Small Home Churches


The small home church is becoming a major trend among non-Catholic Christians. Often these churches consists of one family, with dad as the “pastor,” and the wife and children as the “flock.” Sometimes there are a few families.

Harold Camping is a radio preacher who teaches that the Age of the “local church” is over and that Christians should NOT be part of any local church.

On another Christian forum, there is a thread extolling the virtues of this method of doing “church.” Please keep in mind that these people are PROTESTANT and will not listen to comments about the Holy Mass.

What they will listen to is Biblical exegesis and proofs. In fact, it is in Acts that they find the justification for splitting away from established churches and starting up their own little church.

I would appreciate it if some of you would post your own BIBLICAL arguments against small home churches.

My husband has posted, and alludes to the Bible, but he hasn’t actually posted any Biblical references yet.

Here is what my dear husband posted in the thread, bless his heart:

Ok, so I understand that everyone is afraid of “controversy”, but step back and really look objectively at the implications of what you’re saying.

How can it NOT be controversial?

Sorry if the following sounds harsh. If I’m mis-stating you, please explain where and correct me.

What you are saying, is that for 90% of the lifetime of the Church, over 99.99% of people who claim the name of Christ, who have loved that name more than their own lives…

…have been going about it against God’s design. Have been unable to hear the direction of the Holy Spirit in “guiding them into all truth” and instead have been following their own desires into the trappings of pagans (your word, not mine).

To me, that speaks of an impotent Holy Spirit, and an incompetent Good Shepherd that can’t manage to keep His flock where He wants them, and a Father who really does give his children a stone when they ask for bread.

But then you, two millenia after the church was founded, suddenly realize the truth that eluded billions of followers of Christ over many centuries.

And, this realization is so important to you, that you break off fellowship with them, to start up your own church composed of a handful of like-minded people.

That’s what you’ve said. That’s what you’ve done. Is that what you intended to say and do?

Don’t worry, for the sake of “no controversy” I won’t bother addressing any of the points you bring up…though I do wonder what you’ve done with many Bible passages in order to believe some of those things. I find it ironic that you talk of having the “courage necessary to confront heresy”, but are afraid of “controversy” when it’s the whole concept of your structure (or lack thereof) that’s being discussed. That is, when you are the confrontee, rather than the confronter.

This just seems to sum everything up so well:


we’re not attending anywhere at the moment, and are really enjoying that!

That is one of the saddest things I’ve heard.


Your husband’s letter is excellent.

What struck me most about it is that it could easily have been written during the Protestant Reformation. Just about the only thing that would have needed to be changed is the dates.

Unfortunately, I think his pleas will mostly fall on ears deaf to any authority but their own personal interpretation of scripture.


I find the whole concept very bizarre, myself. I do realize that, in times of persecution, that people worship however they can manage it. (The Irish during the terrible Penal Times would go out into the fields & be working in them. What the British could not see, was that there was a priest, lying on his back on the ground in the midst of the crops, saying the mass. He distributed communion to those who bent over to receive it…but they all gathered together; they didn’t run out & create their own version of religion for themselves alone. Even when their lives were at stake!).
But in a country where we have the freedom to attend worship services, it seems to me to be an awful lot of pridefulness to decide, that you can just “play church” at home.

There is also a real concern that I have, for those families where there is an abusive situation & that the possibility exists for the abusers, to keep the family isolated from the rest of the world. (And isn’t that yet another sign of a cult?)


From a biblical standpoint, do key word searches on church and assembly.

I think 1 Corinthians, especially starting in chapter 11 is excellent along with literally dozens of other references to people meeting in assembly.


I posted this answer about 10 am this morning but it has vaporized? Lets rty it again.

The Scriptures do not prohibit the Small Home Church idea. The Catholic Church has always promoted the “Domestic Church”, St. John Chrysostom speaks of it. The Catholic Church has promoted Small Christian Communities for the last 20 years locally. However the Scriptures speak of the gathering of the larger Christian Community together around their Bishop and the celebration of the “Breaking of the Bread.” The faithful should gather together as a family or small group of families weekly to read the Scriptures (The up coming Sunday Readings), discuss them, Pray together, support one another, sharing food resources, in preparation for gathering on Sunday for the Eucharist.


The small home churches seem somewhat equivalent to the synagogues where Jews go to study and pray. However they lack the worship of sacrifice which was reserved to the Temple.


A few Scripture passages that might help.

*1 Tim 4:13 Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect that gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

1 Cor 11:17-22 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, … What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?.. vs 33-34 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat [Lord’s supper], wait for one another–if any one is hungry, let him eat at home–lest you come together to be condemned.

James 2:2 For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,…

1 Cor 1:2 and 2 Cor 1:2 -* “To the church *of God which is at Corinth”

  • (usually in the opening sentences of Paul’s letters.

The Book of Revelations records letters sent to the 7 churches. The Greek word translated “church” means/can be translated “assembly”.

It’s impossible to find Scripture quotes that would verify the existence of church buildings with large congregations because they just didn’t exist yet when the Scriptures were written. Early on the apostles and Jewish converts continued to attend the Jewish rites in addition to gathering on the Lord’s Day for the breaking of the bread (Eucharist). The break with Judaism was gradual.

I don’t know when the first actual church building was built. Would be interesting to find out. Anyone out there know?



St. Simmon Church in Aeppo, Syria

It says this is the oldest know church.




…Fred Phelps of notoriety as being an example…

Just saying.

(though I have known 3-4 home churches up here in the boonies of Vermont. Mostly attended by people that have become disillusioned and left regular churches BTW)

Oh…and Harold Camping is wierd.


In Post No. 7 Nita has cited some solid authority for the organized “ecclesial” church. I submit that the example of church organization in Titus 1:5 also demonstrates that home churches were not the norm even for 1st Century Christians. “For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee . . . .” (quotation from Douay-Rheims)


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