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gustava

More house churches

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jerkit

I think this is becoming a popular trend in mainstream, non-fundie Christian churches. I was a part of one for several years and it was far from fundie.

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hoipolloi

It's a good bet that most or all of the ones in this article are fundie.

All of them sound like variations on "The Church of Daddy Said So."

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whoviana

All I can think of is "more cults".

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BrownieMomma

I attended a house church a few times at the invitation of someone who was participating in it. This was about 20 years ago. IIRC, this was mainly composed of dissatisfied SBC, although I think they wanted to be more strict than the most prominent local SBC church.

IMO this type of thing is exclusionary, open only to people you already know and approve of. More like getting together with your group. People aren't there to get saved, they are there to get empty tanks filled up.

idk, to me if you are going to home church, you have to work a lot harder out in the real world to be "light and salt" and win souls to Christ, simply because no seeker is going to easily find you if they want to know more about you.

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RosyDaisy

My church stared out as a home church, But we are a very liberal, accepting, equal opportunity congregation. That also applies to our charity work. No brainwashing, and definitely not a cult. Our congregation is small because, well, it's rural Alabama....not exactly known for tolerance.

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2xx1xy1JD

My family's synagogue (not remotely fundie) started off in a basement, and I've attended other basement synagogues. It's what you do in new areas, before anyone has a building fund established.

I have fond memories of it being warm and friendly. It can be an opportunity to focus more on people and community than building and finances.

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Handmaiden of Dog

It may surprise you to hear that the United Methodist Church is pushing this concept. Think about it. Many churches built in the 60's and 70's are half-abandoned money pits. So much of the tithing goes to maintaining (mowing the lawns, cleaning, repairs) and utilities (air conditioning, heating.) Plus many churches have been hit with legally required structural changes due to safety and health issues (handicapped access, mold inspections.) Shrinking membership means that either members move to combine with other churches or start meeting in their homes. A Methodist Bishop in California is hoping that most churches will be home churches in 20 years.

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RosyDaisy

This is just my opinion, but churches should be more concerned about helping people and their communities rather than creating elaborate buildings with unnecessary amenities.

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FloraDoraDolly
This is just my opinion, but churches should be more concerned about helping people and their communities rather than creating elaborate buildings with unnecessary amenities.

My church is small, but we have a pretty big hall on the property. During the week it is used for Alcoholics Anonymous and other support group meetings. The pastor views these groups' usage of the building as part of the church's mission and charges only a nominal fee. A neighboring church has a food pantry in their building, while I know of another that has a resale shop whose customers are mostly poor and elderly.

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doggie

the mega churches are so expensive sometimes 80 to 90% of the income goes to running it and paying salaries. Preachers can really rake it in.

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Jana814
My family's synagogue (not remotely fundie) started off in a basement, and I've attended other basement synagogues. It's what you do in new areas, before anyone has a building fund established.

I have fond memories of it being warm and friendly. It can be an opportunity to focus more on people and community than building and finances.

I think my temple started as a small group back 1940's. Now it's huge & still growing.

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DGayle
This is just my opinion, but churches should be more concerned about helping people and their communities rather than creating elaborate buildings with unnecessary amenities.

I know a lot of Mormons who are pissed at how much money's going to crystal palaces and not to helping people.

And I agree.

If God wants a big, fancy house, either he can point his finger and make it appear, or he can have his followers build the house and he can help the poor.

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eri

Bonus fundie points if there are more than three words in the name.

Any Buddhists here?

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

I don't have my glasses on, & at first thought the thread was "Whore House Churches." If it weren't for the gutter, my mind would be homeless.

My ex husband has started a house church. It started in the living room of his double-wide, but recently moved into the single-wide trailer his parents lived in. His stay-at-home wife home schools her 2 kids, & I think he'd really love to be like Steve Maxwell or Papa Arndt, keeping his kids home forever. He even looked into having his vasectomy reversed.

Thank the 'Verse I got my kids out in time & they became free-thinkers. They avoid attending.

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gustava
I don't have my glasses on, & at first thought the thread was "Whore House Churches." If it weren't for the gutter, my mind would be homeless.

:u-rock:

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Mischievous
nelliebelle1197
I don't have my glasses on, & at first thought the thread was "Whore House Churches." If it weren't for the gutter, my mind would be homeless.

My ex husband has started a house church. It started in the living room of his double-wide, but recently moved into the single-wide trailer his parents lived in. His stay-at-home wife home schools her 2 kids, & I think he'd really love to be like Steve Maxwell or Papa Arndt, keeping his kids home forever. He even looked into having his vasectomy reversed.

Thank the 'Verse I got my kids out in time & they became free-thinkers. They avoid attending.

Why do I find the images The Holy Church of the Single Wide create so hilarious?

I also think it is kinda of hilarious he lives in a double wide and you have more house than you can handle!

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MamaJunebug
the mega churches are so expensive sometimes 80 to 90% of the income goes to running it and paying salaries. Preachers can really rake it in.

It seems that the typical budget for a congregation with its own physical plant is divided 50-50; salaries are 50% of the budget and other operating expenses including donations beyond the congregation's physical borders are the other 50%.

The 50-50 rule of thumb is borne out both at the small congregation where I hold my membership, and at the large, prosperous church in an established, upper-middle-class congregation where a good friend is involved.

That's the extent of my knowledge about it.

The huge red flag for home congregations is the ministerial staff. Coming up Lutheran, I could always expect solid, consistent doctrine to be presented from one congregation to the next; and if the pastor were to propose anything weird (doctrinally or otherwise), there was a "counselor" - a pastor designated by the synod - to whom concerned parishioners could go to report the weirdness or at least get a second opinion.

I would NEVER take the word of a hazily trained guy like Steve Maxwell or even James (Mr. Stacy) McDonald; and I wouldn't think of aligning myself with an independent preacher who was unaccountable to anybody except God.

ETA: The above is all just my HO, of course.

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Enraged
ADoyle90815
It may surprise you to hear that the United Methodist Church is pushing this concept. Think about it. Many churches built in the 60's and 70's are half-abandoned money pits. So much of the tithing goes to maintaining (mowing the lawns, cleaning, repairs) and utilities (air conditioning, heating.) Plus many churches have been hit with legally required structural changes due to safety and health issues (handicapped access, mold inspections.) Shrinking membership means that either members move to combine with other churches or start meeting in their homes. A Methodist Bishop in California is hoping that most churches will be home churches in 20 years.

In California, one structural change that churches have had to make was to for earthquake retrofitting since codes have gotten tougher over the last 30 years or so. Some churches have even been so damaged after an earthquake that they've been determined to be unsafe until they were rebuilt, so they had to find other places to have services in the meantime.

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2xx1xy1JD

It seems that the typical budget for a congregation with its own physical plant is divided 50-50; salaries are 50% of the budget and other operating expenses including donations beyond the congregation's physical borders are the other 50%.

The 50-50 rule of thumb is borne out both at the small congregation where I hold my membership, and at the large, prosperous church in an established, upper-middle-class congregation where a good friend is involved.

That's the extent of my knowledge about it.

The huge red flag for home congregations is the ministerial staff. Coming up Lutheran, I could always expect solid, consistent doctrine to be presented from one congregation to the next; and if the pastor were to propose anything weird (doctrinally or otherwise), there was a "counselor" - a pastor designated by the synod - to whom concerned parishioners could go to report the weirdness or at least get a second opinion.

I would NEVER take the word of a hazily trained guy like Steve Maxwell or even James (Mr. Stacy) McDonald; and I wouldn't think of aligning myself with an independent preacher who was unaccountable to anybody except God.

ETA: The above is all just my HO, of course.

Quality control could be an issue, esp. with the very insular and extreme types.

My own experience was that my family's home synagogue was lay-led, but affiliated with a larger mainstream movement (Conservative Judaism). It was years before they had the budget for a full-time rabbi.

The other basement synagogue I've attended were actually held in the homes of rabbis. Some of them were affiliated with larger movements and considered an official location - this is pretty common with the Chabad movement.

I should add something about my area: I live in the suburbs, and these basement synagogues were all established in newer subdivisions, which weren't served by established synagogues in the immediate area. Real estate is also pretty expensive here, so it's not cheap or easy to put up a building. IOW, doing things from private homes is often a practical thing, not an "I'm so insular I won't even leave my house for worship" thing.

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MamaJunebug

Quality control could be an issue, esp. with the very insular and extreme types.

My own experience was that my family's home synagogue was lay-led, but affiliated with a larger mainstream movement (Conservative Judaism). It was years before they had the budget for a full-time rabbi.

The other basement synagogue I've attended were actually held in the homes of rabbis. Some of them were affiliated with larger movements and considered an official location - this is pretty common with the Chabad movement.

I should add something about my area: I live in the suburbs, and these basement synagogues were all established in newer subdivisions, which weren't served by established synagogues in the immediate area. Real estate is also pretty expensive here, so it's not cheap or easy to put up a building. IOW, doing things from private homes is often a practical thing, not an "I'm so insular I won't even leave my house for worship" thing.

2xxetc. ;) thank you for that! I was curious as to whether a degreed rabbi was involved or not.

I'd never thought of good doctrine as "quality control," but in a way, yeah, it is!!! And not because we're (IMHO) extreme nor insular. We've just observed - historically and currently - how confused preaching and teaching can really foul things up. I might mention DPIAR/T, I might mention GotHard .... but enough, already. Heh!

Speaking of Chabad, I do see men at prayer in a converted grocery store - they are bowing, as they do, in full view of anybody passing or driving by, because they've left the floor-to-ceiling windows uncovered. I think it's rather great to pray wherever you might be, and to worship, too. Which, on reflection, I need to adjust my automatic patronizing smile when I see a new Christian congregation in a strip mall. ....

FJ makes me think! I like that (and many other things) about the place!

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2xx1xy1JD

Other groups do home synagogues or smaller/cheaper places as well, but it's especially common with Chabad these days because they focus on outreach and expansion. They believe that the greatest thing is to go to an area that has some Jews who are not currently well served, and establish themselves. So, they usually need to operate out of their homes or other cheap spaces for a while. For some, operating out of a house means that both husband and wife can be constantly involved without being concerned with child care.

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Arete

In the US, when a Greek Orthodox community needs to establish a new church, it often does start as a house church, meaning the liturgy is done in a home/office/hotel space. Because the architecture is considered an absolutely vital and integral part of the worship experience, these are always established with the understanding they are temporary. So a community will literally set up the space as close to a church space as possible-there will be an icon screen shielding a consecrated table, a set apart space for the laity, placement of important scenes from the life of Jesus in the form of icons, and a space to light candles for specific prayers. This is then taken down at the end of each liturgy. As they wait for the church building to be built a raise money, they often need to rent larger spaces. The last community around me that was doing this started in a finished basement and ended up using a Lutheran church early in the mornings before the Lutherans had their services. (Thanks MamaJunebug Peeps :D)

These house churches are always under diocesan oversight since they have to send a priest, so they can't evolve into separatist entities. The oversight also prevents things like "invitation only" cliques.

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