House church  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

House church, or "home church", is used to describe an independent assembly of Christians who gather in a home. Sometimes this occurs because the group is small, and a home is the most appropriate place to gather, as in the beginning phase of the British New Church Movement. Sometimes it is because the group is a member of an underground Christian movement, which is otherwise banned from meeting, as in China. Some recent Christian writers have supported the view that the church should meet in houses, and have based the operation of their communities around multiple small home meetings. They claim that this approach is preferable to public meetings in dedicated buildings because it is a more effective way of building community and it helps the group to engage in outreach more naturally. Some believe small churches were a deliberate apostolic pattern in the first century and intended by Christ.

Cell churches are usually associated with larger churches: they also meet in homes and share some characteristics of house churches. They are not normally considered to be a house church, as they are not self-governing.

Some within the house church movement (associated with Wolfgang Simson, Frank Viola and others) consider the term "house church" to be a misnomer, asserting that the main issue for Christians who practice their faith in this manner is not the house but the type of meeting that takes place. Other titles which may be used to describe this movement are "simple church" "relational church," "primitive church," "body life," "organic church," or "biblical church." However all of the practices implied by these terms are shared with many other churches outside the movement.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "House church" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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