Every religion needs a holy place where its followers and devotees can easily remember and worship God. A place of worship is a location that helps people feel closer to God. It attracts them to follow His commands and orders. People who are more religious visit the religious sites regularly or weekly to offer their worship to their God. The same is the concept of worshipping in Christianity. People like to worship in churches to show their love for God and Jesus.
Gathering as a group for worship is essential for Christians, according to Matthew’s Gospel. When Christians came to worship Jesus, he promised that he would be around. One of the reasons Catholics think Jesus is present at the Mass is because of this reason.
Now, Christians can easily worship wherever they want without any hurdles. But this wasn’t the case during the initial phases of Christianity. They had to face many challenges and threats. So, where did the early Christians meet to worship? Let’s find out.
Christians Worship: Background
Many Romans and Jews found early Christian worship to be perplexing and revolting. Spectators misunderstood and misinterpreted early Christian worship. Jews, for instance, were enraged by Christians because they revered a man named Jesus. Only God must be adored, according to Jews. This thought was blasphemous to people who did not grasp that Jesus was both entirely God and a man.
Christians upset the Romans since they were more personal and private. Decent folks in Rome worshipped the same God and did so as a group. It was thought that these gods were responsible for the Roman Empire’s wealth and success. The Christians placed Rome in danger of enraging their gods by denying worshiping them.
Moreover, atheism was associated with Christianity. It was misinterpreted as a sinful habit that would lead to homicide and other heinous acts. All of these ideas arose due to Christianity’s radical departure from societal norms. The Romans were familiar with Jewish religion and monotheism, but they were unfamiliar with this new religion called Christianity.
Christians swore their loyalty to Jesus Christ, their new leader. This was considered treasonous to the Roman Empire. As per the Jews, it was seen as a serious sin that required them to repent and return to God. With all the rumors and numerous perspectives, it’s challenging to know what to believe. Hence the Christians struggled since neither Romans nor Jews liked this new religion and how it impacted their faith and its teachings. Christians were not allowed to worship openly, and hence Christians had to look for other places to worship.
Where Did Early Christians Worship?
Because of the early Church’s rapid development and novelty, members had to assemble especially. At the start, they didn’t have churches or any plans to establish them. They would not have constructed churches as people see them now if oppression had been still on the rise as it was back then.
According to the book of Acts, the Lord contributed to the formation of the church regularly. As a result, they would not have been capable of building churches quickly enough to keep up with the church’s growth rate. The early Church was a campaign of church founding.
Following are some common places where Christians used to worship.
Houses were one of the most typical venues for early Church disciples to gather. The gatherings would be held in the homes or estates of various church members. As a result, many modern liberals argue that contemporary churches should return to the house church structure.
It’s impossible to say how big these home churches were. They came in a variety of sizes and were spread over different continents. Christians shared dinners and lived their lives together. They gathered regularly to support each other in the Lord’s mission. They changed their ideas and acts from old habits to devotion to Christ and His principles as a group.
The Temple and Synagogue
The Synagogue was also an important place where the Early Christians gathered to worship God. They did not engage in offerings, but they did proclaim Christ’s message. Paul was well-known for preaching at synagogues. “Saul spent many days with the companions in Damascus,” says Acts 9:19–20. He began preaching in the synagogues right once that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Followers gathered in the temple halls to study Jesus Christ’s teachings and the countless marvels accompanying His announcement.
According to the book of Acts 2:42–47: “They committed themselves to the prophets’ teaching and company, to the dividing of food and prayer. Everyone was awestruck by the prophets’ numerous miracles and signs. All of the followers were together in one place and shared everything. They sacrificed their belongings and sold their land to help others in need. They proceeded to gather in the temple courtyards every day. They split bread in their houses and ate together with pleasure and sincerity, thanking God and basking in the favor of all. And the Lord increased to their ranks those who were rescued daily.”
Our Final Thoughts
Christians suffered a lot during their initial days. Due to them being a minority, they were prohibited from worshipping at att. They had to worship at their homes or meet at secret places and temples to worship God. Christianity progressed, and Christians became more and more independent as time passed. As they progressed as a religion, the places of worship grew. Churches were constructed in different cities and areas to facilitate people in worshipping God with full zeal and devotion. The question “Where did the early Christian meet to worship?” has several answers depending on the time frame you’re considering. But one common factor that helps understand the importance of Christian worship is that no matter what challenges and hurdles they face, Christians never turn away from worshipping their God.