Homes or Public Buildings?

Posted on May 29, 2022

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Homes or Public buildings, this produces questions, criticism, and is the foundation of certain groups.  By homes or public buildings, I am meaning have home churches or typically more organized and traditional churches that meeting rented space or their own church facilities. There are all kinds of extreme views that organized churches meeting in buildings are almost demonic while meeting in small groups in homes is the most saintly and biblical way to be church. The anti-organized church people often post on social media a list of verses that say things like, “They went house to house” and use this to support their position. As always, we can get the answers from the Word!

When I have seen those posts on social media, I always knew they were like many posts, biased and presented with only half the facts.  Since I first saw those posts, I wanted to scour the New Testament and actually do a count on the references and so I have now done so.  As I have studied in the last year or two, I have specifically looked for those kinds of references and with my recent search here are the answers. Jesus and or disciples meeting in buildings, the temple or synagogues there are 49 references while meeting in homes has 37 and about 17 that appear to be open air meetings.  I did not count those references that appeared to be referring to the same encounter within that chapter of the Bible.  The significance of the references to meeting in the temple or synagogues is that many of these say “he taught daily” in the temple or synagogue which truly ramps that number up in a significant way. There is no reference to say they met daily in homes.  The word “church” was not used since in most cases it is in reference to a body of believers, not a building.

The word synagogue in most cases is never explained in the local church and this is a tragedy. The Greek word is basically like our more common definition of church today, a place or assembly or a congregation.  I believe most think of a synagogue to be a special Jewish house like a mini temple or something in which its just a meeting building. Explaining this really helps put much of the New Testament stories where a synagogue is mentioned into a more understandable context.

Back to church building or house churches.  In recent years especially, I have seen the great need for organized church and a stable environment.  This does not mean that I am against having services in which the Holy Spirit is free to move, this too is very necessary, one does not negate the other.  Both can have their benefit but there is nothing like a larger more organized group and facility that can meet more needs. When The Father’s House was doing services, due to our small size and lack of connection with a larger organization, we were limited to what we could do, even when the needs that are in a larger church show up in small ones as well.  Trust me, larger churches and organizations have their issues as too, but we have to work around these issues as well.

The conclusion is that Jesus and the apostles ministered daily in the temple and various synagogue which would be like modern churches today in many ways.  Jesus and the apostles also did open air meetings and in homes on a regular basis.  We should not be critical of any group that is meeting in any place as long as they are sharing the Word and love of Christ.

Public Building – Church, Synagogue, TempleHousesOpen Air
Total493717
Matthew 9:101
Matthew 9:231
Matthew 26:61
Mark 1:2911
Mark 2:151
Mark 3:251
Mark 5:351
Mark 7:171
Mark 7:241
Mark 9:281
Mark 9:331
Mark 10:101
Mark 14:31
Luke 4:381
Luke 5:291
Luke 7:361
Luke 8:411
Luke 11:171
Luke 14:11
Luke 19:51
John 11:201
John 12:31
Acts 2:4611
Acts 5:4211
Acts 9:171
Acts 10:221
Acts 11:111
Acts 12:121
Acts 16:321
Acts 16:401
Acts 18:711
Acts 18:811
Acts 20:201
Acts 21:81
Romans 16:51
I Corinthians 16:191
Colossians 4:151
Matthew 12:91
Matthew 13:541
Mark 1:121
Mark 3:11
Mark 6:21
Luke 4:161
Luke 6:61
John 6:591
John 9:221
John 12:421
John 18:202
Acts 13:141
Acts 14:11
Acts 17:11
Acts 18:41
Acts 18:191
Acts 19:81
Matthew 12:61
Matthew 21:141
Matthew 24:11
Matthew 26:551
Mark 11:111
Mark 11:151
Mark 11:271
Mark 12:351
Mark 14:491
Luke 2:371
Luke 19:471
Luke 20:11
Luke 21:371
Luke 22:531
Luke 24:531
John 5:141
John 7:141
John 8:21
John 10:231
Acts 3:11
Acts 5:201
Acts 21:261
Acts 22:171
Acts 24:181
Acts 26:211
Acts 13:11
Matthew 13:21
Matthew 14:51
Matthew 17:141
Matthew 20:291
Matthew 21:81
Mark 2:131
Mark 7:331
Mark 9:141
Luke 5:191
Luke 6:171
Luke 8:451
Luke 12:11
Luke 19:371
John 5:131
Acts 2:61
Acts 4:321
Acts 5:161
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