Nameless Church Keeps Things Simple

November 24, 2008 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

nameless-church-people.jpgWhile some Christian congregations have built multi-million-dollar
“mega-churches” in recent years, others have opted for a different
route.


Signs popped up this fall in parts of Indianapolis, Greenfield and New
Castle announcing “Bible meetings.” The talks, it turned out, are
supported by a group of Christians who prefer to keep things simple.

This group, unaffiliated with any religious denomination, owns no
church buildings. Believers hold Sunday morning fellowship meetings in
one another’s homes.

Outreach meetings, such as those being
advertised on the signs, are being held in such diverse settings as a
United Auto Workers hall, a medical building and a banquet hall owned
by another church.

The group does not even have an official name,
with members saying they find no record of Jesus’ followers taking any
self-made name. They want to remain true to that example.

Martin Hnizdil, a minister involved with the group, recently answered several questions by e-mail.

Question: What’s the basis for moving away from affiliating with denominations or having church buildings?

Answer:
The basic foundation for our fellowship is the example of Christ and
the church that he established. He came to fulfill the Old Testament
with the temple of God as a building, but he taught souls to worship in
spirit and truth. Jesus didn’t ever promote a building program. We have
no church buildings or church property. This frees us to gather in the
homes without financial bondage.

Q: And your church — this network of home churches — does not even have a name?

A:
We take no business-denominational name because we are not a business
with property or budgets. We’re simply seeking to live as Christians.
We pay taxes as individuals and have no church tax exemptions.

Q:
How long, to your knowledge, have members of your faith tradition been
gathering in homes on Sunday mornings here in Central Indiana?

A: As far as I know, there have been fellowship groups meeting in the homes in the Indianapolis area since the early 1900s.

Q:
How would you summarize your basic view of Christianity? Is there a
certain strain of Christian belief with which people might be familiar
that you would endorse?

A: Our strain of Christianity
is based on the specific teachings of Jesus. We must be born again of
the Holy Spirit and baptized by water. The ministry he sent forth —
ministers without homes of their own — enables us to be free to live
and keep the work of the church full time in our lives. The church
meets in the homes of believers, with believers loving and caring for
each other as a family.

Q: So your ministers, no matter where they work, essentially operate as homeless missionaries?

A:
Yes, the main work of the ministry is to reach out and be available to
help any who are seeking a fellowship with God and with others in the
church.

Q: Who are the ministers for this group?

A:
The ministry is made up of men and women who have committed their
entire lives to the work of the Gospel. We are supported by individuals
moved to share by the Holy Spirit. My co-worker Jon Knochenmus and I
work together in the Indianapolis area, and we work in cooperation with
others in the state and others across the world.

Q: Across the world? To how many countries has this nameless home-church fellowship spread?

A: I wouldn’t know the exact number, but we’re in most countries of the world.

Source: Indianapolis Star

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