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Greet the brothers and sisters who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. Colossians 4:15

As a follow up to the history of house or home churches in London and area published recently in Christian Life in London, this is a guide to starting a house church, using the growing network of London Christian Fellowship International Community House Churches in London and area as a case study for how to start.

A house church or home church is a title used to describe a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship, prayer, hearing the Word and Christian rituals in private homes. The group may be part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish, but some are independent groups that see the house church as the primary form of Christian community. House churches are small gatherings of likeminded Christians who gather in the intimacy and privacy of a home rather than in a large impersonal building.

Know the raison d'être for starting a home church

House churches are started for a variety of reasons e.g.: there is no church with your belief system in the community, a church split, physical reasons and more. But the most important reason is that it is ordained by God; part of His plan for both the leaders and the to-be church community. If one of the leaders has heard from God to start a work, and it is confirmed by others, the heavy lifting begins Pastors Katy and Jeremy Males were both employed full time when they started thinking of starting a family. Very important to them was the church and kind of church they would raise their children in. They did not want to attend a church where their children would be ushered out of the service into another room. They wanted praise and worship to be a family event, especially on Sundays. They started praying for how to make that happen.

London Christian Fellowship International is a community of three house churches that meet weekly in and around the London area with a joint family meeting held in the space of Village Green church on the first Sunday of the month. But they are a relatively new network of home churches which have taken deliberate steps to first launch and now grow their community. Their commitment to truth in what they do makes the network a perfect case study for how to grow a home church.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Devout to serious prayer and Bible study

The Males knew how they wanted to raise their expected children for God. They started praying and making plans for a house church before they had that family.

They began earnest prayer for London Christian Fellowship International and made a commitment to both God and to their family. Males had a full-time career in IT before sensing God’s call to ministry. Since then, he has worked as a full-time chaplain for the Salvation Army and as well as co-pastoring LCFI part time with his wife Katy, a former teacher and full-time home maker and home school mom.

Also pastoring the church are Jason and Elisabeth Heffren. Jason works full time in the financial technology sector while also co pastoring the church alongside his wife Elisabeth who was also a full-time homemaker and home school mom for many years before recently going to work in the retail sector. For all of them bi-vocational ministry has become the way of life.

Associate with an established like-minded ministry

Pastors of this nondenominational London Christian Fellowship International network born from a Salvation Army heritage have taken the concept of family-oriented house churches and streamlined them into three churches located in and around London (London, Komoka and Ilderton). Every Sunday morning each home church hosts loving family-oriented services of Jesus focused devoted worship, sincere prayer and Scripture based teaching in a family environment.

In addition, in the fall of 2018, after a couple of years of trying to figure house church out, the Lord led the leadership to explore the house church “model” further which culminated in members of the leadership team attending the Church Intensive training at Francis Chan’s We Are Church. Through this training the leadership gained a more complete understanding of why they were making the transition other than just obedience and what house church is supposed to look like.

“For us, we want everyone to opt into sharing life, and therefore the primary context of church for them is a spiritual family of 10 to 20 people says Males.

Work in unison as pastors, elders and congregants

“This is a learning adventure for all of the community as they are listening to and being led by Holy Spirit as they learn about what being the family and kingdom of God is all about. In addition to weekly Sunday meetings and weekly zoom prayer meetings, leaders also meet once a month for leadership development. The church also runs an education night that meets twice a month for kids and adults.

Make discipleship and Bible study a goal, not just a part of the church

“Our goal is that everyone is discipled and discipling others. Everyone is exercising and being encouraged to exercise their gifts in these simple gatherings in which the whole family participates.” says Males, pastor of the Komoka church. “Our dream is that we would see regular multiplication of churches”

Who will lead and how?

It is important leaders know their gifts and callings. Males just recently took the official role as pastor because that is his gifting.

Led by three couples, members and adherents attend the house church they feel called to be part of. Once a month they gather as a group at Village Green Church in Westmount for a joint meeting. LCFI's Pastoral Leadership Team (PLT) is led by Jeremy and Katy Males and Jason and Elisabeth Heffren. Together, these individuals are responsible for providing spiritual oversight and to lead the day-to-day operations and ministries of LCFI. The PLT meets regularly with the House Church leaders and other ministry leaders to discuss ministry direction, strategy and the overall health of LCFI. The PLT are all ordained ministers with Christian Ministers Association of Canada.

Preaching and the Statement of Faith

A large part, perhaps the most important part, of starting a house church is the preaching of the Word. Who will preach? Will there be guest speakers? What will they preach? Is there written material for congregants to study?

What is the Statement of Faith? What should the leadership expect the congregants to believe as a statement of faith?

What can the congregants expect from the leadership in respect to the statement of faith and how it will be reflected in the preaching?


If praise and worship will be part of the house church meetings founders should consider if music will be live or audio. Consideration should be made as to the kind of music used, how it will be played and perhaps guest musicians.


Starting a house church is always a leap of faith. Will the community be interested? Where will the money for expenses come from? As part of the prayers and Bible study a Biblical business plan should be made as a group so leaders know the business side as well as the spiritual.

Be involved with what God is doing around the church

Always with an eye on what God is doing around them, the members of LCFI support international and local ministries including a Justice Water, an education project in Kenya, as well as sponsoring Youth with a Mission missionaries internationally and supporting the local ministry Urban Haven Project in downtown London.

LCFI has been on a journey to transitioning to a house church model from the traditional model of church since 2016. The leadership has been adjusting towards this transition in faithful obedience to the Lord’s leading. “As in other movements of God we often don’t always know the why of what we are doing other than that He is asking us to move in a certain direction.”

For more information or to speak with a house church leader contact Jeremy Males 226.236.1830 or email