Home Bible Fellowships

Part I

Bobby Hayes

           A recent phenomenon has arisen in many churches across the country. What was once thought of as belonging to third world countries where Christianity was against the law is now seeing its rise in America.  Home Bible Fellowships are springing up in many churches. Instead of Sunday night or Wednesday night services, churches are encouraging, sometimes forcing, their congregations to meet in the homes of fellow believers.

            Is this a good idea? This was the typical mode of operations for the church during the first three centuries. Meeting together as we do today would probably have been the death knell to many Christian congregations. The Roman Empire and others who hunted Christians would have had a much easier job hunting us down. Instead they had to do house-to-house searches, interrogate prisoners (who often did not know other homes that Christians met), or employee spies who could take months to discover any facts (and on the odd occasion become believers because of what they exposed themselves to.)

            Considering the world we are now living in and the way our country is moving I think this is an excellent idea. How many Christians would know what to do if they came to church on Sunday and found the doors chained and entrance forbidden? How many Christians would know what to do if they discovered their entire leadership, elders and deacons, had been taken to prison? I have attended Baptist churches now for about 20 years and I have observed when they do not have a pastor they are worse than a ship without a rudder. I am sure it is the same way in other denominations.

            If we had installed a system of home fellowships we would know where to run if this occurred. Instead of having just a handful of spiritual leaders to guide us we would have a diversity of leadership that we could go to in times of trouble. Other advantages include a much tighter, closer, group of believers. No matter how good your pastor is, he just can’t know everyone. No matter how good his board of elders or board of deacons, they can’t know everyone. With this model in place it is possible to get to know everyone and really act if they have any needs.

Many in the church today have the ability to help other believers but the mechanisms in place only help a few.  Now, in a smaller setting, away from the church, in the comfort of a home, people may seem more open to share their needs. Those that have can easier share with those that need. It would suddenly become much easier for believers to take care of one another as we are commanded:  “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2), which His law of course is to “…love one another,…” (John 13:34). If we learn to take care of one another now how much easier will it be when persecution begins in earnest?

This is the beginning of what I hope to be a series of articles on Home Bible Fellowships. My next article will examine some of the negatives of Home Bible Fellowships and what we can do to correct them. Any questions, comments, concerns, disagreements please do not hesitate to email me at bobbyhayes_3@juno.com.

Till He Returns,

Bobby Hayes