Jim Elliff, "Why do we meet in homes?"

An excerpt from Christ Fellowship of Kansas City concerning Why do we meet in homes? CFKC is a network of four SBC house churches in the Kansas City area. There are six good reasons, according to Jim Elliff, why they have planted this relatively new congregation according to the house church model.

  1. The First Christians Met in Homes: The New Testament and early church history affirm that homes were the predominant setting for the gatherings of the church.
  2. A Natural Setting for Fellowship: We enjoy the home environment in that we find it to promote excellent Christian fellowship and mutual edification.
  3. A Wise Use of Resources: The best ways to use our financial resources are for benevolence, missions, and elder support, rather than building expenses.
  4. A Well-tended Flock: The church will be healthier when elders are not overburdened by an unmanageable number of people entrusted to them.
  5. A Proven Pattern for Expansion: The multiplication of home congregations can facilitate expansion while at the same time maintaining an ideal setting for fellowship.
  6. The Design for New Testament Instructions: We believe the instructions given to the church were designed for, and can be most consistently followed, in small assemblies.
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6 thoughts on “Jim Elliff, "Why do we meet in homes?"

  1. Pingback: Under The Grace » Meet In Homes

  2. The key to the house church, however, is strong biblical leadership within the “cell” or “small groups” or whatever moniker that the groups might have. Small groups led by weak leaders are one the greatest modern sources of heresy. Like Sunday School classes with bad teachers, a lesson might go something like this

    1. Read a passage of scripture
    2. Ask “So what do YOU think this means?”
    3. Go around the circle giving equal weight to whatever flesh derived meaning might come out of someone’s mouth
    4. Come to a consensus about the theory that seems least wrong.

    It all comes down to the execution. I thought I had taught my church all that they needed know about Elders but when it came down to execution, I fell flat on my face. House churches are looking really good to me right now (As Bill well knows from my last email to him), but I am at a loss on how to carry it out! I suppose that I need to find three or four guys, that I can really trust, to do something like Jim has in Kansas City.

    On a side note, how do you combat the urges, after time, to become a “real church.” I would think that there would be a constant temptation to add back in all of the things that you have tried to take out of the house church. I know that every time I pushed to simplify things in my previous church, certain perceived necessities would always force us to complicate the structures of our church.

  3. We meet in the barn/garage next to our deacon’s double wide trailer. Sometimes it gets a little wild in there with the hornets and a few bugs. There is even a pet racoon in the back who decided to take up residence. He is free to leave at any time but he likes it there.

    You can do it right according to ‘how to’ do church, or you can gather in the midst of Christ simply because you want to. I think the ‘how to’ method is loaded with Old-Testament-God-pleasing nonsense. It’s about as rediculous as ‘how to’ be saved.


  4. Pingback: Paranoia in the pulpit, stupidity in the pew at thin edge of the wedge

  5. JKK: Definitely food for thought! I think we probably see things differently on the issue you raised about “modern sources of heresy,” especially in light of the incredibly dangerous ideas being put forth by the “health and wealth” boys and the number of super-mega-churches with god-like figures preaching to tens of thousands every week. I’ve made similar statements to yours, having served as a pastor, for a number of reasons that I have outline in a new post: Paranoia in the pulpit, stupidity in the pew.

    I’ve been thinking about the last point you raised regarding the temptations to become a “real church” (with all of the proper programs and meetings) when you’ve committed yourself to a “house church” model. I think I’ll deal with that one in separate blog post in the next few days. Great idea!

  6. Good article. I found your blog via ‘Under the Grace’.

    I have to comment, though, in response to the comment from JKK:

    What makes you think that in a group of christians, studying the Bible together, that one would pick the ‘least wrong’ interpretation? Since when? What makes you think that general lay people will get it wrong, if they allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them, instead of a minister?
    Having perfect Theology is no prerequisite for a walk with God. He is our instructor…and how many pastors/ministers have gotten something so wrong, and been preaching from their ‘place of authority’? You sound like you believe that we are just stupid sheep.

    And why would anyone who has discovered the beauty and freedom of House Churches, want to go back to the old church model? With a pastor, and elders, and too many people to be involved in…not to mention the old prejudice against ‘women teaching men’…

    Thanks, Bill for your articles….I read the follow-up one, “Paranoia in the Pulpit.” Very good…it’s nice to see someone get up the courage to admit all that…


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