House Faith Names
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6. House Faith Names

Biblical Names

Olive Wood CrossEach Household of Faith may take the name of a Biblical or Early Church person or title used for Jesus. For example, a Household of Faith name might be "The Lamb House" at St Mark's Bebington. The choice of house faith names would be one of the first tasks of the newly formed House of Faith Groups and would require the group's consensus and the clergy's approval. Households of Faith may also use the names or titles for Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit.✞

Early Church Titles

The Lamb of God x The Savior
The Resurrection x The Truth

The Root of Jesse x The Wisdom of God
Emmanuel x The Christ

The Way of Life x The Creator
The Gracious Spirit

The Healer x The Holy One
The Heavenly Father x The Fish

The Anchor x The Shepherd
The Morning Star x The Governor

The Redeemer x The Dayspring
The Light of the World

Household Sacramental Acts

Communion WafersHousehold sacramental acts, including Baptism and Holy Communion, have their place in the Christian household church. What place would the sacraments and ceremonies of the church have in the Household of Faith? In the New Testament, many of the household sacramental acts occurred in the Christian home. In a time before the institutional church had found its present form, the Communion, Baptism preparation, and Biblical teaching were at the core of the Household ministry. These and other sacraments such as Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Confession/Absolution reside in the local church. If there is no local church in an area, there would be no reason why Christian people could not practice these sacramental acts once in the Household of Faith. There will be variations across the church, and the bishop and clergy could draw up these parameters for each situation.

House Church of Christ

Corner churchThe House Church of Christ functions as a domestic spiritual center with clear Christian ethics and a peace-filled atmosphere. "What are the church leaders' roles and those of the bishop, clergy, the house leader, the host, and the members in the house church of Christ?" The house is connected to and is part of the broader Christian church. Like the corner church, it is a place for continuous faith development, with God at the center of all it does. It is guided by clear Christian ethics and teaching and set under the bishop's authority guided by the Holy Spirit's hand. It is joyful, prayerful, and forgiving. The house church of Christ is a "domestic Church," which is Christ-centered and, therefore, peace-filled, caring, generous, and spiritual. Though connected to the wider Christian church, it is still a separate entity. The house is intended not as a drain upon the local church but as a support and stimulus. The Household of Faith seeks to be a mechanism for building up its members and drawing in others. This model will work differently in urban and rural settings. The diocesan bishop would know and approve of the formation of houses.

House Faith Development

Household GroupThe house faith development as a church group and its choice of an identifying name encourage healthy diversity. The house of faith seeks to promote healthy diversity by including a spread of ages and representing different racial and cultural groups. We know from the names of house members greeted by Saint Paul in Galatians 3.28, "So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." These groups included Jews, Greeks, Romans, men and women, gentiles, Gauls, black and white persons, slaves and free men and women, etc. As he did, we encourage the gifts of different ethnic and cultural groups to be shared in the house, as they undoubtedly were in the Early Church. Members of other denominations are welcome to be part of the house faith. They should include several generations as extended Christian homes did in the Early Church, including all ages from grandparents down to the smallest child. For example, we recognize that a group of teenagers may be more comfortable meeting with their leadership than mixed in with older people. The house would agree to meet weekly during the first two years at a time decided by the group during the week or weekend, but not clashing with worship services at the local church. Retirees or shift workers might prefer to meet during the daytime. Working adults or teenagers might gather in the evenings. Children might be part of an adult meeting with their teaching or as a separate group with an adult Leader and Host on a Saturday. The Household Covenant would reflect all of these agreements.

House Faith Leadership

Fish symbol of early churchThe house faith leadership and the host's natural authority are essential to the house's success. House faith leadership will typically be a different person to the host so that there will be no conflict of duties. The host's primary concern is the house's environment, but the leader's focus is the running of the house itself. The leader is to be a respected and trustworthy person with natural authority and the ability to lead. The host will be a person who is willing to open their home to the household of faith for a gathering every week. You may provide light refreshments before or after a meeting but not on an elaborate scale. An occasional shared meal to which all could contribute a dish may be part of the gathering. A distinctive marker on a street sign, a door, a window, or a post box could indicate the House of Faith's location. Houses could receive a sign when they register with the Diocese.

House Clergy Role

Bishop Tom and ClergyThe household clergy's role and support to attend houses every month are vital for the health of the Household of Faith. One cleric might have oversight of several Households of Faith when there is no institutional church in an area. Clergy will generally not attend Houses except to celebrate a communion service, perhaps one week in four. If problems arise, the clergy, in consultation with the bishop, may name a new leader, host or location, or set up another mechanism for resolving a dispute or closing the house altogether.

Equipping Role

Clergyman CollarThe clergy's role is to equip the leaders, train up new leaders, and retain personal oversight of the houses. Each house will register with its parish and diocesan affiliation. The clergy and his family could be part of a household themselves but not take leadership there. Leaders could be selected and supported by the clergy, who will regularly meet with them to talk about house activities.

House Faith Ceremonies

Certain introductory house faith ceremonies would be the initial priority, including the adoption of a name. The event would end with closing prayers together. The first meeting of the Household of Faith would do several things

"House Faith Names"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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