People have lost faith in many collective institutions: government, corporations, the media, and the church. We are in the midst of a spiritual disaster, a flood of biblical proportions, and house churches provide lifeboats for people who are seeking a more authentic, life-giving form of Christian community. Many people remember that the early church started in homes, but they don't understand that house churches are still a legitimate and viable model today. House churches can create the intimacy so many people are hungry for. They can nurture life-changing discipleship for individuals and create justice-centered communities. Networked house churches can become truly diverse, multi-ethnic communities that spread the Gospel by emphasizing practices over programs. These communities de-center the preacher, opting instead for grassroots organizing, but are not leaderless -- they are leader-full. Church Comes Home provides an alternative model for denominations and established churches to consider. It will help pastors reconnect with the traditions of community organizing, itinerant preaching, and discipleship training that sparked Methodism and other church movements in the United States. Church Comes Home offers alternative ways to look at some of the problems facing our church and our culture.
David L. Barnhart, Jr., grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Holmes Street and Trinity United Methodist Churches. He and his wife, Angela, have a son named Leo. David went to college at Oglethorpe University, earned his M.Div. from Candler School of Theology, and finished his Ph.D. in Homiletics and Social Ethics at Vanderbilt University. He currently serves as associate pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he leads Contact, the contemporary worship service, and directs his church's mission and outreach programs.