How to Start a House Church

person holding a small wood house with a cross


What is a House Church?

A house church involves gatherings for individuals to share their love for Jesus.  It takes place in a person’s home.  You can invite your neighbors or friends to be a part of your journey to build a localized spiritual community.  Interested in creating a house church but don’t know where to start?  We’re here to help you fulfill God’s call on your life.

Create Ways To Be Supportive

Think of strategies that’ll help bring people closer to God — perhaps giving people a forum to discuss problems they’re encountering so that others can offer guidance from God’s Word.  You can help people create goals to aid them in following after the example of Christ.  Study the Scriptures to identify ways that’ll allow believers to build a continually stronger bond with God and other individuals in the Lord’s church.  You want to help people grow their faith and as a person.

Be Faithful

As well as you’re able to discern, limit rules and practices only to those things identified in the Bible.  You want to allow everyone to feel comfortable knowing that the church is fully committed to God’s Truth, even as people discuss their thoughts and feelings, and continue building their relationship with their Maker and their spiritual family.  Meet people where they are as you fulfill your duty to share the gospel and the full counsel of God.  Pushing unbiblical rules brings a spirit of legalism.  Advocating a lack of biblical guidance brings a spirit of licentiousness.  Both extremes will deter your friends and neighbors from wanting to join your house church and, more importantly, will fail to bring the fullness of God’s blessing to your efforts.

Manage House Church Size

Since the gatherings will be at your house, you should consider what you’ll do when your group grows to include more than 20 individuals.  You want to ensure connectedness, and not properly managing your growth might prove to be overwhelming and decrease intimacy.  Consider how your congregation will subdivide over time as it grows larger, so that new house churches will be spawned from yours.  These newly planted churches will still allow people to create relationships and share their opinions across a network of house churches, allowing people to bond over their love of Jesus, all while supporting others through their struggles in specific ways.

Ready to Join Us?

Now that you’ve learned more about how to start a house church, we can’t wait for you to join us.  Household of Faith in Christ is a house church in Frederick, Maryland, which strives to build a community of edification and accountability.  Contact us today to learn more about the possibility of partnering with us!



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 was 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 new content as “bonus material”.


A Short Online Apologetics Example

In a previous blog I shared an online apologetics example, meant to encourage you to likewise get engaged in the spiritual war.  Do so in person, online, via smartphone, whatever – just be sure to join the battle.  Here’s another example.

An associate remarked:

I’m no expert, but if one is a Christian, and not a follower of the Old Testament, then I don’t think using violence to prevent evil is the Christian way.  Just my opinion.

My comment in return:

Quick point of clarification – Christians are followers of the Old Testament.  And followers of the New Testament, too.

I’m-No-Expert responded:

Are they?  Didn’t Jesus contradict the Old Testament?

Me in return:

Contradict, no.  Fulfill, yes.  For example, I refer you to Matthew 5:17-19.

I’m-No-Expert came back with:

Matthew 5:38-48?

Me in return, once more:

In the verses leading up to verse 38 we can see Jesus expounding the Old Testament Law.  As difficult as it is to keep the Old Testament Law, Jesus makes it even more difficult.  Jesus says it’s not enough to refrain from murder, we must also refrain from becoming enraged with others.  It’s not enough to refrain from committing adultery, we must also refrain from lust.  One gets the sense from Jesus’ words that the Old Testament Law sets out the bare minimum requirements.  Jesus teaches that the righteousness of His disciples must exceed that of the Pharisees who were keepers of the Law, but only keeping the bare minimum.  Disciples of Christ are to do more.  As in the verses that precede it, beginning with verse 38, what Jesus is doing is quoting the bare minimum of the Law and then challenging His disciples to do better.  It’s helpful to understand that when the Law states “an eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth” it’s not propagating violent retaliation.  Rather, this is the principle of proportionate retribution.  The idea is that the legal punishment mustn’t exceed the crime, and this law was something to be applied in legal disputes and not in personal confrontations.  Anyway, as in the preceding verses, Jesus is advocating that His followers go beyond the minimum requirements of the Law.  Instead of insisting on justified retribution in all circumstances, disciples of Christ should refuse to adamantly insist on their rights, regardless of how legitimate they might be.  So, contrary to contradicting the Old Testament, Jesus is affirming it and then amplifying it a few notches.

I’m No Expert:

Yeah, well, I’ve never gotten a real good explanation as to why Exodus 21:22 says, “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”  Then in verse 23, “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.”  So, if the fetus dies it’s a fine, but if the mother dies it’s a life for a life.  So Jewish law gives way less value for a fetus than a person.  So, in Scripture it’s determined not to be “murder”.

My thoughts on this new direction in the conversation:

Since you’ve never been given a good explanation, let me add my two-cents to the list of bad explanations you’ve received.  English translations of the Bible are almost all very good, but none are perfect.  Some of our English translations muddy the waters with the way they handle the original Hebrew in this text.  Others do a better job with this passage:  “And when men fight and strike a pregnant woman (‘ishah harah) and her children (yeladeyha) go forth (weyatse’u), and there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the husband of the woman may put upon him; and he shall give by the judges.  But if there’s injury, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”  It’s helpful to note that there’s a Hebrew verb for miscarry (to lose a baby by abortion, to be bereaved of the fruit of the womb).  This word is shakal.  In fact, it’s used just a couple of chapters later in Exodus 23:26, which says: “None shall miscarry (meshakelah) or be barren in your land.”  Remember, this word isn’t used in Exodus 21:22-25.  Instead, in Exodus 21 we find the word for “go forth” (weyatse’u, the root is ytsa’) which means live birth.  This verb doesn’t ever refer to an abortion.  When it refers to a pregnancy, it refers to live children “going forth” or “coming out” from the womb.  (See for example Genesis 8:17, Genesis 15:4, Genesis 25:25-26, Genesis 38:28-30, 1 Kings 8:19, Jeremiah 1:5, 2 Kings 20:18, etc.).  So, the text in Exodus 21 requires a fine to be paid, for causing a premature birth, while injury/death to either of the parties involved (the mother or the child) incurs a more severe punishment.  I hope that this helps.

I’m No Expert had nothing more to say.


Deep (or Not So Deep) Thoughts

It’s significant that the American church has, in large measure, forgotten that Christians have been granted the privilege of sharing in Christ’s suffering.  Consider this an important reminder.

Sadly, “churchgoers” and true “Christians” are not one and the same.  The church needs true Christians to be engaged as models for how to have loving discussions, even about (especially about) things over which we disagree.  Christians need to do this inside the church, and then also do this on a wider scale in the general public and on social media.

I encourage us to not get ahead of ourselves if we don’t need to.  Sometimes we might do well to keep our powder dry until the spirit of the age shows its hand.  Those standing for truth don’t need to go looking for a fight, deceivers will bring their fight to the defenders of truth.  (There are plenty of real examples going on right now.  I believe we’ll be more effective if we concentrate our focus there).

In a speech Oprah Winfrey said, “You’re nothing if you’re not your truth”.  Oprah added, “Your legacy is every life you’ve touched.”  This is really very good in so many ways.  Sadly, it also sets us up for continued dissatisfaction if we’re not careful.  Oprah shares “her truth”, but is it “the truth”?  Is “your truth” or “my truth” any different?  “Our truth” only matters if it squares with “the truth”.

A word of caution:  Beware of swapping a primary focus on your shoes/cars/houses for a primary focus on your legacy.  Making your legacy your primary focus “doesn’t fill up your life” either.  Legacy is a good thing.  It’s just not the ultimate thing.

Here’s an article quoting one of my former seminary professors that’s worth a read, even if I’m not totally onboard with the premise.  The author says, “It might seem like a totally foreign concept that visiting a church building could inspire a conversion — especially in the US — but as we move into an increasingly post-Christian culture, purpose-built worship space might be one of the great witnesses we have for a watching world.”


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner