Alt-church format brainstorm

I’m going to read a book on home churches but this is what I came up with on my own.

-Find a group of 2 to 15 right-wing or right wing-sympathetic Christians disillusioned with modern degeneracy tolerated by organized denominations
-Sunday afternoon/evening default time, unless more people can make another time work
-Whoever has the best space hosts (no switching around)
-Whoever is highest functioning in the group always leads the meeting. If there’s a conflict between the leader and the host we defer to the leader but the host may make any rules they’d like restricting access to their home and property, provided they’re written down and consistent. If they become too onerous then someone else with a more amenable space should host.
-Err on the side of caution when inviting new people into your home. Treat safety issues like dating- never meet someone for the first time in your home. If someone brings a friend you don’t know or someone new shows up without forewarning the answer is always “No, let’s get acquainted over coffee in a public place first.” You do NOT have a Christian obligation to endanger your family out of a misguided sense of “helping” someone who could be a homeless derelict or a predator! If someone in your group thinks otherwise tell them to start their own Alt-church and take on the risks themselves.
-Regardless of context, a man may not be alone with anyone except another man in a private place. A church may not be composed of only one man and one woman. That is a date. If this happens by accident they must separate immediately.
-Bring a potluck dish to share or bring ingredients early to cook together (coordinate this with host), prep before meeting starts
-Sing along with 3 worship songs on YouTube (12 minutes). High-functioning leader picks songs beforehand. If someone plays an instrument, that’s better. Yes, everyone has to sing, that’s the expectation in corporate worship.
-Watch a sermon on YouTube (30 minutes)
-Discussion of sermon using rules more or less plagiarized from Al-Anon (30 minutes)
-Finish prep and eat dinner, chill out for a bit (60 minutes)
-Optional: split the sexes into separate social groups to talk about real life shit, tobacco mandatory for men (but not really, unfortunately)
-First names only, no written member rolls. We have to assume Chinese-style religious persecution in the next couple of decades. If not, great, but better to err on the side of too paranoid.

I don’t know how Catholics would have to modify this to make sure you stand up and sit down several times or whatever makes it all official. Maybe you can do some burpees. This is written from a nondenominational Protestant perspective. Please criticize potential weaknesses.

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6 Responses to Alt-church format brainstorm

  1. Mycroft Jones says:

    Good list. Recommend adding Bible reading to it. I believe reading the Bible out loud should take up at least as much time as any sermon listening. Church isn’t about protecting people from the Bible (to paraphrase evangelical scholar and archaeologist Michael Heiser) Glad you included the discussion afterwards, too many groups leave that out and it turns into one man using it as his platform to sermonize.

    For the singing along to hymns, there is a website that makes sheet music available for this, in copyright free PDF form for use with overhead projectors. Even people who can’t really read music can get some help from having musical notation along with the words. Instruments distract and lead to a performance mentality. For the size of group you mention, 2-15 people, voice only is the ideal. A bit of quiet instrument, like piano or guitar to set the tempo and show people the melody and harmony, can help. Especially in today’s age when most musical ability and knowledge have been lost. If you have a trained musician who can be “song leader”, this is how Amish and Mennonites do it. They don’t use instruments. With a bit of training and practice, almost any group can sing well enough to do without instruments, and sound damned fine doing so.

    Tobacco? Huh? Better to specificy that there will be breaking of bread and sharing of red wine, real wine, not grape juice. One old Puritan rule was that it is mandatory to bring a gun to church. I think it should be revived. No pussy pacifists in Church. No fire on a Sabbath; if Church is on your sabbath, shouldn’t be lighting a cigarette.

    Traditionally, in Christianity and before, the timing would be in the morning, then you do the potluck at lunch, then enjoy the rest of the day. Putting a limit on it like that stops it from dragging on too long, and keeps peoples appetite whetted for the next Sunday.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Good advice generally. I think I’ll add the Bible reading to the minimums and add the rest (e.g. guns) as optional material. It’s my preference but not a dealbreaker.

      Tobacco was just a nod to the tobacco cult, people can do whatever here.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Speaking of, the distinction between preference and dealbreaker is useful for pre-screening on both ends. KJV only, women-only groups, music preferences, no gays, that kind of thing.

        • Mycroft Jones says:

          Yes, it is good to agree on a Bible translation to use. I’m ok with the KJV, and would accept the NIV, but definitely not the Amplified Bible. Then there are the people who come in and insist on saying “Yahweh” instead of Lord, that almost always is a sign they will be trouble.

  2. boneflour says:

    Sounds pretty close to the Amish method. Pretty solid.

  3. Pingback: Home churches in the Black Iron Prison | Aeoli Pera

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