What is Biblical House Church? (2021 Edition)
welcome to real Christianity mission is to bring the church back to the Bible my name is Dale Partridge and I'm the president of relearned out of work and Reformation Seminary the premise of the show is simple the culture is growing darker the church is in need of sound Doctrine and many Christians are hungry for the truth join me here each week as we look to scripture and discover what it really means to be a Christian
welcome to the show and as many of you know I am a Biblical House Church planter and Pastor some of you have listened to the two shows that we've done in the past explain what a Biblical House Church is and how they operate in contrast or an alignment to the traditional church today I'm going to be answering five common questions that we received over the years about biblical House Church things first if you feel called to plant in Pastor a Biblical House Church especially after listening to this episode I want you to consider enrolling in our one-year online and in-person depending if you're International or domestic I see logical training program for House Church Planters it's a rigorous academic and practical program for men looking to plant house churches anywhere in the world
 we have students from right now I think from 6 different countries and all over the United States are the curriculums covers hermeneutics and exegesis in biblical and Systematic Theology and past role development preaching biblical counseling Missy ology church history in a several other facets of pastoral life men who complete the program they always leave feeling confident and equipped to plant preach and Pastor or Shepherd a house Church in their Hometown or wherever the Lord has them to be so if you like to enroll in our program to learn more about our program we can do so at Reformation Seminary.com second we're getting close to the end of the 2021 year and as a non-profit we raise about 35% of our annual budget in the last 6 weeks of the year
 so 2021 has shown how faithful our supporters have been I mean you guys have been such a blessing to us and it's been the Lord's means for buying our needs very very much so for 2022 we have some incredible Gospel Projects lined up including the launch of our new house Church Network a major gospel tract project they're working on a new relearn store with the electrical tools and a new biblical interpretation YouTube video series The Three called the Bible blueprint but we do need your help as of right now we're about $45,000 short of our budget for 2022 and for that reason would you just prayerfully consider making either a one-time donation or initiating a monthly donation to support our ministry we really do
 need your help in all the donations are completely tax deductible so you can deduct them at the end of the year you can make a donation at relearn. Org forward slash donate you can also find your mailing address at the same link where you can mail a donation to our headquarters here in Sedona Arizona again that link is relearn. Org forward slash donate
 okay so we have five questions that I'm going to answer and a bonus question that I'm going to put at the end the five questions are what is a Biblical House Church and how is it different from traditional Church number 2 is how our Biblical House Church has held accountable to sound Doctrine and theology number three is what do you do with the children in a Biblical House Church in number four is how does giving work in a Biblical House Church and number 5 is what's the outline for a typical House Church Gathering begin with number one what is a Biblical House Church and how is it different
 from a traditional Church Veronica and I have been a part of the House Church movement for almost a decade we've been talking about House Church even before we were married almost 13 years ago and we had been searching and learning and researching and finally about 8 years ago became a part of a house Church Network we learned a lot there I learned a lot of bad things are a lot of good things learned about it just the House Church world and then in may be 2017/2018 we planted a house Church where I passed heard that house church and learned even more and have continued to be a part of the House Church community and then two years ago we started the Reformation Seminary at the house church planting and training school
 we are very different from say a Francis Chan model which I actually think is is is is dangerous and some levels well-intended in some levels and so I want to explain kind of why were different from maybe what they're doing for the traditional church can give you some perspective their first I want to say that the House Church movement in the past has had to have a bad reputation and a bad brand they're usually filled with church hurt anti-church and traditional Church Christians who have this kind of elitist mentality that there
 they're better they figured out the way for the church to gather the better way the right way the theologically correct way the early church way I bought it creates a sense of Pride and usually they're just glorified Bible studies and there's no structure that no leadership there's no training in it they explode or they implode and I would give a metaphor to come to explain that actually I'll give you an allergy right so I'm trying to always make sure that I'm using that for an allergy so the analogy is when you go to New York City
 I see all these hot dog stands and you see all these restaurants there are more hot dog stands that start and go out of business then restaurants and the reason is the planning the preparation the investment of the thinking the leadership ability the training all involved in starting a hot dog stand is very low I start a hot dog stand for by $10,000 and kind of just jump right in the training the planning to the finances the investment the leadership that maturity required to start a restaurant New York City is far greater maybe a half million to a million dollars
 and the reason that
 these go out of business so much at a greater frequency is because it's just not a lot of prep work involved on the hot dog stands there is to the restaurant the same is true with house churches in traditional churches so House Church is kind of just spring up out of nowhere from people who again the guy in the room who knows the most about the Bible it's just for the House Church hey our Bible study meets let's just turn our Bible study into house church start doing it on Sundays and there's really not a lot of training preparation planning be logical and sand. Show me charity accountability in and they just kind of end up having a bad experience and the relationships usually have issues that contention and it creates a bad reputation for the House Church world the traditional church has a far more investment training education leadership development maturity involved in getting a traditional Church up and going
 what are mission at Reformation seminaries to do the same amount of training that you would for traditional church but apply it to the house to remodel and so first you know just that big the overarching thing is that we don't think it's better we don't think it's the right way we do think in my experience for sure is that it's more fruitful pound-for-pound it's more fruitful it's been a more fruitful expression of church now and I'm not saying that there aren't fruitful traditional churches I'm a big fan of the traditional church I go to the Master's Seminary which is that Grace Community Church and a big fan of a lot of the historical traditional biblical churches that are out there but essentially what a house church is a Biblical how short is a church a Biblical church then meets in a house it's just basically changing
 the environment the location and so are ecclesiology is almost identical to a traditional church I mean I would even say that it is identical to traditional church it's just walked out in a different way I mean there's there's more dialogue versus just a monologue there it's more committed Centric versus visitor Centre member of our state's I should say every member functioning versus kind of a spectator Christianity or audience Christianity ultimately you know in the traditional Church a lot of people have felt that it's 10 ft wide and maybe 2 inches deep and everybody knows people that they don't really know anybody and it's too big to get to know everyone House Church is really more done right about 2 ft wide and 10ft deep is very intimate it's almost painfully intimate at times it's very much a family sent that the sense of family
 and it's missing from the church today is achieved and this atmosphere of the home I'm just think about where would you like to ask for prayer for the miscarriage that you just had and or the the diagnosis of cancer that your mother just had or you know the saying that you wanted to confess where do you want to do that you want to do that in a building with 300 people or do you want to do that on a couch with you know eight families that are the closest families in your life that are walking out committed biblical Christianity and so it becomes this very one another InCentric Community now it can go wrong but again when you have biblical Shepherd that have been trained up the illogically doctrinally ecclesiological E Missy logically meaning that they are not focused on just the the exclusive or in sexual kind of we're going to just
 all of us are going to be here and have mature families and and have really great preaching and we're going to just be this great cliquey little Christian Community that's really awesome and we love it and and everybody's really close and nobody can come in besides us I seen how strict is become that too because it's a really wonderful thing to be experiencing the biblical actor Buttes of the one another's the closeness that you see within the Disciples of Jesus in the scriptures and you almost don't want to have new people come in and disrupt your beautiful perfect little bubble but when you have a Biblical Shepherd who is highly focused on the Great Commission and you train your people to be Outreach focused get out there hand out gospel tracts preach the gospel in the public eye have evangelism conversations on a regular basis disciple does individuals bring them to the church get them baptized when you have that missional kind of raw biblical Christianity take him to the river after they've you know confess Christ and you've seen that fruit in in
 don't come in the river and that kind of biblical Christianity in their structures order does ecclesiology their Elders there's deacons their gender roles there's church membership there's communion there's there's an order liturgical structures this isn't just kind of Rogue Christianity this is very much ordered biblical church it's just done with less family is creating a more intimate environment that that nurtures that one another during a command that you see is over a hundred one another's in the New Testament to its is really beautiful thing you can't just initiate one of these things without training I would say that Jesus spent three years with the disciples training them a 24/7 before he sent them off to do ministry and so we believe that we take mature man who are busy qualified according according to 1st Timothy 3 and Titus one and we train them theologically ecclesiological get them prepared to show them about House Church what is it
 need to plant House Church House Church culture in Emmaus Church multiplication and and we send these men off to plant and so it's not much different than the traditional church just done in a more intimate environment I believe if it's size is the enemy of intimacy and so a lot of the issues that we have in the traditional Church the extra biblical things the programs and they you know the the the big in a buildings and the different places the children's ministry all those are a result of size you know when you get a lot of people you got to figure out how to organize them but when you have a little bit of people you know five to twelve families that can fit in a home it becomes as wonderful biblical deep rich experience especially if you have a great biblically qualified Elder who can preach the word expositionally verse by verse with sound
 it's just a wonderful thing so that's the answer to question one and very I guess long response to how our Biblical House Church is held accountable to sound doctor of theology the most of them are not held accountable and that's the problem they're kind of independent autonomous and again in the mission field you kind of have to deal with that but here in America where we have two logical standards that are kind of establishing all of our hearts and Minds in history with the church you know you again. You got to understand the latitude in the wit of the church in different countries and different circumstances I'm talking about the Western expression of House Church so our house Church movement that we are establishing hear our house Church Network that we're going to be launching here
 we are a confessional House Church movement mini that we adhere to the 1689 London Baptist confession of Faith so if you wanted to it's basically a Reformed Baptist confession of Faith you can actually get a copy of the 1689 at founders.org they have a store and it's in Modern English it's about fifty pages and you can read the statement of faith a really wonderful little book
 and that is what we are ordaining our guys in accordance with and I'm making sure that we are remaining in good standing to the conviction the doctrines of the 1689 this is the same compassion that maybe a Charles Spurgeon would stand with her it's been around for you know what three hundred and fifty years or something like that now and is really stood the test of time it may be an alignment close to the Westminster standards you know that's for the Presbyterians with this is for the Reformed Baptist so we hold each other accountable that way now in the network there is a greater accountability so anyhow church that's going to be in our Network would be called Reformation fellowship and that'll eventually be at Reformation fellowship.org we're going be building out that site hopefully early 2022 and it Reformation Fellowship
 do you have church planters that have graduated from Reformation Seminary who are held accountable to the network to the varying criteria biblical criteria including you do remaining faithful to their statement of faith and for the biblical qualifications and rolls etcetera and so there's accountability there there's also accountability between the pastures in the in the in the network as well as locally and universally across the internet we have a lot of relationship to these guys have been trained together but locally as one House Church Multiplex in 22 and 23 I we believe in a plurality of elders meeting trying to send off two Elders or an elder in a deacon or whatever it may be at every house church and as of churches X I'm making sure that these house churches are accountable to one another who are also accountable to the network and maintaining their sound Doctrine and theology okay
 number three number three what do you do with the children in a house Church well we have to remember that we don't want to have the posture of the Disciples of the disciples When the Children came up to Jesus they were rebuked by Jesus right and they ran out of here right now.
 let the little children come to me
 and so we have to have that posture that that God loves the children and he loves them in the assembly I am a fan of family integrated churches and not a fan of children's ministry or children's church I think children's church is a extra biblical not unbiblical the extra biblical invention of the last hundred and twenty years here in the church you don't see it throughout church history you don't see it in the Bible and it's a solution for size and so on a major fan of I'm not saying that they're wrong I'm just saying is that I think family integrated church is the best and most fruitful expression of the church and I believe it's what you see in Scripture
 and so you know there's a quote that I don't know who originally said it but it wasn't me but I heard it somewhere if the babies are the babies are crying the church is dying right so we we love babies and we we have to learn to tune our ears and make it okay that there's some noise and there's some children in the room and there's some toys and there's some things like that now it doesn't mean that we have Rogue children that are being disobedient to their parents and disruptive but they're just in a little babies make noise and you know what they're kind of out of the toddler Zone they should be expected to listen to the sermon and as a pastor I'm trying to accommodate some of the parts of the sermon to the audience of children that are in the room and that is something that every Pastor should be doing it so that they can hear and see and learn the the habits of faithful Christianity and I've seen even 7
 State Road 9 year olds that are taking notes and underlining things in their Bibles and end just it becomes a really beautiful and mature alternative to the current solution for the church number for
 how does giving work in a house Church a question I think the laborer is worthy of his wages so according to scripture I think that those pastors that are studying you eight to 10 hours a week to prepare a sermon to deliver I think we are always willing to pay the people that tutor our children and math or install our refrigerator or you do the electrical work or change the oil of our car it's amazing to me that we are willing to do all those things but the person who is teaching you the most important thing in your life and for personal Holiness and helping you maybe potentially break free from addictions and sinful behavior and getting you Clarity on your marriage or helping you with your children and in training we don't pay that guy and it's unfortunate I think that every
 Christian is a member of a Christian Church should be contributing to the church at some capacity now House Church you don't need you don't have a building you don't have staff you don't have all the overhead so you get to distribute those gifts to more fit two different needs this could be from missions to Ministry stuff locally to other needs that are within the body and I've actually talked about this is articles and relearn. Org about this
 but you know if tithing is a Biblical concept but it's not a Christian concept meaning that it was nailed to the cross with you know priests and you know sacrifices and all the other things that are part of the Old Testament structure you don't ever seen New Testament Christian tithing you see them giving and so I think that a member of a church
 House Church Pastor and let's just say that he's contributing 10 to 15 hours a week to the needs of the ministry and men's meetings and you know coffee using studying and preaching and there's a very real cost is family there and it will cost his wife and children I think it's fair to offer that gentleman whatever the standard hourly rate as if anybody else in the congregation the average hourly rate and I don't think it's a salary I just think that the house of pasta do I need to make you know they don't have to have ten families giving 10% of their income that just would that would be paying this guy you know potentially $100,000 a year for 20 hours of work so that doesn't work there I just think that families can you do a couple hundred dollars a month per family these pastures were generally by vocational mean that they have a job
 job somewhere else and I think that you know over the years we've had people give us cash and checks in venmo and PayPal and and all the different things but to support the ministry has been very important for us to continue to endure and watch our hearts because it is very easy as a pastor to get bitter about laboring and and not having the payment for the laboring the lord always has taken care of us but I just know many passes the dealt with that and have just sacrificed so much of their family and then people don't support the ministry and so I just want to encourage everyone of you guys to do that wherever you're at now but a house church again that you can redistribute you know if you give a couple hundred dollars to your pastor you can give the other $500 that usually give it a traditional Church in support of their Ministries are you guys can do something locally it's a really great opportunity
 okay never 5 what's the outline for a typical House Church
 Gathering okay this is a good question so we start House Church at 10 in the morning people arrive between 10 and 10:30 it's Fellowship time this is the time where I mean we're good everybody there is friends with each other I mean obviously at times there's somebody that's new coming and visiting him but we're friends with one another so it's the deep relationship you don't want it you want to miss it right it's not something how many people want to miss hanging out with their favorite people
 and having food with one another and talking about God like this is not something that you miss you you there's no such thing as a no no call no show and House Church there's so much communication and so people show up we spend time with one another we meals and stuff set up for after our gathering time we sit down we have an opening in prayer now the best thing about this is as a pastor we have what's called a free worship liturgies order of worship that we use for reformation fellowship and it's basically like you actually going to hand out a piece of paper and how the order of worship is going to go that morning now it also offers some Freedom so in the middle of something if you know Jenna wants to say something or respond to the sermon or teach something or a prayer request from one of the ladies or you know a song request from somebody it allows for that flexibility
 so that it's not completely rigid but it allows for the Holy Spirit to have influence on the meeting and stop it's not so scheduled that it's like a you know a show and so we we open up with prayer and I have assigned different men a different roles for that day so summer going to pray something to read scripture some was going to someone's going to maybe share some teaching staff someone's going to pray for the local church in the government some you know someone's going to read a passage from the Old Testament I'm going to be giving a sermon someone one of the deacons is going to do communion until you've basically created a way that you can get the men engaged who might otherwise be passive
 and it creates a really great opportunity for them to nurture that gives meaning and Authority that Spiritual Authority in the church and so we all have to do one gentleman open us in prayer and then we'll have another gentleman that will lead us in worship and then we'll have a Bible reading for one chapter from the New Testament or the Old Testament will pray for the local church the government officials of the persecuted church we do we follow the regular Dove principal meaning that we are we are only doing things in the church that we see in scripture and and nothing nothing else after that we would have uncovered open prayer of praise report and prayer request time and this is for really anybody to share a prayer request and a praise report and this is a really wonderful time it could be 10 to 30 minutes of time we're we're just experiencing
 other's hearts and really ministering to one another and pray for one another and it becomes a really great place for us to bond us spiritually and then we have an open teaching time usually for a couple minutes if somebody has something to share one of the gentleman wants to share something that he was at if I buy in Scripture that week then I would give her give a expositional verse by verse sermon and after that we would do if there's any questions or things like that we could do that after and then I do it myself or somebody one of the deacons or one of your elders would lead in communion
 and after communion we would do announcement to the ladies might talk about announcements in women's meetings and men's meetings and things that are going on at that time we close up we do close up in prayer week we didn't have a big potluck meal for about two hours and that's where this beautiful kind of Koinonia Fellowship that reciprocating participatory Fellowship occurs and it's just a great it's a great time in the we clean up the house and we move on and we we rotate houses but every eight weeks and so we get to share the blessing of hosting and so that's what Biblical house churches and the bonus question which I think is the thing you're going to be asking is where do I find one where do I find a Biblical House Church in my area I can't give you an answer to that but I can tell you that we are working hard on training been
 who are graduating with our first group of guys that have gone through the entire program and our planting house churches me graduate this week actually you're going to see if you follow me on social media you will see me posting pictures of graduation that we have this week all the families are coming into Sedona and we are doing a graduation ceremony and these men are to be fighting house churches all around the world so most of them in the United States some of them in one of them's in Denmark one of them's in Canada and we have another group of seven, six months later and then another group about 25 after that and so we're going to be a laboring here
 to raise up godly man who can plant these churches now we're also working on Reformation fellowship and it will basically build out a network of these churches where you can find and get connected with him obviously it's a years-long journey right it might take three or four years before we have three or four hundred house churches but by God's grace and his you know it if he if he wants it to happen it will happen and so we need your prayers we do need your prayers and we are working hard and we do need your support as I asked for before this projects not a small one I mean it's a lot of training lots of administrative expenses and lots of administrative staff and we just need that help and to be honest it's just me and a couple other people here and we're working as hard as we can around the clock and and I can't work as hard as I used to because I'm chronically ill and every time I work
 hard I end up getting myself sick again and so it's just one of these things the Lord is teaching me to diversify and to delegate so I need to learn how to delegate and I'm doing that now the Lord It's Working greatly in me so hopefully this episode was helpful at a fine for you you guys can follow our ministry at relearn on Instagram or ideal Partridge on Twitter or at Reformation Seminary on Instagram and we might have one for reformation Fellowship I know we have plans for that and so we would love to have you be a part of this ministry and what we're doing and again I hope it was helpful for your journey and understanding of what a Biblical house truth is we don't have any resources for this episode again you can just go to Reformation cemetery.com or Reformation fellowship.org later in 2022 that will be available on that note my name
 Dale Partridge this is real Christianity and thank you guys for joining me I will see you next week
 thank you for joining me on this episode of real Christianity real Christianity is a listener supported audio Ministry of relearn. Org our mission at realtor.org is to bring the church back to the Bible we achieve this through strengthen and Christians in biblical and Theological literacy find biblical articles podcast sermons and videos at our website at relearn. Org our team is small but our mission is large and we need your help if you'd like to support our ministry financially you can always do so at relearn. Org forward slash donate thank you again for joining me today and I hope to see you next week for another episode of real Christianity