In our busy culture, we have a tendency to shy away from using our homes to entertain and for the ministry of hospitality and discipleship. Many people prefer to enjoy coffee at Starbucks, meet their friends at a restaurant, and hold Bible studies at the church fellowship hall.
Why then is it important to have gatherings in our home?
Family is the first institution that God ever created and the home is very important to Him. I do realize the word “home” conjures up many different feelings for people. Unfortunately, not everyone has had a good experience in their home. For some, pain and abuse have been embodied there. But in the perfect plan of God, before sin entered the world, homes were supposed to be havens for fellowship with each other and with God.
The words home, house, and houses are mentioned 2,213 times in the Bible. That is not counting how often the word abode is used in reference to where someone lived. We should compare that to the 399 references to church(s), synagogue(s), and temple(s). The difference in those numbers tells me that our homes must be a place of great importance to God.
Many times in the life and ministry of Jesus, we see that He took people into a house to minister to them. He spoke in the temples and synagogues, yes. And He preached to crowds on the mountains, and by the sea. Yet, often after speaking to the masses, He and His disciples would leave and go directly into a home.
“And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.” Mark 1:29
Often we find Jesus escaping the crowds and entering a house, where He would nurture, answer questions, teach and share His heart with His closest followers. He did His intimate discipleship and training inside of a house, away from the crowds.
“And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.” Mark 7:17
“And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?” Mark 9:28