Around 2006 or so, the Lord began impressing on me that the way we “do” church didn’t match up with the practice described in scripture (see 1 Corinthians 14:26 for one of the more distinct examples). I spent several years searching the scriptures, talking with different men and reading quite a bit on what is referred to as “Biblical Eldership,” and in 2008 we began meeting in our homes with several different families, and have been richly blessed through the interactions we’ve had with other believers. We have also maintained good relationships with believers at our former church and joyfully worship with them occasionally.
Our group of believers is not a formal institution, and the only “membership” we look for is that of being part of Christ’s church. Any believer and follower of the Christ of scripture is more than welcome to assemble with us as often as they wish.
Our meeting times are characterized by families (including children) gathered together for mutual strengthening, with the men interactively teaching and, as the Spirit leads, singing, reading of scriptures, partaking of the Lord’s table, testimonies and prayer requests. When the weather is nicer, we also enjoy family time together in outdoor games or other activities.
Currently, we alternate meeting in our respective homes; ours is near West Jersey, IL. We typically gather around 10:30am and share a meal around noon. There is no set ‘order of service,’ we just follow the Spirit’s leading in teaching (by the men), singing, testimonies, etc. We sometimes enjoy family activities after lunch, too.
Our position on several points of doctrine which folks might be curious about would include baptism by immersion for professing believers, the premillennial return of Christ, any sound translation of Bible being acceptable for reading and teaching, salvation by grace through faith (while not Reformed, we respect that some may have that understanding), practice of Christian unity.
We make every attempt to let scripture be our guide in all things, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we’re all sinners (saved by grace!), and if you hang out with any of us longer than ten minutes or so, this will certainly become obvious. We’re thankful for the Lord’s continuing work of santification!
If you have any questions, or would like to assemble with us sometime, please drop an email and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
To Him alone be the glory!