When you hear the words “house church,” what initially comes to mind? Do you think of a small group of people in a distant country that meet in secret for fear of persecution or imprisonment for their faith? Maybe you think of a church plant that is just starting and is still small enough to meet in a private residence. You probably at least gauge from these words that house church is a gathering of people who meet in a home for some purpose relating to a church. Here at Grace Midtown, these words have one core meaning: family on mission.
House church is not your typical bible study. It’s not a place to come and read the bible, pray, and leave unchanged. It’s not just a place and it’s not just a meeting. It’s a family of like-minded, Jesus-following people that have chosen to fully and vulnerably love one another. House church at Grace Midtown derives its foundation from Acts 2: 42-47:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Roy and Ashley Mossy are co-leaders of a house church that has been meeting on the Eastside for 3 years now. Their “Atlanta family,” as Ashley calls them, have such a huge place in their lives: “These are the people that we’re with on the weekends, the people that gather together for meals, that do birthdays and holidays together- all the while pursuing Jesus and pursuing the city missionally.” Their house church formally meets every other Thursday night, which they call “prayer nights,” but aside from that, the Mossy’s say “it’s just life with friends. House church is just day in and day out living.” It’s about being available, spending time together, and becoming a close-knit family with the same passion for sharing the Kingdom with the city while growing together and in Christ.
House church is about community and genuinely loving one another with Christ’s love, even during the most difficult circumstances: “When you’re part of a house church, you’re not allowed to go through anything by yourself […] we have found it to be so satisfying to live [like Acts 2] and have all things in common with each other.” Through changes and shifts, house church is a community that is ultimately oriented around Jesus: “In a lot of cases that’s all we have in common and then we learn the rest. Just kind of find a group of people that you think you can run with and just do it.”
-- by Ally Frazer