Concerns About the House Church Movement

Dear “home church movement” people -

 

    I have been increasingly concerned about some trends I am seeing in the

“house church movement” and am writing this to share my heart.  You are free

to pass it on to others and I would welcome your dialogue. - Nate Krupp,

Salem, Oregon, USA

 

    In the 1960’s and ‘70’s GOD began to raise up many home church groups,

some of it in connection with the charismatic renewal.  Joanne and I were

part of this in Chicago and beyond from 1966, when GOD showed me His simple

plan for His Church,1 to 1970.  There has been a resurgence of this in the

‘90’s and on into this new decade of this new century.  We have again been

part of this from 1988 to the present.

   

    The vision that GOD gave most of us in the early days was groups and

networks of groups connected to one another relationally, but not

organizationally.  Our emphasis was the Kingdom of GOD, relationships,

returning to GOD’s simple plan for His Church, and the unity of the Body.

We were concerned that any kind of organizational structure would most

probably lead to another denomination in time.  And such organizational

structures in time take on a life of their own, even when the life of GOD

has left.  Organizational structures usually exert more control as time goes

on, too.  And such organizational structures can be just one more

disunifying part of the Body.

 

    We were influenced by Watchman Nee’s writings, along with our diligent

searching of the Scriptures; saw a difference of “the work,” overseen by

apostles, and “the church,” overseen by elders; and did much net-working all

across the nation.

 

    Now (in 2003) we see several attempts to organize the home church

movement - area overseers, state coordinators, etc., etc.  I have grave

concern about these organizational attempts.  GOD’s work proceeds best when

man keeps his hands off of it. All through Church history we have example

after example of GOD starting something - then man taking it over - and the

glory leaves.  Azusa Street is a good example.   GOD wants to do a mighty

work in these last days - without the management of man - where He will get

the glory.  This does not do away with elders, deacons, apostles, prophets,

evangelists, shepherds, teachers, administrators, etc., but they are

functions, not positions.  We need to concentrate on being obedient to GOD,

but hidden, out of the way, in no way touching what GOD is doing.  And we

need to be very careful that we are not creating a “house church clergy.”

 

    It is true that GOD has used denominations and organizations in the

past.  But I believe that He is after something else in this hour.  He wants

us all to lay all of these organizational connections and labels aside and

simply be "believers, the Body, His Church, His people" - relating to one

another as members of His Body - not relating to one another because we are

the part of the same organization.  If we are part of the Kingdom of GOD,

why do we need anything (organizational structures) beyond that?

 

   

    Since every believer has a distinct destiny in GOD, and every group of

believers has a distinct destiny in GOD, any attempt to teach a plan that

will work everywhere should be rejected.  There are certain biblical

patterns that can be seen in the Scriptures, and taught, but any program or

plan beyond that should be rejected.

 

    When the various home church groups meet, I am, likewise, concerned that

GOD be allowed to orchestrate and lead the group.  Elders are there to

oversee (to make sure things don’t get too far off base), but the Holy

Spirit should lead the gathering.  One of the most exciting things I ever

behold is when the Holy Spirit is truly leading a gathering of believers.

 

    With regard to today's "house church movement" - there is no question in

my mind that GOD is saying something to His Church about returning to the

simplicity of the early Church.  But have we really seen GOD in our midst?

Will we see GOD produce an Isaac - or are we in the process of just

producing just another Ishmael??

 

    I like to look to Jesus as our pattern.  So what did He do? -

1   He kept in intimate, continual fellowship with His Father.

2   He only did what the Father showed Him to do.

3   He was constantly emphasizing the Kingdom of GOD.

4   He ministered to the crowds and to individuals.

5   He mentored 12 men by living and ministering with them.

6   He totally rejected the apostate religion of His day.

7   He never started any organization.

8   He left all of the fruit of His work to the Holy Spirit who was to come.

 

    This letter will probably offend some.  It is not my intention to offend

or wound.  But I do believe that I am to share my heart on certain trends

that I see.  Thus this note of concern and warning.  May GOD have His way in

our midst.  Your dialogue on any of this is welcomed.

 

Your brother in Christ,

Nate Krupp

Salem, Oregon, USA

 

Nate Krupp can be reached at kruppnj@open.org

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