Is the simple church movement biblical? What is a simple church?

"Simple church" is another name for the concept of house churches. A house church is a small congregation (usually around 20) who meet in a home. Meetings vary in type and character, but they generally resemble small group Bible studies more than traditional church services. They may include singing, teaching, and eating together. Accountability and relationships are emphasized. In the early church age, believers met wherever they could—usually homes (Acts 16:40; Romans 16:3-5; Colossians 4:15)—and learned from whomever had insight about Jesus and His sacrifice.

There is nothing inherently right or wrong with a simple church. Small churches are scattered all over the world simply because of a lack of believers who can meet in any given area. Many traditional church plants start by meeting in a home. What is wrong is the belief that the Bible only endorses simple churches. In reality, the church in Acts grew daily, as it was supposed to. And because of that growth, the Bible explains how local bodies of believers should be organized and led. Most biblical house churches want to see growth expressed in the reproduction of more house churches rather than building larger buildings.

Ideally, a home church will welcome newcomers and reproduce as the group becomes too large for the facilities. If all the members are like Bereans and study the Bible diligently (Acts 17:11), the chance of erroneous teaching decreases. Members can agree to some basic guidelines to ensure gatherings are flexible but not chaotic.

There may be advantages to joining a simple church. With no building to maintain, members have more time for outside ministry. With no pastor to pay, there is more money to dedicate to missions. At the same time, there are advantages to having a space dedicated for worship and service.

As long as the group includes members who take responsibility for seeking out the truth of the Scriptures and are as devoted to the Great Commission as they are to each other, the simple church concept can work.

Related Truth:

What was God's purpose in establishing the church?

What should we look for in a church?

Should a Christian be involved in the ecumenical movement?

Is there one true church? Which one is it?

Why are small group ministries important in the church?

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