The fellowship at home or the Church at home which we now call house fellowship or home cell groups or units started during the New Testament Church era, and was an integral part of the bigger church that met at the upper room or the Temple.
Models of House Fellowships in the Bible
There were many house ‘churches’ or home cells that met at different people’s homes at that time. The apostles in their letters to the churches or the brethren often asked them to greet so and so and the churches in their homes – “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus ……..likewise greet the church that is their house” Romans 16: 3-5a. When Peter was released from the prison by the angel he went straight to the house of Mary the mother of John Mark where many were gathered together praying for him – Acts 12:12.
Benefits of House Fellowships
The house fellowship groups are usually the first unit of care which offer love, care and sharing and foster communal living just like a family. There we can pray together, read the scriptures together, eat together and share our resources just like the saints of old had things in common during their own time. It is a place to practice generosity and hospitality.
It is the first unit of care for such a time as the care of a mother who has just given birth, a young couple who have just married a family that may be struggling, people with emotional, spiritual, physical or material needs and all the rest of them. It is also a place to minister to those who are bereaved and are grieving over loved ones that have been taken away from them. It is a place of support, solace and comfort.
It is a place that can make people feel belonged and make them feel valued and esteemed. It is a family you could really call your own. After the disciples were released by the council the Bible says that they went to their own company, their own companion, their own people; the family of God they truly belonged to.
The house fellowship can also encourage us in the Lord, and foster our Christian growth and walk with God and it is an outlet to serve God and one another.
The house fellowship is a place we can stir, motivate, inspire ourselves to good works (Hebrews 10: 24-26), and even do greater works. Lastly, the house fellowship can grow to become a church and is an outlet to bring in the end-time global harvest.