What about “home churching”? Is this biblical?
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)Acts 1:15
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.Acts 2:1-2
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.Acts 2:46-47
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.Acts 5:12
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.Acts 5:42
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.Acts 8:3
And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.Acts 12:12
And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.Acts 20:20-21
And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.Acts 21:5
Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.Romans 16:5
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.1 Corinthians 16:19
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.Colossians 4:15
Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:Philemon 1:1-2
It is abundantly clear from Scripture that the early church met in homes. Many of their churches were identified by the person who hosted the church gathering. It is wrongly assumed that the person who hosted the gathering was an elder of the church; although, we do know that Peter hosted a gathering in his home. It is also clear that there was nothing “holy” about meeting in homes. The church also met in the temple and other public places. They even had a public prayer meeting on the shore with their families.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The temple of God is now the Holy Spirit indwelt believer. There are no more “sacred” places. As such where you meet is not important to God. The issue of “home churching” is not about where God can and cannot be worshipped. Having a prayer meeting in your home is no more holy than having a prayer meeting on the beach or in a church building.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Hebrews 10:24-25
And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.Luke 9:49-50
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.3 John 1:9-10
The main issue with “home churching” is why you meet in homes and not other buildings. Many people home church because they consider themselves too holy for other believers. They cannot find a church with people who are as “enlightened” as they are. As such they separate themselves from the body of Christ to maintain their “purity.” This can many times be the spirit of Diotrephes not the Spirit of Christ. Sometimes people “home church” for God-glorifying reasons. It is much more cost effective and enables the church to be a wiser steward of their resources. Many churches begin in homes to avoid debt or high rent. This is a good thing. Sometimes people meet in homes to avoid persecution by oppressive governments. There are other reasons that people meet in homes for worship that are glorifying to God.
The main issue with “home churching” is the heart. People are not more holy for refusing to worship in a building that is not a home. People are not more holy for worshiping in a building with a steeple or stain glass windows. If you home church for financial stewardship or avoidance of persecution that is a perfectly legitimate reason. However, if you cannot get along with other Christians, they may not be the problem; the problem may be you.