UPDATE: chapters 8-10 added
By Robert and Julia Banks
Hendrickson Publishers, 1998
260 pages

Thesis (subject to correction):
The full experience of church only occurs as both home church and whole church (citywide) gatherings are practiced.

Chapter One (The Inside Story) lays some circumstantial groundwork through two cultural trends (small church and interactive church) and eleven eyewitness accounts of various home churches.

Chapter Two (In the Beginning) describes the NT/Pauline understanding of church, draws out important principles, and describes the lessons that should be learned from these principles.

Chapter Three (A Great Cloud of Witnesses) traces the practice and theology of home church from the early church through the Middle Ages, Reformation, and Renewal Movements, and across contemporary cultures and denominations.

Chapter Four (Small is Beautiful) describes the social, spiritual, personal, and cognitive benefits though fourteen testimonies, and discusses eight factors hindering the development of home churches.

Chapter Five (First Steps) articulates the defining features of home church by comparing several types of small groups, and then discusses specific principles to consider when beginning and practicing home church.

Chapter Six (Experiments in Progress) describes and evaluates various models of home church.

Chapter Seven (Gathering Together) presents a conversation about the various elements in home church gatherings.

Chapter Eight (Growing Pains in the Family) discusses some of the potential problems encountered by home churches due to preconceptions, misconceptions, common issues of life, or sin.

Chapter Nine (The Importance of Inreach) discusses the theory, theology, and practices involved in ministry to and with the child and adult participants in home church.

Chapter Ten (Agents of Transformation) describes ways home churches embody the kingdom in their communities through civic, cultural, social, and evangelistic practices.

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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I'd love to hear your own thoughts as your progress through it.

  2. I am finding that the book resonates with many things I've been pondering. As I work through the book, I'll be posting summaries. I'll post reflections and questions after the book is finished.

    It is worth a read for anyone thinking about how we gather. A great starter book is Going to Church in the First Century (I have a short review/recommendation on my book blog).