I moved to a country that is considered a Christian nation. I followed my husband, as he followed the Lord. Little did I know it would completely take me away from what I had known church to be for years. If you find that you are missing out on “church” or aren’t able to go to a church building, you may want to discover how to do church at home.
I found out, begrudgingly, that my views of the church and how it was supposed to be were slightly skewed. A church could be bare-bones and still be effectively Christ-centered. All you really need is Jesus; Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING.
Our own view of the church
For years, I had depended on a church body to define my Christianity. After all, the Bible talks about the body of Christ and how we are supposed to edify, fellowship, and admonish each other. What happens when we don’t have that?
I found I had to look to Christ alone, just me with just Him.
The churches here are either in the native language or they are fluffy prosperity churches, which I know will NOT work for me. In America, I was immersed in the Word of God, not the word of faith.
I craved being taught God’s Word, with the history and the context around the passages we were reading. We just never found that here in a church building. I yearned for God’s Word being taught to me, and I yearned for praise and worship services that made my heart to cry out for God.
I went from a Scripture-rich gathering to just . . . me. I would open God’s Word and wouldn’t understand. Then I would read a commentary, but I couldn’t find any that I could understand.
I had people telling me to go to any church and just sit in the service. We just couldn’t.
My husband couldn’t sit in the traditional church, which is full of tradition-based practices, and I couldn’t understand the sermons (I just read my Bible during service). Neither of us could sit through the prosperity church services where the preacher would tell us how much God loves us, wants to bless, heal, and prosper us – with nothing else.
We had been through enough in life to know that whether we get these things or not, the focus is to follow Christ. The Truth isn’t a lopsided gospel; we feel without the whole truth, people are deceived. Sometimes I would cry secretly, or complain to my husband outwardly. That never ended well.
I eventually surrendered to Christ, and the Lord brought us to a small home church that we have been with for years now. My whole view of the church had to be overhauled.
Thankfully, the Lord is faithful.
He doesn’t leave us where He found us. He sees our heart’s desire and is faithful. Even if we had to wait until the end of days, we could praise Him in the journey – whether it be with a larger body of Christ or alone.
The truth is that the Bible doesn’t give direct instruction on where we should meet at all. Early Christians met in homes because they had to. Whether we meet in a large venue or at a home church, there is nothing “unbiblical” for either choice. It all comes back to a heart issue.
We may find ourselves in a time of life where we are forced to stay home. Whatever the reason, we must remember we are the church. We can learn how to do church at home, whether in good times or bad, whether we are forced to or choose to.
When learning how to do church at home, remember that we get our guidance from God’s good Word. It shouldn’t come from any other source.
Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
When you have no option but to do church at home, remember that He said when two or three are gathered, He is there. That is all we really need. We surely can add worship songs if we want to, as to make a time where we can sing a joyful (my voice isn’t too joyful, but you know what I mean) noise to the Lord.
There are, however, some things that are necessary to help you do church at home, and each is in accordance with God’s Word.
Here are some parameters for how to do church at home, whether you meet with just your spouse/kids or a small group.
1. Keep Him first.
Colossians 1:18, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He will come to have first place in everything.”
If your intentions are just so your kids have “church” to go to, or because you are used to church every week, then even that is a falsity. Do church because He is the first place in everything.
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2. Be sure each person understands they are part of the body.
Romans 12:4-5. “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Even if you need to stay at home and church is just you and your kids, they must understand this verse. Explain that each one has a place in the body of Christ, and whatever talent they can offer is God-given and can be used for His glory.
3. Whoever is teaching has a big responsibility.
Titus 1:5–9, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
Get in the Word throughout the week, read His Word daily, and pray. Do some research before teaching God’s Word. You don’t just want to give your opinion on Scripture. Learn for yourself why things happened, where, and when. We will never be perfect, but we are accountable for what we do with His Name. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.
4. As long as we are able, be accountable to a trustworthy teacher.
Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
With the internet and availability of sermons and teaching online, we should be looking to those for guidance. We do not depend on man, but we can listen to those in the faith wiser then we are for teaching and guidance.
My favorite teacher is Voddie Baucham, and not just because he has taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like my family, but because he is no joke and in-your-face-all-about-Jesus. It works for us, and sermons by him and John MacArthur are our favorite to listen to.
*If you know a Pastor or godly leader somewhere, ask them if you can confer with them via email or social media as you do your church at home. It is biblical.
5. Serve others somehow. It can be done.
1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper so that there will be no collecting when I come.”
If you are doing church at home, what does “putting something aside and storing it up” mean to you? Does doing this always mean giving to a church building?
Or could it possibly mean giving to those in need? Could it mean giving to missionaries who may need it, so they don’t have to try to collect it? Does it mean giving to a fellow brother and sister who you know shares God’s Word with those around them?
Can you run errands for someone? Can you mow someone’s lawn or take out their trash to the driveway? Could you pay someone’s bill online?
I challenge you to pray for the Lord to show you others in Christ that may be in need. Let Him lead you instead of the money basket passed around during “offering time” at church. God is faithful.
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6. Do church one day, but live as a Christian daily.
1 Timothy 4:13, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”
2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Encourage those in your home to read the Scriptures, learn who God is, and spread Jesus in whatever way they can. Learn God’s truth, not only during your church time, but learn His Word for everyday living.
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7. Pray for one another.
Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray continually.”
James 5:13, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
Romans 12:12, ”Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Pray for each other. Pray together. This instruction is explicit for the body of believers. When you gather to do church at home, pray for each other, pray for others, and pray together. We do our prayers out loud even. Assign specific prayers throughout the week so that your family is intentionally in prayer throughout the week.
FREE 30-Day Writing Plan of Prayer Promises in Scripture | The Character Corner
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8. Intentionally have remembrance of Him.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26, “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Jesus himself instated communion. We remember His sacrifice on the cross. Let us admit that our days can get quite crazy. We can go, go, go and by the end of the day, we are so tired.
Intentionally, and purposefully make time to “stop” and focus solely on remembering His holy sacrifice and the importance of it to our lives, to mankind, to every soul’s salvation. See that significance? Celebrate it!
Putting into practice these intentional actions for how to do church at home, are just some insights to get the ball rolling. It can be done. They are reminders that church isn’t confined in a four-wall space with a ritual of Step 1 greet each other, Step 2 sing songs, Step 3 collect offering, and so on.
This is a reminder not to be downcast like I was when I couldn’t meet with a fellowship of believers to do the traditional west-style church. If you have worship music, sing, praise, and learn His Word together.
Since Acts 2:42-47 in Pentecost, home churches have been in existence. If you are home, how to do church is simple. Just keep Him the focus and use His Word as guidance.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!