As Christians, we have all imagined ourselves sitting with our brothers and sisters in the church that met in Lydia's home in Philippi, or that of Philemon in the Lycas Valley. House-churches were the primary meeting places of Christians on the First Day of the Week in the First, Second, and early Third centuries A.D. In those early days, the gospel spread relationally over the Empire from house-to-house when common men who were strong in the word of God shared the gospel with their families and friends each day and in Christian assemblies in their homes on the First Day of the Week.
I was joyful to participate in their first house-church gathering with Carl and Stacy Alfieri by means of SKYPE in their Brooklyn, NY apartment from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. CST this past Sunday, 11/12/17. Carl was baptized as a result of World Bible School referring him to us for follow-up. Carl attended the Manhattan congregation for a brief time, but he and his wife desire to establish the church in their home.
This Sunday, the Lord's Supper was partaken; song of praise sung; prayers offered; and a lesson delivered by Carl and finished my me. Carl and Stacy have invited another couple to services next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. understanding their need to reach others with the gospel. Emphasis was drawn to the need for Christians to be disciples of Jesus who possess the true DNA of Jesus that will lead to reproduction of souls. Prayers will be offered that a time will come when Carl and Stacy's apartment will not be sufficient space to house all those in attendance necessitating another house-church in Brooklyn and, then, another.
Faithful men of God (e.g. Dan Wheeler, Stan Taylor, Andrew Bowens, Terry Carlisle, Jake Sutton, Don Reynolds and numbers of others) are standing by ready to take up their work of teaching and preaching in these settings by means of Internet venues such as SKYPE, Go-To-Meeting, Google Hangouts, and/or Face Time.
The two congregations established in Bradford and Wyoming Counties Pennsylvania met yesterday morning in worship to God. The first church (Sayre, PA) has talked of planting a church in Towanda, PA—the county seat of Bradford, PA. May the Lord be praised!! The dream of planting churches that meet in homes and other free spaces has been a dream expressed by the Antioch Initiative, but now, praise God, realized! We now have a standing appointment each Sunday afternoon at 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. to worship with the church that meets in Carl and Stacy's home in Brooklyn, NY.
What will be the outcome of this? All is in God's hands. The emphasis will be laid on the authority of God's word for all worship, belief, and daily living. Our prayer is that yesterday was the beginning of a historic evangelistic movement of discipleship as we see the gospel spread over the land with the saints gathering to worship God in homes and other free spaces with seasoned and grounded men of God mentoring disciples preparing them for service and reproduction.
Jesus offered an illustration of a woman putting a bit of yeast in a lump of dough resulting in the whole lump being infiltrated. Little is much when God is in it! Let us all be reminded that when we finally get into a field to spread the gospel that God has long-since been there! Let us join God in His mission for lost souls.