What Are the Benefits of a House Church?

group of women reading the bible together


3 Benefits of Belonging to a House Church

Have you ever felt disconnected from your church? Sometimes one’s core values cease to match those of the local church leadership.  Over time this begins to be unsettling and uncomfortable.  This can be especially true if the relationships inside the congregation feel distant, forced, or inauthentic.  Sometimes this is described as “plastic friendships” where everyone “hides behind a mask”.  If this is the case in your situation, a house church might be just what you’re looking for.


Informal Setting

Come as you are!  While most people choose casual outfits, feel free to express yourself more formally if you like.  Our small setting allows for great intimacy, where individuals get to know each other profoundly well.

Additionally, being purposely small grants us the benefit of being able to build long-lasting, faith-rooted, and biblical bonds.  God is our main focus, and this aids our members greatly as they run their race.  At Household of Faith in Christ everyone gets to participate in the gathering, allowing you to get to know your Maker and His Word better.



Praising God is a family affair.  We have a very simple “children’s program”.  It’s one where kids participate along with their parents; whether the group is singing, praying, conversing, or simply listening, everyone is included!

Our house church is a family-integrated congregation.  Upon arrival, you’ll find a warm and welcoming atmosphere filled with love, joy, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds.  One advantage of this approach is that it facilitates effective communication and promotes relationship building; so our members really get to know each other.


Reduced Expenses

As a house church, Household of Faith in Christ gathers each week in the pastor’s home, where we aim to approximate the look and feel of First Century churches described in the Book of Acts.  As a result, there’s nearly no overhead expense, and we can allocate our resources to share the Good News and to help those in need.

By creating closer connections we’re able to eliminate the consumeristic mindset that, unfortunately, has taken over many of today’s churches.  We’re small by design, and we don’t intend to ever be a congregation that meets in big buildings, nor one that offers layers of “church programs” that, ironically, are meant to compensate for the challenges of a church being too big.  In the end, we save money and ensure that everyone is involved for the right reasons.


House Church in Frederick, Maryland

We’re a small congregation based in Frederick, Maryland, dedicated to developing loving relationships, rooted in mutual growth and accountability.  If you are weary of the “Sunday Morning Social Club” scene, what we do could be the perfect fit for you and your family.  Household of Faith in Christ meets every Saturday evening at 5:30 PM; typically ending at 7:30 PM.   If you’d like to attend, please call or email Pastor Troy Skinner so that you can truly be comfortable before you arrive.  His phone number is 301-676-6768.  His email is PastorSkinner@ProtonMail.com.

If you’re looking to establish a house church yourself, or if you already lead a house church, please contact us so that we can exchange ideas and encourage one another while working together for Christ’s Kingdom.



The blog above was first published on the original version of this website.  Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded.  With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023.  While doing this, some additional information is added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website.  Think of this as “bonus material” if it’s brand new content.


When Friends Don’t Sound So Friendly

A longtime family friend had always been soft-spoken, quick with a joke, and willing to engage in healthy conversation traversing areas of disagreement.  Then came the Obama presidency, which radicalized my friend’s leftist politics.  Then came the Trump presidency, which radicalized his online persona.  It was sad to witness this transformation.  After one particularly venomous social media post, I attempted a virtual intervention.  (I’m not going to include his words here because he wrote thousands of them, and most I wouldn’t be comfortable placing on my own platform).  This self-professed devout Jew had somehow crossed the Rubicon to darkness.  Seeking to meet him where he once was, I asked him a question that would hopefully remind him of his since-forgotten religious commitments:


Hello my good friend.  I wonder what you make these days of two passages from the Torah.

Leviticus 19:18

יחלֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥

לְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹֽה:

Numbers 6:24-26

כדיְבָֽרֶכְךָ֥ יְהוָֹ֖ה וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ:

כהיָאֵ֨ר יְהוָֹ֧ה | פָּנָ֛יו אֵלֶ֖יךָ וִֽיחֻנֶּֽךָּ:

כויִשָּׂ֨א יְהוָֹ֤ה | פָּנָיו֙ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְיָשֵׂ֥ם לְךָ֖ שָׁלֽוֹם:


His reply rambled (somewhat incoherently) for multiple lengthy paragraphs before giving me a small glimpse into the heart of the man I once knew.

He ended his thoughts with this comment:

Troy, this is just the beginning of how I feel about the stranger.  As a member of the Clergy how do you feel about the stranger?  I send love, best wishes, and thoughts for your family.  I look forward to seeing you soon.


Answering his question and his well-wishes I wrote:

As you do, I stand committed to the truth.  I stand for righteousness.  I stand for justice.  And in the spirit of Leviticus 19:18 and Numbers 6:24-26 I stand for love.  Love for my brother.  Love for the stranger.  Love for my neighbor (understanding that all men and women are my neighbors… even those who call themselves my enemy).  Thank you for sending love.  That’s the friend I know!  Truthfully, I’d like to see the heart of the friend I know more transparently visible within the posts that call for a stand in truth, righteousness, and justice.  I know that’s who you are, and I encourage you to let everyone see you for who you are… always.  Much love to you.  Shalom.

It turns out this was my final interaction with this man.  He died soon after.  I honestly don’t know if he ever truly turned the corner away from his consuming anger at the world.  I pray that the brief lucid moment that I shared with him at the end was an indication of a change that God perhaps used to call this friend to salvation.


Finding The Faith Debate

As I’ve mentioned in the past, The Faith Debate radio show (which airs Sundays on 930-WFMD at 9a) most often presents mini-series on specific topics.  I’m going to list some of the “program arcs” currently available online.  (Unfortunately, due to changes in the radio station website over the years, a great number of podcasts have been lost, but there are still quite a few available – find them on SermonAudio and Odysee).


There are three shows (from 2/7/16, 2/14/16, and 2/21/16) that explore “Differences in the Western Church – Europe Compared to America”.  The panelists on these shows:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Axel Gertner, Pastor at Free Evangelical Church in Ehrlich, Germany.


The four shows from 2/28/16, 3/6/16, 3/13/16, 3/20/16 explore historical and sociopolitical aspects of “islamophobia”, terrorism, race relations, immigration, and political correctness from the viewpoint of Christianity and Sikhism.  The panelists on these shows:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Dr. Harpal Mangat with his daughter Hannah Mangat.


The shows from 4/3/16 and 4/10/16 are not panel discussions, but rather contain a sermon message titled “Our Warrior King’s Royal Rumble” (based upon Exodus 17:8-16).  Due to time constraints, this message is broken up into two halves for the radio show.


During much of 2016 and 2017 the show featured a series of “best of” programs from when the show aired at a different time.  The shows from 4/17/16 through 5/8/16 offer a potpourri of selection for the show’s very first year of existence (2004):

4/17/16 “Preaching Christ in All Sermons”.  Panel:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Tom Weil, Pastor at Brunswick First Church of God.

4/24/16 “Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Infallibility”.  Panel:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Dr. Jace Broadhurst, Pastor at Poolesville Baptist Church.

5/1/16 “Should Religious Leaders Talk Politics”.  Panel:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Peter Kemeny, Pastor at Good News Presbyterian Church.  Jerry Price, Pastor at Maranatha Church of God.

5/8/16 “The Middle East and the Three Abrahamic Faiths”.  Panel:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.  Morris Kosman, Rabbi at Beth Shalom Congregation.  Kahlil Elshazly, President of the Islamic Society of Frederick.


The Faith Debate radio show (typically presents mini-series that focus on specific topics.  In April 2017 (from the 2nd to the 23rd) a four-part “program arc” explored Three Marks of the True Christian Church.  The panelists on these shows were:  Troy Skinner, 930 WFMD Moderator.  Dr. Jace Broadhurst, Pastor at Poolesville Baptist Church.  Dr. Peter DellaSantina, Pastor at Neelsville Presbyterian Church.

Part 1:  What does it mean to “rightly” preach God’s Word?

Part 2:  What are the Sacraments and how are they “rightly” administered?

Part 3:  What is church Discipline and what does it look like when it is “rightly” applied?

Part 4:  What should a person do when their church does not exhibit the three marks?  When is it right to leave and how should this be done?


You can also access the podcasts for these shows at the radio station website, via the Household of Faith in Christ website, and on a great number of independent podcast platforms.


Kicker Story

People of late are offended by just about anything, so I got to thinking… With the current climate of hysteria (which actually caused a leading broadcast company to over-think the possibility of someone’s name causing offense), I wonder:

Should any of these ten people ever have been allowed to be sportscasters?

Roger Black, Bob Blackburn, Emerson Boozer, Mark Butcher, Irv Cross, Jason Mohammad, Brent Pope, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Ian St. John, Arlo White.  (And for the follicly challenged, here’s an eleventh name… Clare Balding).

I asked others to add to the list, and these are some of the other potentially politically incorrect names that are out there.  Hockey player Miroslav Satan.  Russian figure skater Irina Slutskaya.  Basketball players Chief Kickingstallionsims and God Shammgod.  And come to think of it, using the hysteria theory, Troy “Skinner” could be on the list!


Family – it’s a sign of things to come.  Every day brings a new beginning.

Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner