Christian Faith People
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3. Christian Faith People

Early Church Model

Lighthouse in the MistThe Household of Faith program is designed to encourage Christian faith people in the church. The Rev. Ron Meacock, formerly incumbent of the Parish of Hastings, believes the Households of Faith program will help to build the Christian community and strengthen churches both locally and nationally. A group of laypeople and clergy from across the diocese have worked on Households of Faith over several years.

Building Christian Faith

Group of PeopleThe Household of Faith is intended to be an extension of the local church that trains and nourishes Christian people and is mandated to divide and double its membership every two years. "What we're doing is looking at the Early Church model when groups of people met in homes. Friends would have come along. It would have become a large extended family group with many children, parents, grandparents, widowed people and others who simply were curious and were invited or even just wandered in."

Encourage Commitment

Group of Young PeopleThe current idea is not a new one but based on the Early Church model is basically to use the home as a center for evangelism and as a place from which Christians can go out and "share the faith." It builds not by someone on a street corner preaching or a person being argued into the faith on the doorstep, but by socializing with Christian people and being attracted to the Faith that they belong to.

House Faith Time

PeopleThe House Faith time is aimed at encouraging the gathered people to make a covenant to bring others to know Christ better. "Building a covenant is not simply about getting everybody to agree about what the House is going to study. At the heart of a covenant is the willingness to take the time to listen to each other and to hear what each person in the House wants to get from their time together." The Household gathering time could be during the day or evening but would be something that's decided by the people attending.

Know Christ Better

Hand Shake"The Household of Faith model is flexible enough to include all kinds of variations." For example, the teaching material and the study time could vary according to the wishes of the people. Households could include children or teenagers or there could be separate programs for them. The focus of the Household would be on teaching, sharing, and worship. "What each group would seek to do is to learn together and grow together as Christians over these two years." At the end of the household covenant, which would be two years, two new Households would be formed. New Households must move on at the end of the covenant period.

Household Faith Group

Jesus and ChildrenThe household faith group is a perfect environment for Baby Boomers and Millennials to meet, socialize and deepen their faith. "The whole program of the Household of Faith is an evangelistic one. We don't want a house group to become a Bible study group in the old model where they just do the same thing year after year after year with the same few people. The challenge is to bring in new people." By new people, these could be from the group attending a church or those who only go to church occasionally. What a Household of Faith group seeks to do is to take people to a higher level of spirituality. It seeks to bring the group closer to other Christians. This is a way of getting people committed to one another, to the church and therefore deepen their faith as well as that of the household of faith group.

Baby Boomers Meet

Your Household of Faith group is the perfect place for Baby Boomers, as well as the Millenniums who wouldn't necessarily go to church, to get together and to talk about their faith and to grow in it. Another benefit of the Household is that it could be used in areas where churches are few and far between."

Christian House Leader

Young People LaughingThe Church aims to build up the strong Christian house leader and mature spiritual Christians in each household of faith. Eight to twelve people are needed for a House of Faith. Four of those could be core members of the local church, while the others could be fringe church members. "They would make a covenant to meet together every week." Both the host and leader would be appointed by the Christian house leadership, who would meet with them regularly for instruction and to coordinate their activities. A respected and competent person would be appointed as the leader, whose main job would be to run the House. The host is one of the people who is willing to open his or her home for a gathering every week. The cleric in the church where the Households are situated would oversee the formation of a Household. Normally clergy would not attend Households once they are formed, except to celebrate a communion service. The clergy's role is to equip the Christian house leader, train new leaders and retain oversight of the Household group. Once a Household is formed, one of its first tasks is to agree on how the meeting time would be spent.

"Christian Faith People"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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