More Information
ISBN: 9781783687206
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 12
Publication Date: 31/10/2019
Pages: 220
Language: English

Let the Church Meet in Your House!

The Theological Foundation of the New Testament House Church


The communities in which we live all suffer alienation from God and the sin, social disorder and brokenness that follows. As Christians, we yearn to see our communities saturated with the good news of Jesus Christ, but there are countless obstacles to overcome in our churches and mission agencies as we seek to fulfil this vision. In this book, Emerson Manaloto offers the model of New Testament-based house churches as the vehicle for gospel ministry in communities around the world with specific applications for the Filipino context.

Examining four areas – leaders, learners, lessons, and locations – Dr Manaloto presents foundational principles of the New Testament that can be the basis for our own contemporary churches and ministry. Manaloto critically analyzes the house church in terms of its concepts in the first century, its context in the Greco-Roman world and its practices as outlined in the New Testament. This analysis is then used to draw conclusions for how twenty-first century small groups in the Philippines can be stable, mature, and multiply, resulting in the birth of more churches locally and globally, and the transformation of lives and communities as they encounter Jesus Christ.

Author Bios

Emerson T. Manaloto

EMERSON T. MANALOTO is an Associate Pastor of Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) where he has served for twenty years. GCF is a megachurch situated in a highly urbanized city in Pasig, Metro Manila which birthed twenty-two daughter churches in the Philippines, and six in Canada. He is currently providing leadership and general oversight for creating small group venues for discipleship that lead to group reproduction and church planting. Aside from his experience in planting and leading churches, he has a DMin in Pastoral Leadership from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, and a passion for innovative, biblical methods of discipleship.


Emerson Manaloto combines biblical perspectives with contemporary practical concerns to address the pressing need for a view of the church that shifts priorities from programs to people. He competently and accurately sketches the profile of the New Testament church and then suggests ways that vision might be carried out in the Filipino church that he is so familiar with.

Douglas J. Moo, PhD
Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA
Chair, Committee on Bible Translation

In the contemporary church age, “small groups” have made a significant impact upon the maturity, growth and discipleship of the church. While much literature has been published, Pastor Emerson Manaloto’s vital contribution lies in two significant ways. He presents a keen survey of the biblical, theological and sociological ramifications of small groups and house churches, as well as a practical assessment of the effective implementation of this pertinent church dynamic to the Filipino church. We can certainly learn from it!

Rev Edmund Chan
Leadership Mentor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church, Singapore
Founder, Global Alliance of Intentional Disciplemaking Churches

One of the persistent challenges in global Christianity is to wrestle with what it means to be the gathered people of God in a world where traditions and institutions are increasingly being questioned. How can we more fully shape our life together in the light of the biblical story as a way of worship, formation and service to the world? In this very readable text, Dr Manaloto gives us some answers from within a Southeast Asian context for being church as community rather than as institution.

Charles Ringma, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, Asian Theological Seminary, Manila, Philippines
Emeritus Professor, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
Honorary Research Associate Professor, Studies in Religion, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Having studied small group ministry myself and having lived for years in the Filipino context, I have followed this study as it developed in our church. Many here in Asia have copied the latest small group models from North and South America, South Korea, and Singapore, but this is a Filipino model fit for the Filipino context, based on the historical and biblical perspective of the New Testament church. All of this is foundational for further theological and practical development of small group ministry for the future.

Frank Pardue, DMin
Asia Director, WorldVenture

What makes this book an important contribution to the study of small groups is itsconsideration of both the New Testament and the Filipino contexts. We have a saying in Filipino, Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan (Those who do not know how to look back from where they came will never reach their destination). Dr Manaloto goes back to his own history and culture in order to understand the challenges confronting Filipinos in the application of New Testament principles. The result is the much-needed contextual interpretation of the biblical teaching of home/house groups.

Federico Villanueva, PhD
Asia Regional Commissioning Editor, Langham Publishing
Scholar Care Coordinator, Asia, Langham Scholars

Table of Contents

  1. List of Figures
  2. List of Tables
  3. Foreword
  4. Preface
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. 1. Introduction
    1. A. Background of the Study
    2. B. Thesis Statement
    3. C. Purpose of the Study
    4. D. Research Methodology
    5. E. Limitations of the Study
    6. F. Literature Review (Condensed and Updated)
      1. 1. House Churches
      2. 2. Small Groups
    7. G. Theological Foundation of the NT House Church (Overview)
    2. The Church and House Churches in the First Century
    1. A. Concepts of a Church and a House Church
      1. 1. First-Century Church
      2. 2. First-Century House Church
    2. B. Context of Greco-Roman House Churches
      1. 1. Archaeological Perspective
      2. 2. Historical Perspective
      3. 3. Biblical Perspective
    3. C. Content of New Testament House Church Practices
      1. 1. House Church Leaders: Sharing of Leadership
      2. 2. House Church Learners: Shepherding of Families
      3. 3. House Church Lessons: Searching of Scriptures
      4. 4. House Church Locations: Saturating of Cities
    3. The Church and Small Groups in the Twenty-First Century
    1. A. Concepts of a Church and a Small Group
      1. 1. Twenty-First Century Church
      2. 2. Twenty-First Century Small Group
    2. B. Context of Filipino Small Groups
      1. 1. Concerns of Filipino Small Groups
      2. 2. Culture of Filipinos
      3. 3. Comparison of Two Worlds
    3. C. Content of Small Group Theology
      1. 1. Small Group Leaders: Volunteer-Based Ministry
      2. 2. Small Group Learners: Home-Focused Community
      3. 3. Small Group Lessons: Bible-Centered Teaching
      4. 4. Small Group Locations: Spirit-Directed Mission
    4. Research Findings and Summary5. Conclusion
    1. A. Recommendations for Further Research
    2. B. Future Plans for Project Implementation
  7. Appendix 1: The “Stairs” Diagram of a Church
  8. Appendix 2: The GCF’s Growth Group Ministry
  9. Appendix 3: A Sample Study Guide Lesson
  10. Appendix 4: A Sample Action Plan
  11. Bibliography