Why have House Groups?
One of the first things that Jesus did was to start a small group! In this setting Jesus trained and transformed a group of twelve ordinary men into effective disciples.
Later, Jesus’ followers met together to worship, receive teaching, pray and share their lives with each other, with the result that they had a powerful influence upon their communities. From its earliest days, when the church met together it would gather in both larger settings as well as smaller groups (see Acts 2:46), the two complementing one another.
It’s the same today. Alongside the many positive and beneficial aspects of a large crowd assembled at a Sunday service, there are also limitations to the effectiveness in caring for people.
What are House Groups?
There’s more to Christianity than an isolated walk with God. House Groups are a place where we can gather in the name of Jesus to spend time in His presence together; learn more about Him, ourselves and each other, and minister to each other’s real spiritual, physical and emotional needs. In other words, the goal is to be church, rather than simply go to church.
What’s the purpose of House Groups?
The idea behind House Groups is to provide a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere where people can gather for a twofold purpose.
Firstly, to develop our love for God. This is accomplished through worship, for God desires to meet with us in our worship. Through worship we develop an intimate relationship with God our Father. Jesus emphasised this when He said that our ultimate purpose is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Secondly, to develop our love for each other, to build real relationships and friendships with people. House Groups provide an atmosphere of love and acceptance to encourage the development of friendships, a feeling of security and healing. This happens as we learn to minister to the needs of one another. By following the biblical practice of praying for, and sometimes laying hands on, one another we witness the Holy Spirit touch the lives of individuals through prophecy, healing and anything else God desires to do. As a body of believers, we become the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus as we offer ourselves to be used by Him to do His works.
Growing up spiritually means learning to give of ourselves to others as well as receive from them. House groups are a place of participation – to learn how to minister to others in the power of the Spirit, to welcome and integrate new people, to read and learn from the Bible and to develop new areas of gifting and service for the sake of others. Everyone can make a significant contribution, in an environment where the individual is genuinely loved, accepted and highly esteemed.
What are the objectives of House Groups?
- To grow more like Jesus
- To seek the Father’s face in worship and prayer
- To study the Bible in a practical way
- To make friends
- To receive healing and encouragement
- To receive pastoral care
- To learn to minister the gifts of the Spirit
- To develop pastorally-gifted leaders
- To provide a structure for the church to increase, by multiplying groups
In many ways House groups are the heart of the Church and a place to experience more of what God is doing. It is an easy way of making friends and getting involved. The atmosphere is relaxed, informal and a place for fellowship, (including eating together!)
House Groups are a place where visitors are welcome and where you are blessed as you come in and blessed when you leave.
House Groups can be part of an established church, or a Community Group from several different local churches.