Why you can no longer ignore the emerging house church movement

Don’t look for the elephant in the room. Look instead at the colonies of mice that have burrowed inside the furniture and are now taking over the house.

“The latest research indicates that the number of house churches in Europe have already reached or surpassed 10,000, Australia could have up to 10,000, and New Zealand up to 6,000 house churches. Research in the US shows that between 6 and 12 million are already attending house churches, making house churches one of the three largest Christian groups in the country. In the case of Bangladesh or India, with many hundreds of thousands of house churches, the various networks of house churches have already become the largest Christian movements in their respective countries.”

Wolfgang Simson, in the report he sent me this morning from last weeks summit in Delhi, India. Global House Church Summit report.pdf

Previously on TSK: Tiny is the new small, House churches 1% – 9% in a decade, Emerging house church movement, George Barna on house church, House churches have no sex appeal.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I had no idea the house church movement was so large. That’s a LOT of folks going that route.
    What’s interesting is that if this was common knowledge, I have a feeling it would allow others (perhaps like myself) to feel more comfortable making that sort of move.

  • TSK – Can you tell me what is to prevent the “young and fit” from fleeing to house churches, leaving the indigent and the old and weak in conventional churches that can no longer fund their own mission?
    Not even that this is common but what is to prevent it?

  • Interesting ….. Do you have a link to whever wrote the original report? As a NZ house churcher (who is also tall & skinny … but not so extreme as you) – we have a list of all the hc we have found in NZ on our website …. only about 100 … so I’d estimate maybe 500 hc max in NZ …. hence I’m curious where the 6000 number comes from … hopefully it’s from a NZer involved in HC.
    There are only about 3000 ‘organised’ churches in NZ, so 6000 hc would make that twice as many …. unbelievable actually.

  • @Jeff Rensch – exactly. I’m a pastor of one of those churches. Happy to serve the elderly, etc., but the funding for the mission will not hold.
    Some will say that they didn’t change with the times; can it be said that the young and fit fled the mission and left the “uncool” behind?

  • Being reasonably connected with the H/C thing in New Zealand as well, and being Church in our home, I agree with David Allis’s comments. Wolfgang is completly off the mark in regards to here. (my rough estimate would be about 350 house churches). This then brings into question the rest of the statistics Wolfgang uses?

  • Y-e-e-a-a-h, I’m with David. As a house churcher, those numbers just don’t *feel* right here in North America (I mean if they were, Frank Viola would be out-selling Joel Osteen!), and if they’re not accurate here then I doubt they are in ‘far off’ places like India either. Can we see the research methodology, please?

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