The term “church” in the New Testament refers never to a building or a place but rather to a body of believers—“The called out ones unto the Lord.” For the first three hundred years of the New Testament, the church primarily and solely met in homes.

And Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house (Philemon 1:2, ESV).
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, (Acts 2:46, ESV).
The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 16:19, ESV).
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. (Acts 5:42, ESV).
How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, (Acts 20:20, ESV).
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42).
Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. (Romans 16:5, ESV).

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. (Romans 16:1-5, ESV).
Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. (Colossians 4:15, ESV).
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2, ESV).

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20, ESV).

Whether it was persecution throughout the Roman Empire or because of Jewish persecution that forced them into homes, the fact remains that homes were the predominate places of worship throughout the New Testament. This means that every one of the commands in the New Testament, every one of the ordinances in the New Testament and every one of the interactions in the New Testament has to be seen through the lens of a church meeting in a home or a box. While this idea seems strange to the North American ear, it is in fact the closet concept to understanding how the New Testament Church functioned.

This is what Box Church wants to get back to—doing church in the way that the New Testament feels most at home.

Why the name Box Church?

Box Church represents three things:

(1) Doing church outside the box.
I want you to think about church, especially in the US, for one moment. When we say the word “church,” what do we mean? For many people, that means “go to church.” But let me ask you, when does the New Testament use the language, “go to church?” “Church,” according to the New Testament does not refer to a place or a building. It refers to a people—“the called out ones unto the Lord.” Therefore, according to the Scriptures, we don’t “go to church” but rather we ARE the church. We are the people of God. That should cause a major shift in our thinking.
Think also about the status of how church is traditionally done in the US. In thinking about the church today, would you say that it closely models the church found in the New Testament? Every pastor and church member to which I’ve asked this question have unequivocally said, “No” without hesitation.
Think also about the health of the traditional church today. Is the traditional church growing or declining? According to statistics, in 1990, 20.4% of the US population attended an Orthodox Christian church on a given Sunday. Conversely, that means 79.6% of the population did not. Reason with that for a bit. Would you say that any organization is successful if it had a failure rate of almost 80%? NO! And, what is happening to that number? In 2000, that percentage dropped to 18.7% and in 2004 it dropped again to 17.4%. Today, that number is estimated to be around 15%. If present trends continue, the percentage of the population that attends church in 2050 will be half of what it was in 1990. In other words, we cannot continue doing church the way that we’ve always done it. Something has to change.
Think also about population statistics. In the same time frame that the church population has decreased, the general population has substantially increased in the US. The US population has grown by an estimated 20%, or 50 million people, over that same time period. The church as it stands and is modeled today in the US, can’t keep up with the population growth. That is a problem. 
Think about a great move of God. In your city, if everyone came under conviction and decided to attend a church in your city on the same Sunday, would there be enough seats in all the churches to hold all the people in your city? Chances are, for most answering this question, the answer would be, “No.” So in thinking about this, if God wanted to do a great work among His people, the system is actually limiting Him from doing that.
This is why we must think outside the box when it comes to church.

(2) “Box” refers to the place in which you meet.
If we move away from the traditional way of doing church, what’s the alternative? Think about your house, your dorm room, your apartment, your hut, your classroom, your office. How are these environments ever disqualified in our minds from housing a church? In reality, they’re just small boxes, and everybody has one. This means that the number of boxes for Box Church to exist in all over the earth is unlimited.
In any given neighborhood, or apartment, there are a plethora of already built sites. They are already paid for and they are already air conditioned! We’ve already stated that believers in the New Testament primarily met in homes (boxes) and that every command and instruction in the New Testament has to be seen through this lens. Since when did 20 people meeting in a box not become a viable option for church? Not only is it a viable option, Box Church believes that it is the most Biblical option.

(3) Box Church means “Church in a Box.” 
You say, “Well that’s great, but I’m not a pastor. How could I start a church in my box?” Here’s the deal. Box Church will give you everything you need for doing church. Preaching, Worship, Instructions on how to live out the commands of Christ, Communion, Baptism, How to Share Your Faith, Functioning in Community, Spiritual Gifting, Spiritual Discipline, How to tell others about God, Marital Counseling, Pre-Marital Counseling, Weddings, Funerals, and on and on. Again, Box Church wants to give you EVERYTHING you need for doing church. It is more than just a sermon. It is a box of goods to help you live out the mission of the church right where you are. We aren’t asking anyone to launch or lead a church on their own, but rather Box Church will give you the tools to do church and be the church right where you are.

How It Works

Box Church exists online.
The Apostle Paul was a pioneer. He was called by God to take the Good News of Jesus (Gospel) to the Gentiles. How could he accomplish such a massive task? He used the technology of his day. What was the technology of his day? Letter writing. He wrote from other cites or from jail and sent those letters (the Epistles) to the congregations that were started, first to one and then passed on to others. He was able to communicate with them without being present with them. He was able to be in several places all at once, just by using the written word. Think about if Paul had access to the internet! He would definitely use it. This is what Box Church wants to embrace, not run away from.

Any Smart TV, Smart Device, Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop will take you to Box Church. Every week, you will be able to watch a Box Church message, follow a Box Church order of worship and access tons resources for doing church in your box.

Box Church exists at any time. Since Box Church is not live, your Box can meet on any day of the week, at any time during the week and follow our order of worship—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday!

Wait a second! Aren’t the only “worship” days Saturday or Sunday? Let’s talk about traditions for one second, specifically the tradition of Saturday only worship or Sunday only worship. What is the traditional day for Sabbath according to the Old Testament? Saturday. Jews throughout the centuries and currently in present day life, worship God on Saturday. When the Christian church burst onto the scene, they began to worship on the first day of the week as evidenced in Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. We know the first day to be Sunday. What changed in these Jewish men and women? The Resurrection! Jesus rose on the first day of the week.

But, let’s explore this a little bit further. For every Christ-follower, Jesus IS our Sabbath Rest. We have Jesus every single day. We find our joy and our relationship IN Him. The physical principle of Sabbath remains. We physically need to rest from our normal work during the course of our week. Six days are used for working, one day is for resting from our work. But, we also need to look at Sabbath with spiritual eyes. Sabbath is not just to be celebrated ONE day of the week, but rather it is to be celebrated EVERY DAY of the week because of Jesus and what He has done. This means that Jesus, who is our Sabbath Rest, can be worshiped (and should be worshiped) on any and every day of the week because every day is sacred and every day is holy before Him.

Box Church exists in community.
This is not “doing church” by yourself by listening to a podcast or a sermon on TV. No! It is living out the Gospel centered life with other believers. It is doing life as a family, using Box Church resources to help you fulfill that Biblical calling.

Think about 20 people in your box versus 2,000 people in a traditional church. In which model is accountability more functional? In a traditional model, it’s easy to blend in, arrive late, leave early and never really be known or seen. It can often be a great place to hide. But, think about accountability in the context of a box. You can’t really hide. If you don’t show up, everyone will know it. If you are having marital problems, everyone will know about it. But, don’t let this thought intimidate you. It’s exactly what the New Testament has in mind when it comes to church! The same can be said for spiritual gifts, spiritual disciplines, helping people become more like Jesus, and taking care of the needs of others. The New Testament church functions in community, and community is best understood in the context of a box.

What Are The Benefits?

Unleashing God’s People.
When a typical person walks into a traditional church, what happens? Many people come in, sit, absorb, receive and leave. You see it all the time. They arrive late and leave early. They’ve done their duty for the week. You’ve heard the adage, “20% of the people do 80% of the work.” Is this how the church should function? Shouldn’t we empower people to serve; Not just to fill a spot as a greeter at the door or a volunteer in the nursery but to help people find and fulfill their God given spiritual gift? Shouldn’t this be the role of the New Testament Church? What Box Church dreams about is seeing everyone of its people operating in his or her spiritual gift. The gifts of mercy, administration, hospitality, serving, giving, shepherding...all of the spiritual gifts can be easily displayed within the context of your box. Isn’t this what the New Testament commands? Weren’t these same spiritual gifts that are found in the New Testament operational in their New Testament boxes? Yes! It’s a natural place to unleash the services and gifting of God’s people within the community of faith.

Unleashing God’s Resources.
When you give to a traditional model church, to where does all of that money go? It goes to building funds, building maintenance, insurance, electricity, A/C, and on and on. David Platt, the former director of the International Mission Board is quoted as saying that the average church in North America gives .05% to global causes. Not 5% but .05%. That was shocking to me when I first heard that. Is this what God has in mind for His resources?
What if there was something different? What if the money you give goes to no capital campaigns and no building maintenance but rather to two things: MISSIONS and MINISTRY? Here’s how it works in Box Church. As people in your box tithe, a certain portion of that tithe goes back to the Box Church office for salaries and ministry costs. The majority of that tithe stays with your box.
Do you understand the potential of this concept? ALL of the tithe left in your box will go toward two things: Ministry and Missions. Think about all of those resources leveraged in the Kingdom of God for Kingdom work! Think about all the Box Churches all over the world being freed up to actually change the world because God’s resources are being used God’s way.
Look how it was done in the book of Acts:

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, NLT).

There were no needs among God’s people. None. Imagine if someone in your Box Church lost their job. You could use those resources within your box to take care of that family. If someone had an illness and medical bills, your Box Church could provide for them. If someone in the community was in need of assistance, your Box Church could tangibly show them the love of Jesus. If there was a need in the world, your box could meet it.

This is truly the fulfillment of what God wants to once again accomplish through His Church.

Unleashing God’s Church.
Box Church asks every church not just to add but to multiply. What if every box church identified a potential leader of the next box church within their current box with the idea of raising that leader up to start a new box in one year? Think about the leaders the Kingdom would be producing and releasing! Think about the harvest of people that will come to Christ because of intentional relationships and teaching people to be like Christ! Box Church wants to truly release God’s Church into its full potential.

Uniting God’s World.
If Box Churches can be started in any box, in any place on the globe, the world becomes a much smaller place. Think about moving from one place to another place on planet earth. You never have to leave your church! You are automatically connected because you can take Box Church with you. Think about kids going off to college. Think about missionaries going overseas. Think about moving from one state to another or one country to another. Box Church can literally be started anywhere there is online capability.
Think about the world worshipping with you as you worship in your own box. What if 20 states in the United States contained a Box Church and 5 countries around the world contained a Box Church? You would no longer be worshipping on a local level but a national level and a global level! What a thought!
A Global Church with no overhead that mimics the New Testament Church. That’s Box Church.