Welcome to this week's Upstream Blog. We are talking about The Power of Home Church.
The final point in Pastor Richard's message on The Power of Home Church is that the evidence proves that Home Church works! What an eye-opener some of the surveys and studies have been about the Power of Home Church in people's lives. Let's have a quick look at some of those stats.
Barna did a study comparing Home Church versus Regular Church. In every area, those who attend Home Church were more satisfied than those who attend Regular Church.
This is not a competition guys. We are not trying to compete with other churches or disparage other churches. We need both Big Church and Home Church. But there are obvious signs for why the small group model was used in the early church and why it was so effective and making disciples and spreading the gospel.
At Upstream, we believe the reason for this greater satisfaction in Home Churches is because:
1) The teaching is interactive, it's 'didasko' as well as 'metanoia' (see the blog from two weeks ago!). But it's key and critical to the discipleship experience and spiritual growth to discuss what we learn with others.
2) Body Ministry at home church is participatory - it's not a spectator sport. Barna also found 93% of people in home churches actively participate, they pray out loud or gave a testimony, that's incredible and very unlikely to be anywhere near that percentage in regular church and 89% of those people also serve elsewhere, outside of their home churches.
3) Home Church is relational. 85% of the people spent time eating and talking before or after church. Acts 2 - fellowship, breaking bread. It's important.
Our heart at Upstream is to produce disciples of Jesus Christ. The greatest missing thing we have in the Body of Christ is connectedness. The younger generation crave connection to a group of people that accept them for who they are. It’s a total oxymoron to say ‘Social Media’.
The truth is, the more social media we get in society, the less connected we are because everyone is hiding behind a screen rather than actually meeting up in person. Reading a post or chat, watching a video, doesn’t mean you’re connected. We need in the flesh, in person, handshakes, hugs, talking face to face where there is vulnerability and trust, true fellowship.
Our worship pastor, Adam Stone, shares his experience of young people trying to connect:
“When I was running a youth theatre group in England, we did a production of Godspell. It was awesome! The teenagers loved it and they weren’t believers. But they were learning the parables of Jesus and getting deeply connected to the story. We’d finish rehearsals and I would try to engage them in conversation about what they were learning and how it affected them etc. but they couldn’t articulate their questions. I could see thy had questions, but they couldn’t speak them out loud. Then as I was driving home from rehearsals, my phone would be pinging like crazy with texts coming from these kids. They all had questions about the Bible, about Jesus, but the only way they could ask those questions were via text message. That was 20 years ago! Imagine what it’s like now.”
Smart Phones, the Internet, Social Media etc. are useful tools for specific things but they are not the answer for a hurting and broken society of people who need and desire community.
The relationships that can be formed in small groups, in home church, can be the most powerful and influential and supportive relationships you’ll have in your life.
A thriving home church is a model for everyone to see the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People living and worshipping together as the Body of christ in love, exercising the gifts of spirit and manifesting the fruit of the spirit and doing life together.
We are praying and believing for a restoration of the New Testament model of the church and I believe that Upstream is a part of that. If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in these end times through His church, if you would like to get connected to a Home Church, go to our Home Church page on our website or send us a message directly via the email form on the Contact Page, or through….social media! See, there’s a good use for it! We will do our best to get you connected to a Home Church near you. If there isn’t one, we can help you start your own home church in your area if that’s something God is calling you to do. It can be a little daunting, but really it’s super simple! We make it very easy for anyone, anywhere to open a home church and start discipling the people in their community. Just let us know and we can walk you through it every step of the way.
We hope this has been a blessing. These 3 teachings on the Power of Home Church are critical to the Body of Christ and how the church is moving forward into the last days. Do share this message with anyone you think might be blessed by it, or even challenged by it!
Have a great week. Next week, we are starting a new series called Walking in God’s Prosperity. Don’t miss it!
WATCH PASTOR RICHARD'S TEACHING SNIPPET NOW - CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW