A House Church is a church meeting in a private home, rather than a designated building.
There are three main reasons why churches meet in private homes:
- The church is in the start-up phase, and does not have the resources to build a designated building or to lease suitable temporary space.
- There is a movement which considers traditional churches to be "apostate" and see the house church as the only Biblical way to meet.
- Under oppressive governments, house churches meet because it is the only relatively safe way to do so as their faith dictates (the government may operate "public churches" but they are operated only for show to visiting delegates from other countries, as a deceptive means of claiming they practice freedom of religion, and attendance is limited to hand-picked supporters of the regime).