Jesus Christ's Household
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5. Jesus Christ's Household

Household of Faith

The purpose of the Household of Faith is to introduce and grow people in the Christian Faith. Hopefully, it will develop as a place where individuals can bring their insights, experiences, and knowledge to engage one another in spiritual searching and growth. This program aims to provide a crucible for social and spiritual growth. Household members will care for each other and preserve the confidences shared. We also hope to equip families to share their faith. We want to encourage Christians to see their faith as an invitation to supper and the corner church. We invite families to go beyond the "Sunday morning" mentality so that Christian practices play a significant part in their every day lives. Through the Household of Faith, we can bring the life-changing Gospel to bear on people's lives. Our motivation is to increase numbers in the local church, though this will most probably happen, but to deepen personal faith. It is a way of sharing our Christian Faith with others in a very gentle way so that they might enter into and enjoy a living relationship with Jesus.

Andrew Principle

An excellent example of relational sharing of one's faith in the Bible is Andrew in John 1.41-42, who, upon meeting Jesus, went and brought his brother Peter to meet Jesus too. John wrote, "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ) and he brought him to Jesus." It was also Andrew who told Jesus about the small boy with the five loaves and two fish in John 6.8-9, "Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 'Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?'" Later, it was again Andrew who led some Greeks to meet Jesus. Our aim in setting up Jesus Christ's household is to implement this "Andrew Principle" and bring others under the words and influence of the Good News of Jesus. Like a family gathered around their parents, Baby Boomer Households can potentially have a profound impact on the present and future generations. The Household of Faith concept is particularly appropriate in the present age. The majority of the Baby Boomer Generation people have spiritual qualities on the one hand but are not supportive of the institutional church on the other. However, Baby Boomer households are keen on family values, like the Household of Faith, which relies upon mutual friendships shared in the home. The Household of Faith has the flexibility to meet the needs of the Baby Boomers, the Millennials, and others in society.

Institutional Church

The mainline institutional church is presently composed mostly of Elders, the primary financial supporters, and leading leadership groups. The year 2019 AD marked the transition of the youngest of the Elders beyond the age of seventy. The Elder Generation and their resources will slowly recede into the background as the Baby Boomers take over. The Household of Faith concept appeals strongly to the Baby Boomer, the Millennial, and the X Generation households for whom friendship, family, and spirituality are high priorities. In a nutshell, our challenge as a church is to become more relational than institutional. We live in a secular society where many people, like the tax collector Zacchaeus, are wealthy but not happy. He invited Jesus into his home, found a personal friend, and his beliefs changed. Luke 19.4-6 tells us about Zacchaeus, "So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly." The Household of Faith can do the same for members of our society today and in the years to come. House faith type functions with many existing resources and church members concerning the wider church. As a model, the House of Faith can transcend the church's differing styles, traditions, and churchmanship types. The house teaching materials allow for differences in theology and approach and meet different Christians' needs, whether Conservative, Main Line or Liberal, Evangelical, Charismatic or Catholic, or whatever.

Many Existing Resources

The people who use them shape the resources. Each Household of Faith meeting will include liturgy, teaching, a message, and discussion. The form of worship honors those who enjoy a Prayer Book type of service or a more free form service, for example, meditative or charismatic. A household group may use other special liturgies for Lent or Advent. The worship space in a home can have a simple lighted candle in a circle of leaves or an open Bible, or a small cross. The choice of House Faith leader and host, its resources, and church members are essential elements as they multiply their ministry. How will the House of Faith look? The House Faith project begins when the pastor appoints a House Faith Leader and a Host and four committed Christians to be the core for each House group. Four or more others, possibly fringe members of the congregation, are asked to join the group to a minimum of eight and a maximum of twelve. The house would produce a Covenant Agreement as one of its priorities and agree to multiply their ministry after two years by dividing into two sets of four in two Houses. The new houses would grow out of the original, and the clergy would select new House Faith Leaders and Hosts for each. The four new house members will come from fringe parishioners, friends, neighbors, or even existing members' relatives. The two reconstituted House Faith groups would then covenant to divide into four Houses after two more years and so on. See the diagram on this page.

"Jesus Christ's Household"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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