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God Is Calling Us Back Into Homes

By now most of us are getting sick of the same four walls and the claustrophobia of quarantine life. But I want to suggest that maybe we’ll come out of this time with some redemptive changes to our spiritual lives. What if God wanted to use this season of sheltering to say something to his peopl…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

By now most of us are getting sick of the same four walls and the claustrophobia of quarantine life. But I want to suggest that maybe we’ll come out of this time with some redemptive changes to our spiritual lives.

What if God wanted to use this season of sheltering to say something to his people? What if he was showing us a better way to walk out our faith?

After Jesus died, Christianity got started in homes. It is currently growing rapidly this way in countries around the world. But in the West, we moved our churches into big buildings, buildings that sit empty for most of the week and that are empty now.

What if the corona virus were to set in motion a trend away from building-based Christianity and back into the homes of believers?

In January, this is what a racer alumnus, Tara Hoppman, told me. She said, “God is calling us back into homes.” Of course the world since changed and here we are self-distancing in homes. But maybe we’re re-discovering our homes as places of connection. Maybe God wants to meet us there.

Maybe our homes are to be meeting places and sanctuaries. Our lives are currently out of balance. We spend too much time living online. The result is that we’re disconnected and anxious. We know our lives aren’t working.

Maybe we’ll get so tired of the virtual that we’ll press into the real. If home is where the heart is, maybe we’ll discover our hearts there.

Comments (11)

  • Several years ago Mark Batterson felt led to start a church in Washington DC – Cost of land and buildings there is unbelievable and in praying about what to do – God impressed him to rent a movie theater for Sunday mornings when it wasn’t in use – he did and it was a success so he rented more to spread the locations out and have them easier to get to for people.
    Also, remember the Crystal Cathedral that was started in a drive-in movie theater. During this Virus scare, several churches have had drive-in services and many have had online services – I think God is trying to show us a better way to reach the lost.
    Youngge Cho (Spelling) built a huge church in Korea using home groups – in a small group you are known and you know the others – in a large church of several thousand you are lucky if you know anyone on a first-name basis. In a small group, you care about each other and you help each other grow in the Lord.

  • Exactly God wants to meet us at our homes. It is at home where we can have a rapid spiritual growth,remember in these last days the harvest is still large so God want to train leaders at home. So let us use this time best so that by the time we meet again there will be great change in our lives.thanks

  • I love those stories of faith. Cho’s church really expanded in numbers and in depth when they shifted to small groups in homes. Interestingly, it was the elders (men) who resisted that move and the women who led the initiative! Women often lead God’s moves as they are more apt to lead with the humility that he is looking for.

  • Amen! The harvest to come is immense, but it will be birthed in homes. I’ve always been a fan of home-birth!

  • “Death By Suburb” chronicled the progressive isolation that developed in suburban America, where we abandoned socializing from stoops, and hid out in our family rooms, after sneaking into our garages by remote control, without engaging our neighbors. Repurposing our homes & yards for spiritual connection & community, like the earliest church did in Acts 2:42-47 is the solution, IF we’re willing.

  • Thanks, Seth. The gender of a person is immaterial. The book of Romans teaches us that. What is vital is a heart to hear God’s voice and obey. Few Christian leaders in my lifetime let John 5:30 be the North Star of their lives. We know nothing without Jesus. And if we believe we do without his prodding, discipline, correction and testing we are sheep following a different shepherd. Love you Seth. You are a “tenured friend” since 1983.

  • I love this: “Maybe we’ll get so tired of the virtual that we’ll press into the real.”
    If I ever have a home based ministry again, this will pretty much be the vision statement. Pressing into the real is (imo) intrinsic in the way to Life.

  • Simple and clear Seth-A good reminder!
    After reading Francis Chan’s “letters to the church” chapter 9 I believe, while traveling with G Squad through five cities in China, and witnessing the fastest growing church movement in Iran today based upon the discipleship making movement DDM. And coaching six couples who are our house group/small group/community group leaders, and emphasizing to them that they are like the early primitive house churches which are growing like crazy in the 1040 window. Much more transparency, question asking, accountability, prayer, and real fellowship can be had in the small house churches that take Sunday’s message and break it down and contemplate, meditate, and apply the truth in real time. Not to mention that our world race squads are actually also A small C Church walking in the Ephesians 4 model of ministry for 11 months. The family is a microcosm of the church. Weak families equals weak churches and weak communities etc. I will not go back to pre-COVID-19 days.My son Ravi‘s home church in Portland Oregon is John Mark/ commerce church who wrote several books, but the one the world racers are reading and eating up like wild fire is, “the ruthless elimination of hurry“. It’s all about slowing down to know Jesus. People talk about Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life.“ John 14:6. But very little emphasis is placed on what was Jesus way! What was his daily rhythm like. He was the busiest and most efficient man on earth but never seem to be in a hurry or anxious. Best to read in a long long time – a mandatory read for Christ followers in my humble opinion.
    By the way, the ternal banks for going on that Appalachian Mountain hike with my sons squad and speaking affirmation and confidence into his life. He’s going to Western seminary in Portland and I get the privilege of marrying him to another World Racer in August.
    Appreciate you brother ??????

  • This would also unleash a new dimension of the priesthood of the believer … where every believer accepts the responsibility for praying for and reaching out to their neighbors. Inviting them to their home where Discipleship, harvest, prayer for needs and actual multiplication Can take place!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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