposit we get back the next day, so this really has no cost to do. We sometimes gather in other homes too. We each like to take turns hosting the fellowship.

How do you celebrate the Lord's Supper?
bowlsetting by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere
We have pot luck every Monday night and at the larger gathering. Some nights we do dessert and coffee only. We dine together at the table, if there are more people, we use TV trays in the living room to accommodate. We believe in the full feast style supper..imagine an Italian family dinner night..that's us. :)

How do you teach?

Acts19 by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

We have no hierarchy structure, only Christ is the Master of the meeting. He functions through various people through the night. His Spirit flows through each of us in a very spontaneous and loving manner. He edifies and encourages us through one another. If you can imagine a good peaceful ping pong table where no one has a desire to 'win'..just enjoy the game. The conversation style teaching goes back and forth. It's not a one way street here.

Do you believe in apostles, bishops, elders, pastors, and teachers?

Yes, but we do no use titles nor 'authorities' here. We are all equal in Christ. We believe in the function of the Spirit of these gifts, but not as a man made structure. We are in fellowship with people who function in all these gifts. As His Spirit guides, they function. No one person is more of a master teacher than another, Jesus is our master, his Spirit is our Teacher. All these functions are not always here every Monday. Sometimes we gather at one of their homes instead of here.

How do you handle the offering?

wish I had more by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere
We don't mandate an offering. Since we own our home, we have no need to ask our guests to give us money just to host them for an evening in our home. We share in the meal by having it potluck. If someone has a need and they mention it, people will give as the Spirit guides them. No one has ever abused this by asking for handouts. People are generally quite humble and hesitant on even asking for financial help. We rely on the Spirit to speak to us about who needs assistance. We do get donations of nonperishable food so we do offer food boxes to everyone if they need it, all they need to do is ask. All the 'teachers' have their own income, so we have no need to pay them.

Do you have a nursery?

nub and monie by chasingcars, on Pix-O-Sphere
No. We allow the children to play all around the house. The older children play with them. Parents tend to their own children's needs.

Do you have a creed?
No, our gathering has no creed. Mostly it's just love Father and love one another. We believe each person has their own unique walkabout with Father and they are certainly free to hold to their own creed. As long as we each understand that we live in this life with love and mutual respect, then the fellowship is sweet. We welcome people of differing beliefs and encourage theological discussion. If they don't feel comfortable with fellowship with open minded people who question, then they may not like it here. We allow for all questioning. There is no spiritual tyranny here. We live in America where there is freedom of religion. We do not feel it's fair, spiritual healthy, nor Constitutional if we usurp their beliefs and make them believe as we do. You can believe in pre trib, post trib, tongues, healing, or women who teach. But also realize that if someone asks about these things, you'll be in for a long night. If a matter becomes a wall, we'll shelve the discussion until another time.

We are not out to get everyone to believe the same..we gather because of love for Father and one another. Bible study is challenging here. If one is not up for the challenges and study, they are free to depart peacefully after the meal. We still love them.

Do people commit to serving in your fellowship?

feasting table by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere
We don't see it that way. We believe in living the ministry life every day, not just on the day we gather. As we prepare the meal, people just naturally offer to help. There's plenty to do around here when a potluck meal for more than ten people is being prepared. We encourage people to participate in serving the community in whatever ministry they feel led to. Whether it's the homeless center, recovery homes, or day care centers for the disabled. We hold no 'positions' here. We are a family.

What about baptism?

boy creek by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere
We believe Jesus baptized us in His death. We believe that water baptism is a work therefore it is between the person and Christ if they want to do this. We are a very non traditional gathering here..and while we mean no disrespect, if someone wants to get wet as a celebration of their revelation of Christ, we'll have a pool party or go to the creek and we'll all canon ball together in celebration. I know this may sound silly, but we happen to think Jesus wants us to enjoy life and not be so stiff necked about rituals. If you want to get wet, we'll all get wet together and have fun doing it. With a huge barbecue of course. Can't leave out the Supper for such a momentous occasion as 'Christ in you'.

More to come. Feel free to ask about anything I have not covered in this post. Please refrain from trying to force me to adopt how your church functions. We are all unique and I hold firm to our soul liberty.


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{ Nik Stone } at: January 12, 2011 at 12:03 PM said...

This sounds awesome and so fun! I have often craved to have a place to sit with others and have a good bible study without the rituals and pomp and circumstance to go along with it. And I love your idea of baptism LOL actually the first time I was baptized it was in a creek!

I believe that is how the first churches of Paul's time was people gathering at each others house and meeting each others needs and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them!

{ Sisterlisa } at: January 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM said...

Thank you, Nik. I'll be putting together more articles soon and sharing links to how other home fellowships function. There are many of them out there.

{ Leigh } at: January 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM said...

I love reading about this... We go to a very large "home church" style fellowship - very large, as in 200 + people meeting together - and it's a wonderful way of meeting around the Lord. With the increase of numbers, there has been a need for some brothers to step into a leading role - mostly brothers who are committed to praying together and listening for the word of God for our gathering. It's all Spirit led and I've never been able to worship the Lord as I do in this type of meeting! We meet in a home that our fellowship owns that has been modified to meet our needs, and we meet on Sundays, share the Lord's table, listen to a teaching, and have a huge lunch together to continue our fellowship. Thanks for sharing your details! I'd give you a link to more details on how we meet, but we have no one that blogs about how meet, that I know. We do operate this ministry, though...
http://www.christiantestimonyministry.com/

{ Sisterlisa } at: January 13, 2011 at 11:51 AM said...

Thanks, Leigh!! So glad to 'meet' you! Where I'm from, when a home fellowship gets too large, we split up the weekly gatherings into more homes. Covering the town with loving home fellowships. In the institutional church they see a church split as a negative thing. We see it as a good thing. :) Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

{ Mary } at: January 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM said...

I love this and we are looking for something like this!

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