What do we do in our meetings?
This is to give you some idea of what to expect at our meetings.
We have been meeting as a house church in Farsley, West Leeds for about thirty years. Our meetings are usually once a month on a Sunday at 10.30am.
We do not view house churches as a replacement for traditional congregations, but to provide an opportunity for those who prefer to share together in the more relaxed atmosphere of a a smaller group.
We try to make our meetings informal so there is no rigid format, no dress code or anything like that. You come as you are. Our group ranges from children to pensioners.
We like our meetings to be interactive and give everyone a chance to participate. At the same time, we won’t put anyone on the spot.
We usually start with a very informal sharing time, catching up on everyone’s news, joys or concerns.
The main section of the meeting may include scriptures, readings, meditations or other worship activities. This will include time for discussion giving everyone opportunity to participate. Our flexibility sometimes means we move into something unplanned, but that’s all part of the fun of small informal house churches.
Advantages of House Churches
What are some of the advantages of house churches? Well this isn’t the result of some scientific survey or something taken out of a text book. This is just how we feel after a number years of being a house church.
One of the great things about house churches is that ministry is not all one way. It’s much easier for members to participate in a small group, in fact we encourage participation. So its quite acceptable for anyone to make a comment, add their own thoughts or to ask for clarification. Because everyone shares, the result is much more fulfilling for both leader and members.
A home creates a totally different atmosphere for worship and study. People are more relaxed and feel they can be open. It also seems to be much easier to be flexible. You can wait ten minutes if you know someone will be slightly delayed, or you can have an unscheduled prayer if someone requests one, or you can eat sticky cakes during the service just because you feel like it.
In most church services you sit looking at the back of someone’s head for an hour which doesn’t exactly help develop close relationships. A smaller group meeting in a home gives the opportunity to share in closer supportive relationships. It still needs group commitment to be open and caring for this to work. If you can manage this, it is great to be part of a group where you feel you can be open without the risk of disapproval or ridicule. It is in that sort of group that you can really develop your spiritual life. Why don’t you try it?