Our Non-Religious Church (in a house church model)
I want to give some context and our method for non-religious church. I lived in China 10 years before getting married here and have now been married 18 years. My wife was 24 years old and had left atheism to confess to God at age 20 before I met and started to date and then marry her.
I had grown up in a Lutheran church where most people did not believe but were religious. I learned ministry thought from the Navigators.
She was reached by Pentacostal students and then got discipled by Fundamentalists who believe Pentacostals are enemies of the Kingdom.
We together see the Bible as the base and the whole world as God’s communication beyond His Book. Evangelical faith is our common base. We are open door Christians who see that all denominations have something good.
Non-Religious Church Goes Out Since 2002
We started our first house church 3 weeks after we got married. Everyone who joins is a first generation Christian as Christianity is new here for almost everyone. See also Faith Without Religion Who Started That.
As non-religious people, we prohibit churchy words and further encourage everyone to talk and pray with normal language. We find many people pray awkward and flowery prayers and talk in religious terms as opposed to common language. As a church group, we feel God wants us to be natural with Him and with each other as a dear and tight knit family with a loving Father.
We believe in healing and casting out demons, but find hospitals and psychological counseling cover lots of common issues. Given our thought, we do not allow people to reject hospitals or psychology in our group, and no one believes in anti-Christian thought that Freud pushed.
In Fellowship We Want to Be True With Each Other
We collect a church of sinners and not good people. We see that people come to church and act all churchy and good. All is thankfulness and blessedness. We do not buy it. From the Bible, we know that since the fall everyone has issues and grew up with sinful parents as well.
We teach we are all on a journey, and we all have a voice. As brothers and sisters, we believe some have a pastoral gift but do not have a Pastor. Building deeper relations among us so we can mutually encourage is part of our DNA. See also Barna on that.
We do family focused ministry on real family issues- like marriage and childraising. My wife and I are usually in the intiative the most. We have started house churches in three geographies here as our family moved for work.
Rather than focus on events in the Bible, we like to find what makes God smile and frown. We want to know Him better.
According to our philosophy, we like to ask why God does things a certain way and pray about that. We see if Jesus commonly did not answer people’s questions for example. Further, we expect God to be different than us and find He is.
Even more so, we believe if I cannot find who the real me is then I cannot connect well with the real God we seek. So both are important to our church group.
House Church is Real Church
We do both communion and baptism and do not have any ordained person nor do we seek one. Moreover, we have no liturgy and no church calender.
We do not see ourselves as church growth experts. What we do is deep small work with existing families while I have a full time job running my own company.
We find that it is slow work. Change comes over many years and not many weeks usually. Transformation of families is our main heart. College ministry work is far from us.
We like what a lot of others are doing around us. We are just this way. Most of our church members do not have a college education or even a high school diploma. We do fellowship in Chinese. We have complete freedom to do this all these 18 years.
China is the home that gave me a family and friends and a business all of which I did not have when I came. God said I would if I gave up what I had in America. He did to my surprise.