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Statistic: U.S. House Church Movement Bigger than 2nd Largest Denomination

by: Jim Rutz, WorldNetDaily

The little guy is back. For the first time in 1,700 years, simple churches meeting in homes are once again a factor in human events.

In many countries, they're booming so strongly that critics and opponents can no longer brush them aside as a fringe movement.
And as I documented repeatedly in "Megashift," home churches are producing millions of proactive Christians who now and then perform miracles (though the credit ultimately belongs to God, of course).

But this week, even I was shocked to discover how big our house church community in North America really is. Briefly stated, we're right about halfway between the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention (which is the second-largest denomination in the U.S.).

OK now, let's inhale. I'm stunned, too. This really is starting to alter the landscape for all of us.

Let me state up front: These are solid numbers. George Barna, the leading U.S. church pollster and perhaps the most widely quoted Christian leader in America, is the author of the figures below. They are based on a full-on, four-month scientific survey of
5,013 adults, including 663 blacks, 631 hispanics, 676 liberals and 1,608 conservatives.

Nobody argues with numbers from The Barna Group. They employ all the professional safeguards to ensure tight results – in this case, a sampling error of +/-1.8 percent. Here are the results stated in five ways:

The study counted only attendance at house churches, not small groups ("cells") that are part of a traditional church.

Please don't think of the house church as a new fad. For the first 300 years of Christianity, house churches were the norm. In fact, church buildings were quite rare until the fourth century, when the power-hungry Roman Emperor Constantine suddenly outlawed house church meetings, began erecting church buildings with Roman tax money, and issued a decree that all should join his Catholic Church. If you want to stick to a biblical model, the house church is your only choice.

In China, the world's largest church (120 million) is 90 percent based in homes. The cover story in this week's World magazine (June 24) is on how Christian business leaders in China are beginning to change the whole situation in that country. Yes, even while Christians in many provinces are hunted down and tortured, CEOs of corporations in areas with freedom are changing the way government looks at Christianity. That is major.

Bottom line: Worldwide, the original church is back, re-creating the biblical model: "Day after day, they met by common consent in the Temple Courts and broke bread from house to house."
(Acts 2:46) God is again pouring out His power on plain folks, bringing a megashift – not in our doctrine, but in our entire lifestyle.


Editor's Note:
The Barna report linked to Jim Rutz's article says, "... of those who attend a house church, 27% attend on a weekly basis, 30% attend one to three times per month, and 43% attend less than once a month." It acknowledges, "The data in this report are based on interviews with 5013 adults from across the nation."

SOURCE: www.WorldNetDaily.com
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

 

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