House Worship Time
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10. House Worship Time

Life's Challenges

Hospital Ward

House Prayer Times

PotterAt the end of the Sharing Time, the small groups may pray for particular needs for those who are sick and make simple thanksgivings as appropriate. The Lord's Prayer and Grace can then be said together as a closing act. Christian worship, sharing, and house prayer times occur every week in the house of faith group. Initially, house prayer times could be a simple personal prayer or a set prayer given by the leader. Over time, as the group becomes more comfortable with the whole idea of praying aloud, different people could be invited to lead the house prayer time. In this way, no one would feel threatened. It is also essential that no one feels they have to participate, even if everyone else has participated. The Holy Spirit will give them the nudge, the courage to pray aloud according to God's schedule, not ours.

Time of Learning

Trinity ChurchFrom the very beginning, some time should be devoted to learning about the church as the Body of Christ. At each meeting, the house leader will break up those present into three small groups of three or four persons for the sharing time and move whatever chairs are necessary to sit close enough to hear one another's contributions. It is better if husbands and wives sit in different groups. In early meetings, this sharing will probably be about where you live, what you do for a living, and what happened this past week. Go around the group; each person may or may not contribute as they wish. Hopefully, as the group matures over the months, the sharing will become deeper and more open.

Spiritual Growth

Spiritual GrowthHouse faith worship includes sharing our thoughts, concerns, Bible study, and prayer time. Since the prime function of a House of Faith is to educate others on the meaning of evangelism, the House will probably contain some people unfamiliar with a traditional church service. They may feel embarrassed by unrehearsed prayer or even singing. Consequently, it may be necessary to introduce them gradually to some aspects of worship, which the church takes for granted. The Leader of house faith worship needs to be sensitive to this situation. The initial worship gathering should be relatively straightforward. It may have the following format, which can be modified as the group matures.

House Prayer Book

BooksThe House can use a prayer book with their first Bible readings and intercessions together.

Sharing Faith with Others

Communal Worship

Household of Faith prayers and music together form an essential part of communal worship. The other components are Bible reading and praise! In the early meetings of the new Household of Faith group, house faith prayers said by all. Simple prayers such as those in the Book of Alternative Services or from other denominational prayer or worship books could expand this outline. These would contain opportunities for individuals to offer thanksgivings and intercessions, either aloud or quietly. It should also include thoughtful responses that are read aloud by everyone. The leader could initially lead the bidding section of the prayers, but again, this role could be given to another group member as they feel more comfortable in participating. An example of this form is "A Bidding Intercession" in the Book of Alternative Service. Everyone may pray the responses. When the house begins to gel, music can be introduced to accompany singing or as background music CD. Perhaps simple praise choruses or contemporary songs like Taize, Gaither Music, or Maranatha Praise music could be used. The program could also incorporate more traditional hymns. Other worship options may be appropriate depending on the wishes of the group and the denominational norm. House gospel study and Bible readings teach us basic biblical principles for the House of Faith. Basic Biblical principles should be the focus of this House Gospel Study. Saint John's Gospel is considered by many to be the best starting point for house study because it emphasizes the personal Jesus and what he has done for us. On the other hand, the Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the Gospels and a straightforward telling of the Jesus story. Luke's Gospel is one of the most accurate, prepared from careful research by Doctor Luke and may even have been a legal brief used by the Honorable Theophilus in defense of Saint Paul in Rome.

Study Time

Alpha ResourcesA subsequent study could include one of the Epistles or Bible studies designed to teach us how to become part of Christ's body. The nature of the House, their interests and needs should play a role in determining later House Gospel Study topics. See Resources.

"House Worship Time"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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