SURVEY: Believers share their thoughts on home groups and congregations
Kehilanews.com, Chava Stein
Oct 15, 2018
In trying to determine new congregational trends and how believers feel about having their needs met in a congregation/home group, KNI recently conducted a brief survey asking mostly Jewish believers in Israel (and a few others) their opinion about the following questions:
Do you think home groups are the legitimate wave of the future? Do you attend a congregation and do you prefer it to a home group? If so, why? Do you attend a home group instead of or in addition to a congregation? Explain why.
Ben writes: I have always held that home groups are a core of community life and the best environment for discipleship, exercising the gifts of the spirit, and outreach. I believe that the weekly congregational service should be less of an emphasis than the engagement within home groups. I do attend a congregation. I think the weekly congregational service serves a different function than that of a home group. I think both are important. Many home groups become insular and do not maintain the accountability required so that they don’t stagnate. There should be a balance between the larger, corporate gatherings for worship (much as the Temple or synagogue was to the earliest Messianic believers) and the home group. The home group is where one can really build relationships of service, prayer, and growth together in the Lord.
Rob writes: I don’t know if home groups are the legitimate wave of the future (i.e., I won’t predict that that’s the way the body of the Messiah is going to go vis-a-vis fellowships with authority structures.). However, I don’t believe it would be the right way for the body to go, en masse, because I don’t think it inherently supports authority and accountability structures as described in the Scriptures. I attend a congregation. I do not attend a home group. The reason is that there is no home group in our congregation. I would attend a Bible study if there was one available, but it would be in addition to, not in place of, a congregation.
Eli writes: I do think home groups are not only legitimate but also important for the future of the movement. When there is a smaller number of people who meet in more private and informal setting of a home group, it is much easier to be able to build relationships to the level of personal friendship, prayer on a deeper level, etc. I am leading a small fellowship like this, and despite the usual attendance being 12 people, I never get upset that we are so small. We all know each other by name which helps us to have a closer relationship than what would happen in a big congregation, and we don’t have the issue of raising funds to pay rent and utilities.