Creating a church doesn’t mean building a cathedral or having hundreds of followers.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as gathering a handful of people to sit together and discuss the Bible.
That’s the message house church leaders are trying to spread to people looking for an alternative to larger, traditional religious settings.
To make a new church, all you need is a building in which to meet and people who want to worship together, just as they did when Christianity was founded. Because house churches have no set rules or organization to follow, they can vary widely in size and scope. Pretty much the only requirements is a place to meet and people who want to attend.
“Looking at the benefits of house churches, there are the obvious ones: no building, no mortgage and no formal institutional structure,” said Herb Drake, a theologian and operator of Home Church Central, an online site where home churches can share ideas and information. “They are egalitarian.”
Home churches are holdovers from the Christian tradition established more than 2,000 years ago and have been seen in everything from Judaism to modern-day China.
Modern organizers say small, intimate worship settings capture the original definition of a church. The traditional and more well-known concept of a church as a community gathering place works very well for many people and has obvious value in society, Drake said.
But it might not be for everyone.