LC FAQ's

Why House Church instead of a Conventional Church? What are the distinctions?

We have provided a chart that you can take with you that offers an overview of commonly shared distinctives.

Why don't you have an agenda or "order of worship" when you meet?

We believe that the Apostle Paul made it clear in I Corinthians 14:26 how the church should meet:

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

As we have practiced the open, participatory meeting style for a year now, we have discovered that Jesus really can lead His church and direct his people. It's not perfect because we are not perfect people. Sometimes it's messy, but it's real. But as we continue to meet this way, we are beginning to experience Ephesians 4:15-16:

...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. 

When, where and how often do you meet?

We do not have a designated building in which to meet. We don't own any property or have a mortgage on a specified facility that we call the "church". We meet in homes, restaurants, coffee shops...basically wherever people normally get together. 

An organic church grows natually in small, intimate gatherings where autintic relationships can be cultivated. However, meetings are just one component of building community among believers. We don't believe that more meetings or specialized programs are the best way to establish the church in authentic community. We don't feel that we need to "go to church" more, we need to "be the church" more. With that in mind, we find ways to meet on our own at other times during the week. That's easier said than done in our society. So, we have to be intentional about ongoing fellowship throughout the week.  

As you begin to develop relationships here, we encourage you to as individuals, couples and families to

  • Call each other for a morning or afternoon chat
  • In our busy, multitasking world an email or text to say "You're on my heart and I'm praying for you" can make someone's day
  • Invite for dinner, go out or meet for coffee
  • Engage in an activity like golf, mini-golf, water park, ball game or a movie
  • Since most of us do not attend a Sunday service, we like to get together for breakfast or brunch. Many times we end up spending hours together.
  • Get with several others for a Bible study at a home, a cafe, coffee shop or a park.
  • Social media is a fact of life these days.  It is a way to connect quickly when you can't meet face to face.  Light Church has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lightchurchofjax. We regularly post photos of our meetings, special activities and quotes to encourage us and provoke conversation.  We put a fair amount of time and prayerful thought into the things that we share on the page.  We love to see your comments and thoughts.  It is simply one way to connect with us throughout the week.

 What happens in a typical believers gathering?

We begin with a meal. Some meals are themed and some are pot luck. As it was in the early church, breaking bread together is very important to our fellowship with one another. After a time, the meeting will begin to naturally transition to the den where anything can happen. This is where we see I Corinthians 14:26 come to life. The style is open and participatory. Contrary to what some think, it is not chaotic. Lack of structure does not equate to lack of order. We may begin with singing, testimonies, a scripture or prayer. As different ones share what the Lord has given them, we become aware that He has a specific direction for that particular meeting.

We are also aware that we are all different and that everyone is not immediately at ease with this way of meeting. That's okay. You will not be pressured to participate. We respect the way that you are wired and we respect the Christ in you. As we do, the extroverts are learning to wait and the introverts are learning to open up.  As we are all learning to function in this way we are becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to one another. We believe that this is the way God intended for His church to grow, mature and become one.

What about children?

Kids are not just a part of the church of the future, but they are the church of right now.  In our meetings they are allowed to be kids. If they have received Jesus into their hearts, they have the same Holy Spirit in them as the adults -- not a lesser, junior version. So, we endeavor to include the kids as much as possible. For example, it may be the kids who set the tone of the worship by choosing songs, taking part in testimony or sharing, and helping when we are praying for someone.

There are times we may have a specific activity planned for the kids or will let them play elsewhere under the supervision of an older kid. The possibilities are endless. But our desire is to include children as a functioning part of the body.

What about leadership?

You will quickly see that leadership looks very different in the organic church. It is not hierarchical and positional. Rather it is functional. New Testament leadership recognizes and encourages the unique gifting, spiritual maturity and sacrificial service of each member. We believe that the biblical model of leadership is found in a plurality of elders who's function is to oversee and supervise the affairs of the church. We are caretakers who care for our fellow Christians. We call it servant leadership.

Can I give financially to Light Church?

Yes. Even though we meet in homes, we are a real church with real financial needs and goals. However, we don't pass a plate or have a special time to receive an offering. We simply have a bowl or basket at the door where we place offerings to the church. In fact, it is a rarity to hear any mention of money or the basket. 

As a testimony, from the beginning God has provided so that we are able to provide a housing allowance for the Trices as well as meet needs of those in our body, participate in missions projects with World Relief and help our own missionaries on various overseas trips. This is due to the regular and faithful gifts of those both who call Light Church their church family and others who feel led to support us. By meeting in homes we will never be burdened with mortgages and huge operating expenses. Our goal is that at least 80% of the financial gifts can be used to meet real human needs, support others in ministry and missions, and send out church planting teams as the Lord opens those doors. Here is an example of how a house church in Texas uses finances...

My name is Jim Mellon and we have a network in central TX called the Association of Home Churches. We have incorporated and the only way to open a bank account under a church name is to get a tax I.D. #. Because of a long-term vision the Lord has given us, we decided to incorporate. Eighty to ninety percent of all of our giving goes to benevolence and missions both local and foreign. We give to local missions such as the food care center, mission soup kitchen, Hope Pregnancy Center and others. One of our goals as a church is to model economically how a house church network functions.

Light Church has a very similar long-term vision. We are a non-profit church and provide a tax deductible receipt of your offerings at the end of each fiscal year. You can make a check out to Light Church or give online at www.lightchurchofjax.com.

Are there any books or internet resources on the house church movement?

Yes, indeed.  First, you can visit our website at www.lightchurchofjax.com for more detailed information about us and the resources about organic church life that have been so helpful to us.

Secondly, there are a number of books that we have read and personally recommend to those who are serious about being on this journey with us:

Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church and Finding Organic Church are all by Frank Viola. It is highly recommended that you read them in that order. These three books have answered so many of our questions. deepened our understanding and literally transformed our mind set of what and who the church really is.

Additional books from the "fathers" of organic church life:

The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee

The Problem of Wineskins by Howard A. Snyder

One of the more recent books that we have read this year expanded and even changed our perspective particularly in regard to the focus on house churches: Finding Church - What If There Really Is Something More by Wayne Jacobsen