All posts tagged: house churches

Chinese Communist Party sentences female pastor to an 8-year prison term

UCA News is reporting that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sentenced a female pastor of a house church in Hubei province to eight years in prison for refusing to join the CCP controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement for protestant churches.

Chinese Communist Party offers a reward to snitch on Christians

According to a report by the China Christian Daily, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Heilongjiang Province, located in North Eastern China, is offering a reward of US$150 for anyone reporting illegal religious activity. As part of this, the government has set up a snitch line where people can report such activity through email or by phone. The Christian Post reports that under the program entitled, “The Reward System For Reporting Illegal Religious Activities Offences,” the government is asking citizens to report anyone who is preaching, distributing religious tracts and other religious literature (both printed and digital), holding house meetings outside the government-approved Three Self Patriot Movement (TSPM). The TSPM is a religious organization set up by the communist regime that allows it to monitor sermons, control messaging and even appoint communist-approved pastors to the churches. All Christian churches are required to join. The CCP justifies the reward stating it is trying to stop the spread of COVID, which ironically was the same excuse it used to crush the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Though …

Are micro churches, the church of the future?

The COVID lockdowns has caused some church leaders to take a second look at their church structures. Typically, most churches have meetings on Sunday morning in a larger building with one main pastor/teacher leading the service. But the lockdowns are challenging that structure as governments are fining, and in some instances even threatening jail time, if churches continue meeting on Sunday morning. With the lockdowns continuing into 2021, and in some instances with harsher restrictions that 2020, some churches are adapting. There is a new trend emerging called micro churches involving smaller gatherings of between 10 and 40 people. They typically meet in homes or a neutral setting such as coffee shops, and they are fully functioning churches. Many larger congregations already utilize house churches that meet during the week in addition to the main Sunday morning service. These additional meetings are often poorly attended, because if busy, people typically cut out the house church meeting since it is not considered the “church’s main service.” But some are wondering if these smaller groups should be …

Should North American churches transition to house churches in the fall?

A recent article on CBN threw out an interesting idea that maybe churches should look at starting house churches if the recent COVID-19 lockdowns don’t end. The coronavirus has resulted in restrictions being put on church services severely limiting the number of people that can attend a service. Many believe it’s more political than health related because the restrictions on churches are more severe than businesses with very similar vulnerabilities. For example, are people attending a casino any less vulnerable to the Coronavirus, than those attending a church? Obviously not. So, why does a church have more severe restrictions than a casino? When the Coronavirus originally hit and services were prohibited, many churches turned to online services that people watched in the privacy of their homes. Initially it seemed popular, but according to Barna Research the number of people watching online services has been steadily dropping with 32% fewer people watching today, than during the early days of the pandemic. And recently, some large churches, such as Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, pastored by …

Pay to Pray: Can We Afford God?

I have just spent some time in an isolated northern city where real estate is too expensive. All the churches are small, and I think there is a mosque and a Sikh temple. I’m not sure about the religious buildings because they are all small, and easy to miss. A big building costs millions. Next to the house where I stayed is a house church. It looks to me like one church operates out of the members houses, and it seems to be doing well. One church petitioned the city to take over some park land and change it to a parking lot. They wanted the land for free, but they promised to invest more than a million dollars. I understand the mayor attends that church, and you can imagine the angry debate in the community. I heard yesterday that the church had withdrawn the request. So, how do we worship God when a parking lot costs a million dollars? And how do we pay the salaries for pastors, so they can support their families? …