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Where Did the New Testament Church Meet?

by Mario Vega

In the beginning of the book of Acts, Luke places the first Christian meetings in the city of Jerusalem. The meetings took place in the upper room where the apostles, some women, and the mother of Jesus were gathered. At that time, many houses, like the upper room, met upstairs. Some people believe that the upper room in Acts 2 was the same room where Jesus ate his last Passover.

Later on in Acts, Luke describes other Christian meetings in homes. For example, Luke zooms in on a house church meeting in Mary´s house, the mother of John Mark. According to Luke, Mary’s house had a lobby and a door with direct access to the street. Rhoda, a slave, is also mentioned which tells us that a wealthy family met in this large house. Later on, Luke narrates Saul´s persecutions, and we read, “Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison” (Acts 8:3). This verse tells us that Saul knew exactly where to find Christians: in the houses.

Years later, when the city of Thessalonica was caught up in a wild frenzy against Paul and Silas, the mutineers went to the house of Jason looking for them. Why? Once again, the house was the primary place of worship and meeting for the primitive Christians.

As we continue reading in the book of Acts, we will always come to the same conclusion: the early Christians met in houses. When the church today returns to house to house ministry, it will recover the model of the New Testament church, and this motivation in itself, will be the greatest incentive for every Christian to serve and minister.

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