Duncan and Rhonda Stewart started Agape Simple Church House Fellowship which is a lay-led house church in Colchester, Essex. In 2021 they both felt the Lord was leading them to set up a simple house fellowship to reach secular and unchurched people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is Christ’s body in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” Agape Simple Church house fellowship is set up to function like the Acts church, which is church in its simplest form without the bells and whistle. The Acts 2:42 church was simple in that they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, to prayer and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are a biblically based church family that meet in homes. We are truth believers. We are Christ centred. We are the Church not a building. We come from different backgrounds. We are non-denominational, God's Word not man's rules.
The house church concept is not new as we can see that in the very beginning they gathered in each others homes and the temple courts. The Temple Courts, as a public gathering place, were used for mass gatherings for teaching, evangelism, prayer etc and were utilized for what one might term as multi-church gatherings. Breaking of bread refers to eating meals and is what the phrase means as used in the New Testament. Included in its meaning here would be the Lord’s Supper (as a full meal), as well as their ordinary daily meals the rest of the week. From this point the temple gatherings fade from view completely as the church spread outside of Jerusalem and eventually to the Gentiles.
The temple was then a complete irrelevance (being eventually destroyed, of course, in AD 70), and we are left with the simple fact that whenever particular and specific churches are located in scripture they are always, without exception, in people’s homes. Acts 8:3 “But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.” We here see that each church Saul (later to become Paul the Apostle) destroyed was found in a house. (It is interesting to note here that meeting in houses didn’t protect the early churches from persecution in any way, and their persecutors knew exactly whose homes they were meeting in. The explanation sometimes given that the New Testament churches met in houses because of persecution is without biblical merit. Even when there was no persecution of believers – and systemic persecution against Christians in general didn’t arise until the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth Century – churches throughout New Testament times, and well beyond, met in people homes.
So what does this mean we meet in homes, will stay in homes and will not be boxed into buildings, Jesus is the true head of the church and we are non denominational. Jesus died for the church not denominations. However, we are not alone and forming relationships with other house churches that meet in homes here in the UK and beyond. Furthermore we have a wonderful Core Team that support us and help us to keep focus on the real purpose of the church which is to 1) teach biblical doctrine, 2) provide a place of fellowship for believers, 3) observe the Lord’s supper, 4) pray and 5) share the gospel message. Amen. See the Agape Simple Church house fellowship introduction video below.