Thursday, February 24, 2011

House Church - Flexibility

I love this photo.  I don't know who this guy is, but regardless his flexibility is impressive.

In a very different way, the flexibility inherent within the house church (simple church, organic church) is also impressive.

Simply put, the house church can do whatever needs to be done to both edify the body and reach out to the lost. There are no institutional or tradition-based restraints upon this flexibility. The church can and should do whatever needs to be done. If the members see in scripture that they need to believe and/or live differently about a specific issue, change can occur immediately.

Let me provide an example. Let's say that a house church normally gathers together on Sundays for the purpose of mutual edification. Someone in the body finds out that there is a specific need in the broader community that they can meet on Sunday. Instead of gathering in the home, the church comes together to perform service to meet that need.

The key is that anything can change at any time in order to better be the church.  This includes all sorts of things such as meeting location, meeting times, meeting frequency, meeting content, types of service, areas of service focus, methods of evangelism, international missions outreach, etc., etc., etc.

This flexibility is of great benefit to the members of the body and to the community as a whole.  Of course, as with everything else in this extended series on the house church, flexibility is only beneficial if we strive to glorify God through serving others. If we fail to live with the attitudes of servants, then the shape of our church life won't really matter.

May we all be flexible, communal servants following after our Master - Jesus Christ.


Alan Knox said...


I like this alot. For the church, change is inevitable (since people change), so flexibility is very important. If the church cannot be flexible, then people will be left hurting and without help. (Unfortunately, this happens all the time.)

Primarily, I like that the focus of this article is not on being flexible for the sake of being flexible (i.e., change for the sake of change), but flexibility for the purpose of serving others more effectively.


Eric said...


Thanks. I've been thinking a lot about what I've been writing about house church / simple church life. In the end, all these positive features don't matter at all if they aren't accompanied by the right motives and attitudes of love, self-sacrifice, and service. Things such as meeting in homes and celebrating the Lord's Supper as a full meal are secondary to the correct attitudes and actions toward others. It's the same with flexibility.

Aussie John said...


Couldn't agree more!

Eric said...

Thanks John.

Richard Swartz said...

One of the basic characteristics of the church it's dynamic nature. The Spirit is by far the most dynamic, flexible, and capable of handling even utmost chaos. (Remember what the Spirit was working with in Gen 1:2)

This is in stark contrast the the rigid nature of the letter, which is written in stone and unchangeable. This means legalism has no place in the church, and can actually impede what the Spirit wants to accomplish.

If the early church wasn't able to adapt and continue on in the most practical ways, I don't think they would've been as effective as they were in focusing on the gospel. We should endeavor to do the same.

God bless, Richard

Eric said...


Thanks for comemnting. I agree that the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to the life of the church.

When you use the term "letter," what exactly are you referring to?

Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

We have this opportunity for flexibility because of our freedom in Jesus! Awesome!

Richard Swartz said...

Eric, the "letter" is the Law, or the Old Covenant. The old way is "the letter", the new way is "the Spirit."

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. (Rom 7:6, NASB)

I believe those are two fundamental ways man tries to approach life. The letter is rigid, carved in stone, and therefore unmalleable.

The new way is in the Spirit, which is the new covenant approach. Completely malleable, changeable, flexible.

(I'm not promoting lawlessness by any means, just the contrast of being inflexible and shackled, vs. flexible and free)

God bless, Richard

Eric said...


We are truly blessed as followers of Christ. Instead of being enslaved to the dead rituals of other religions, we get to live as the church in order to bring glory to God through serving others. Wow.

Eric said...


Great answer. I agree completely. I just wanted to make sure that I understood specifically what you are talking about.