June 30, 2006
There is a stimulating discussion of the house church movement on the Christian Fellowship Forum where Spencer (Ozpen) sites Barna's research begining with message # Msg # 116158.:
Have you read the latest research from the George Barna Group on the House Church growth in the USA? See: http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrowPreview&BarnaUpdateID=241
You might be surprised at what is happening in the house church movement. This is part of what Barna writes:
Projecting these figures to the national population gives an estimate of more than 70 million adults who have at least experimented with house church participation. In a typical week roughly 20 million adults attend a house church gathering. Over the course of a typical month, that number doubles to about 43 million adults.
While many religious professionals say they are unaware of such activity, it might be because the house church is in its “ramp up” phase in the U.S. One consequence is that millions of Americans are intermittently engaged in a house church, alternating back and forth between house church and conventional church. (For clarity, the survey distinguished between involvement in a house church and participation in a small group that is associated with a conventional church.) The Barna survey revealed that of those who attend a house church, 27% attend on a weekly basis, 30% attend one to three times per month, and 43% attend less than once a month.
Why might this be that 43 million adults visit a house church every month?
This article from Christianity Today indicates that there are 60 million Chinese meeting in independent, illegal house churches: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/136/22.0.html