What is Oikos?
1. Oikos means “house or household.”
Oikos represents a model for ministry, according to Ephesians 4:12: “Pastors and Teachers are to equip the saints—the people of God, to do the work of ministry.”Oikos is the Greek word for house or household. It is used to describe the intimate, ongoing relationships during the New Testament church. During the past 19 years, we have been working towards building the same type of relationships through our Oikos meetings.
Oikos continues to address the important role the LORD has placed on our hearts at NCFC. Pastor Jamie preached a series entitled, “Why New Covenant Fellowship Church?”based on Acts 2:42-45. He laid the groundwork for what we have done, are doing, and will continue to work towards.
2. Biblical & Historical Precedence
From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry when he called the twelve disciples, there has been an emphasis on meeting in small groups. Some refer these meetings as “cell groups”. The name comes from the smallest part of the body. Acts 2:46 tells us that they met in the temple courts and in their houses. In Acts 20, Paul, saying farewell to the Ephesians, notes that he taught them publicly and from house to house. During the first three centuries, Christians were forced to meet secretly in catacombs, because of persecution. Eventually, Constantine became emperor of Rome and made Christianity legal to practice. Christians no longer met in catacombs. Instead, Constantine created public places of worship. The shift from meeting together publicly and from house to house became only meeting publicly. There have been groups that have continued to meet in small groups, such as the Anabaptists and the Wesleyan class meetings of the Reformation period. Recently in Christendom, there has been a return to the balance between meeting together for corporate celebration and meeting in homes to encourage and build one another up. We also feel a calling to return to this balanced approach to being the Church.
3. The Need Today
Today’s hectic and individualistic society makes home groups both important and necessary. Living a balanced Christian life of meeting both in large and small groups requires a radical shift in our mindset and values:
The home group is not another program in the life of the church. It is the church.
Oikos Home Group Ministry is a priority at NCFC. We are committed to the home group ministry. Oikos leaders are solely responsible for their group, so that each Oikos can receive the best ministry.
Home groups are also important because it is our primary place for evangelism. As there is a two-fold focus to the church—seeing people come into relationship with Jesus Christ and growing in that relationship—this is also be the focus of our home groups. Oikos groups will be the place where the world will be able to see that we are the body of Christ, that the life of Christ is in us, and that this is something that they want to be a part of.
The purpose of Oikos
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” Hebrews 10:24-25
This verse allows us to understand why the church met as a small group. Oikos was for fellowship, and not for teaching. Perhaps the greatest struggle of the Church today is the trouble of intimately sharing our hearts. Oikos provides a setting where there can be both sharing and encouragement for each member.
Oikos is the place where people are edified, equipped, encouraged, and enabled to live their spiritual life. It is a community where believers are called to be accountable and transparent with one another.
Fourfold of Purposes of Oikos Group
o The Oikos group provides a vehicle for evangelism.
o It is a place where the unsaved person is given the opportunity to see God’s work in the lives of believers
o A place to assimilate newcomers and connect them to the church.
o It is a place to provide care and love for people.
o To help people grow in Christ-like
o A place for accountability
· Effective Ministry
o It is a place to equip the believers for the works of the ministry.
o It provides a place for spiritual gifts to be discovered and encouraged.
o It lives out the Biblical principle.
· Expansion of Leadership bases
o The small group is the base for the selection, training, and mobilization of leaders.
o It is the launching place of leaders into ministry.
o The group is to grow in size and eventually multiply.
What takes place at Oikos meeting?
The following happens in a typical Oikos meeting:
1. Welcome: Helping people to connect
a. Focus: Icebreaking
b. Flow: Getting connected with others
2. Worship: Leading people to experiencing the presence of Jesus
a. Focus: Jesus
b. Flow: Focus the people on Jesus
3. Word: Leading people into the Words for edification
a. Focus: Discussion of the Words and listening to what God wants to say
b. Flow: Focus on what God wants say to the group