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homechurchBefore attempting to answer this question I must make an important distinction:

1. If ‘home churching’ simply means meeting in a house rather than some fancy building, then it is a perfectly acceptable practice (and maybe even preferable for small churches who are struggling financially).

2. If ‘home churching’ means that individuals or families have assumed the prerogatives or exercise the function of the special officers of the church, then it is wrong.

Having made that distinction, let me say that while I fully understand the intimacy of fellowship which is typically (but usually only temporarily) enjoyed in a ‘house church’, the New Testament clearly establishes a doctrine of ecclesiastical government with which ‘home churches’ will have to reckon eventually.

The Bible teaches that men called ‘presbyters’ (elders) are to be ordained through the laying on of hands of the ‘the presbytery’ (the regional elders) so they can join the ‘pastor teacher’ in shepherding and ruling a local church (Acts 14:23, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Timothy 4:14, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:2-3).

You cannot have a church without government anymore than you can have a family, state, army, or business.

My advice to those who ‘home church’ is this:  Please refrain from calling your fellowship ‘a church’ and please do not exercise the keys of the kingdom (baptism, communion, and discipline), until such time as you have either established a biblical form of government or come under the spiritual authority and jurisdiction of an already established and biblically-ordered church.

Answered by Pastor McShaffrey