12th New England
House Church Conference

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bible Fellowship Church
Intersection of Rt 131 and Brickyard Rd, Thompson, CT 06262
(Note, use the link below, Google and Mapquest show the wrong location.)
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Contact: Matt Durning 860-928-7658,

12th New England House Church Conference

The New Testament pattern is for churches to meet in homes and and for the Lord's Supper to be observed as a full meal. What can we learn from these and other teachings of the Bible to strengthen our churches? The Primary Track (described below) focuses on these and related topics.

Primary Track

  • The Lord's Supper - A Full Fellowship Meal
  • Interactive Church Meetings (1 Corinthians 14)
  • Government by Consensus
  • Apostolic Traditions Given in the Bible
  • Heresy in House Church

Futher descriptions of these topics can be found here.

Secondary Track

  • The theme for this year's secondary track is discipleship.
    (Detailed session topics will be posted closer to the time of the conference)

There will be a question and answer time at the closing of the conference.
You do not want to miss out on the great fellowship and networking that takes place as well. May the Lord be lifted up.

The conference is free of charge. There is plenty of seating, so you are welcome to come at the last minute, even if you have not registered. If you can, please do register so we can better estimate how much food we need for the meals. There will be two meals provided - lunch and supper.


The Lord's Supper: A Full Fellowship Meal
(Primary Track #1)

Considering the way the Lord's Supper is typically observed today, is it really fair to describe it as a "supper"? Would it not be better to call it what it actually has become: an appetizer or sample? Did our Lord truly intend to launch a memorial snack? In this session we will explore how the New Testament church observed the Lord's Supper, how often they observed it, and why they observed it. Is the Lord's Supper to be forward-looking or past-looking? Is there to be a funeral or a wedding atmosphere? What function do having one cup and one loaf serve? How does the Lord's Supper fit in with the purpose of a church meeting? Many people have expressed that adopting the practice of the early church in how they celebrated the Lord's Supper has made more of an edifying impact upon their fellowship than any other single change they made as a body of believers.

Interactive Church Meetings (Primary Track #2)
We are all familiar with the typical Sunday morning "worship service." Amazingly though, if one compares a New Testament church meeting (1 Cor. 14) to what goes on today, very little resemblance will be seen between the two. Interactive, participatory church meetings are not only the New Testament. pattern, but are expressly prescribed! Related to how we conduct our meetings, Paul wrote, "If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lords command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored" (1 Cor. 14:37-38). Obviously, what we do when we assemble is very important! Is worship really the purpose for a church service? What kinds of things are to go on in such a meeting? Who is allowed to speak? Who can teach? How many different people can address the church? What about the kids: are they to be in children's church or with their parents? What size meeting was typical in the New Testament? Come and find out in this eye-opening study.

Consensus Governing (Primary Track #3)
Did Jesus really mean that "the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves" (Luke 22:26)? The youngest children and those who wait upon tables typify those in society who don't have any authority. In this session, we will discuss the relationship that ought to exist between a church and its leaders. Exactly where does the "power" lie? Who has authority over whom? What is the role of an elder or overseer? How does consensus work? You'll be surprised at what the Bible does (and does not) say concerning biblical church government by consensus. We will argue for elder-led churches more so than elder-ruled churches. We'll push for government by consensus, not command. We'll suggest that an elder's "authority" is earned, not conferred.

Apostolic Tradition (Primary Track #4)
Suppose a new church in first century Alexandria, Egypt, wrote asking the apostle Peter for direction concerning the proper way to organize their fledging congregation. How would Peter have responded? Could a church legitimately deviate from the apostolic example? Or, were all NT churches to obey the commands of Jesus as delivered through His apostles? Some 2,000 years later, how are we to view the way the apostles did things? Is the NT way of doing things merely interesting history, or did God intend for it to be normative for all churches in every age? This session will examine the various Biblical commendations and commands to churches with respect to the tradition of the apostles. We conclude that the question is not, Do we have to do things the way they did? Rather, the question to be asked is, Why would you want to do things any other way?! Respect for our Lord who hand picked the apostles and for the Holy Spirit who led them should induce us to prefer their way of doing things to whatever our inferior wisdom might suggest.

Heresy in House Church (Primary Track #5)
One great fear people have about house churches is that they might be hotbeds for heresy. Is this a valid fear? What is heresy? How can it be detected? How should heresy be handled in house churches? What role should creeds and confessions play? Is being united around Christ versus doctrine mutually exclusive? What role should consensus play in determining doctrine? In this session we will explore the history of heretics with the church, the tactics and rouses of false teachers, and more importantly, what the Bible has to say about it.