Recently my wife and I visited New Song Baptist Church in Memphis (see picture below). I spoke to about 15 people who met in the front room. My wife played the piano for them.
Can a church meet in a house?
Here are two biblical perspectives.
First, no where in the New Testament was there a formal church building erected solely for the purpose of Christian worship. Yes, there was the temple, but that was for Judaism, not Christianity. There were synagogues, but they too were for Judaism, not Christianity. In Ephesus Paul met in a rented building, but it was not constructed for worship, it was a school.
Second, the New Testament contains numerous references to Christians meeting in homes.
- Romans 16:15, 1 Corinthians 16:19, "Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."
- Colossians 4:15, "Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house."
- Philemon 2, "To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer . . . and to the church in your house."
- Acts 16:15 & 40 suggest that Lydia the seller of purple opened her house for the young church in Philippi.
- Acts 20:20 says Paul taught "from house to house."
There are probably other references in the New Testament that tell of believers gathering in houses for worship, but these verses give you the gist. During the rise and rapid expansion of the first century church there were no formal church buildings, only people's homes.
I am not saying that formal church buildings are wrong. I am saying that worshipping in houses is perfectly legitimate, as my wife and I can attest to from our wonderful worship experience with the beautiful believers who call themselves New Song.