In their book, “Starting a House Church,” Larry Kreider and Floyd McClung, give a good representation of different models/expressions of churches. We believe that God can work in each of these models as long as they remain based on a Biblical government. The three styles of churches as described by Kreider and McClung are: Community Churches, Mega-Churches and House Church Networks.

Community Church

“In nearly every city around the world, you can find what we call community churches.” Most of these churches meet in a church facility each Sunday morning in addition to holding various meetings at the church building throughout the week. There are many styles and flavors of community churches, such as: the Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Vineyard, Assemblies of God, nondenominational, and independent flavors—the list goes on…

The community church reminds us of the local community store. Where do you buy your groceries? You probably shop at a local grocery store in your community; you may walk to a shop around the corner. Some neighborhood stores are larger than others, some are independent, whereas, others are part of a larger chain; you may even personally know the clerks and where specific items are shelved.

You go to the community store because it’s close to where you live. Likewise, community churches are places that serve your local area, offering that small-town feel…Proximity and ease of access are a big part of the nature of the community church as they are of community grocery stores.

Mega-Church

Mega churches are like superstores. For those in Europe, Tesco Extra may be an example that comes to mind; in America, perhaps Wal-Mart.
Larry and Floyd go on to describe the mega-church in this way:

“People will drive hours to shop [at a superstore]…because they love the low prices, the huge inventory of consumer products and the fact that they can get all they need in one place at one time.

Mega-churches…are large and offer an abundance of services to the churchgoer…everything is easily accessible in one location. However, unlike the community church where a member may know nearly everyone, a mega-churchgoer is likely to know only a few people.”

House Church Networks:

“The entire concept of house churches requires a different way of thinking than we have been used to. Believers in these micro-churches do not focus on growing larger like the community church or the mega-church. They focus on growth by multiplication into new house churches.
House churches are small, and therefore, can meet anywhere—in a house, a college dorm room, a coffee shop or a corporate boardroom. They meet in these locations and do not think of growing larger, which would require the construction of a building to accommodate the larger group. Instead, they say, ‘How can we multiply leaders and start more house churches?’ and ‘How can we walk together as house-church leaders?’

A house-church network is analogous to stores in a shopping mall. If the average store found in a shopping mall was taken out of the mall to stand on its own, it would die within a year—each specialized store flourishes only within the cluster of the others. The normal store in a shopping mall needs the other stores to survive, yet each store remains a ‘store’ in its own right, despite its larger context within the mall.

House churches function like these shopping mall stores—they are individual and specialized, yet they can only thrive when they are networked together with other house churches.”
Outside of these descriptions by Larry and Floyd, we would go further to say that we recognize two types of house-church networks; though the second is probably better described as a micro-church network. Many of the structures and principles are the same; the difference is that the micro-church desires to grow larger than just a small gathering so it can enjoy some of the benefits of a community church. It commits to multiply and grow between 40-100 people, making it easy to find places available to rent for a reasonable rate. These micro-churches aim to multiply before the complexities of larger facilities, multiple staff members, and more complex structures are required.

We believe that an important aspect of any type of church gathering is the establishment of Biblical leadership and eldership. We affirm God’s authority working through humble and servant-hearted leadership is a necessary part of the church, and we believe in accountability within the network that honors those God has placed into leadership. The ultimate goal of the church is to know God and make Him known.