Is it in the Bible?

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It is all throughout the Bible!

“Are house churches biblical?” is a common question. We’ve done the legwork for you and looked up several references of church groups meeting in homes. There are mentions of both meeting together in a designated place of worship and also regular meetings in individual homes.

It’s true that most mentions of home churches are in the New Testament.  Keep in mind, however, that in the Old Testament, before the Tabernacle was established for the Israelites as they emerged from a culture of slavery, family clans worshiped together right where they were. Oftentimes they would make their way to the top of a hill or mountain. They would build an altar, praise God, and make their sacrifices.

Luke and Acts

The Gospel of Luke opens with a scene in the temple of Jerusalem (Luke 1:5-23) and it ends with a scene in that same temple (Luke 24:53).

The Book of Acts begins in a house in Jerusalem (Acts 1:4, 13) and ends in a house in Rome (Acts 28:30-31).

Romans 16:5

“Please give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the very first person to become a Christian in the province of Asia.” ~ New Living Translation

Romans 16:23

“Gaius says hello to you. I am his guest, and the church meets here in his home. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his greetings, and so does Quartus, a Christian brother.” ~ New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 16:19

“The churches here in the province of Asia greet you heartily in the Lord, along with Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.” ~ New Living Translation

Colossians 4:15

“Please give my greetings to our Christian brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and those who meet in her house.” ~ New Living Translation

Philemon 1:1-3

“This letter is from Paul, … I am also writing to the church that meets in your house. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” ~ New Living Translation

Acts 16:13

“On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we supposed that some people met for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had come together.” ~ New Living Translation

A short history lesson

It is worth noting that Paul, whose background would have given him every reason to build public places of worship, chooses instead to leave behind a network of house churches throughout the Roman Empire, as his legacy of missionary work.

Between 100 AD and 300 AD, Christianity grew from 25,000 to 20 million people in the Roman Empire where there were no seminaries, settled pastors, or Christian public places of worship. In fact much of our New Testament was written to people who met in house churches.18