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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37096
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Zoning Ordinance against house churches


I just wanted to throw this topic out there briefly to say that if you are meeting in a house church meeting in an urban or town you should show wisdom with this. There is a way to encourage saints to park not all infront of your home but to park even 1-3 blocks away and walk to your home. Such will not cause great alarm or unnecessary problems for neibours.

There have been many cases of late which have been under the radar of the news where house churches have been closed and forbidden to meet legally due to city zoning rules etc. This really only applies to religious meetings. Where is someone had a birthday party etc the zoning rule would not apply in most cases.

We should not feel obligated to have to rent or meet in a church building. The saints of the Lord are free to meet in smaller gatherings especially if the gathering is not a 501-c3 or non-profit organisation but simply a meeting of believers.

There are very few of these stories going public on the news but obviously the one in Pheonix where a brother was jailed for not agreeing with the Pheonix city not to meet in his home:

There have been similar pressures in a house church where I met with here locally in Canada. And I hear brothers share with me this has happened to them also.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/8/26 13:28Profile

 Re: Zoning Ordinance against house churches


I am really glad you are aligned with the House Church movement, today. I read some older posts and see how you have grown in this area.

But, I don't necessarily think that we should live our lives in fear. I know, you are calling it wisdom, but I don't see it that way. We fill up the driveway and then the street as we try to get as close to the house as possible. It just seems practical that when you bringing covered dishes with food, that you may want to be as close as possible. The neighbors have been great as they have never bothered us. Wisdom for us is to deal with a situation when it comes up and not to try to think of all possible scenarios before they happen. That can turn into paranoia for some people and others are easily susceptible to a persecution complex.

That seems normal to me. And as I read about Paul and Peter and the Apostles, I see them dealing with situations as they came up.

Now, I too am just "throwing this out", and do agree with you that if some neighbors have already expressed outrage or maybe only dissatisfaction, then as "reconcilers of God", we should act appropriately and with love and wisdom.

I have only seen a handful of these cases in the last several years. One in Arizona and one in Atlanta.

 2013/8/26 15:34

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: Zoning Ordinance against house churches

Here are a few ideas, have fellow brothers and sisters pick each other up so that few cars need parking. Ride a bicycle or walk as was suggested. There is also the option of meeting in parks and out in open fields to just sit and share with one another. If a body of believers wants to meet move the meeting from house to house in rotation so no one neighborhood has to deal with to many cars every week. Better yet share the love and light of JESUS with neighbors and pray for them to come over as well!

If there is a will to meet in the home under JESUS'S Headship then HE will make a way for it to happen :)

I am so glad you are sharing these things with us Greg. I think the way believers meet together is going to be shifting and changing to look a lot more like it did in Acts...

God bless

 2013/8/26 16:13Profile


We move from house to house. I forgot to mention that. Good point. That should be done anyway because it doesn't put the burden on one household every week, to be home, to clean, etc. But parking close is good for the elderly, when it rains and when you are carrying a lot of things.

Yes, if there is a will, people will make a way and the Lord will, too.

 2013/8/26 18:24

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