With large gathering restrictions likely in place for some time, we need to reimagine how we can be the church—gathering in homes for teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42). So, we are excited about an initiative we’re calling “Home Church.”
Home Church is any group of people (your household and a few others) gathered in a home environment (indoor or outdoor) to participate in NLCC’s weekend worship experience. Our hope is that those gatherings will grow to combine the gifts and talents each person brings with the streaming worship resources that we've appreciated from our NLCC teams.
With some adaptations, we’re going to continue streaming our services on Sunday mornings. But we’re also going to make some resources available so that you can give people gathered in your home a chance to be a part of the service.
So a Home Church gathering would include time for (socially-distanced) fellowship, prayers and readings led by members of your gathering, a live-stream of worship, mission moments, and sermon, extra time to lead worship on-site, and hopefully some prayer ministry for one another.
Imagine the renewed feeling of being near (though slightly distanced) to a few others who love Jesus. And imagine the positive life-on-life influence that will happen across generations and life experiences as you spend this time together. There’s no set model. If you think that just streaming the service together is as much as you’re able to do, start there! If you’d like to make it more participatory through our resources, go for it!
We’ve put together a Hosting Instructions document that walks you through what hosting a Home Church gathering might be like, including times, resource links, and other suggestions. We’ve even written a sample invitation that includes the requests you’ll be making of those who come.
Whether you can only host a few invited guests from within your “bubble” or your Life Group, you’ve got space for a tenant or a few neighbours, or you’d like to open up your home to whoever needs a place (up to your determined limit), we would appreciate if you would REGISTER with us so we know to support you, and can provide a hub for your own communication and contact info. Then, get the word out! Keep us up to date on whether you’ve reached your limit, and we’ll send some folks your way as you’re able to take them.
We’ll send you everything you need to know and do in order to make your home church work well.
First, we’ll provide some weekly worship resources for you on our website. These will include, readings, prayers, hints and instructions, announcements, and worship song chord charts. You may find that as you gather from week to week, some of the participatory things you could do will become clear. Whatever the case, we want to support you.
Second, we’ll be available for ongoing support and coaching as you navigate this new normal for gathered worship.
Third, as the opportunities and challenges of hosting a home church environment become clearer (we've never done this before!), we'll provide training, such as a "model" Home Church gathering, for leaders.
Here are some more details about the things you would need to keep in mind as you host a Home Church gathering. Read our Home Church Health Guidelines.
No! If you want to invite neighbours, school friends, coworkers, grocery store cashiers who aren’t NLCCers – whether they are regular attenders of another fellowship, or they’ve never been to church - don’t hesitate! Wherever the love of Christ can reach, we hope Home Church gatherings will reach!
As is the case in all things COVID-related, we’re not sure, but we have every reason to believe that we'll be in this position for at least 6 months, but possibly longer. We want to make sure we’ve got a framework in place so that everyone has a few people with whom we can fellowship and worship on a Sunday.