Are home fellowships, where believers gather at the place where someone lives in order to learn about God and worship him, found in the New Testament? How many of them existed? Does God approve of them?
Our modern society is accustomed to believers of ANY faith gathering in unique buildings. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Temples, and other buildings constructed for the express purpose of worship exist throughout the world. For first century Christians, however, such dedicated structures to meet in (except for the rare Synagogue) simply did not exist. Home fellowships were, in many cases, the ONLY way believers could come together as a group, in peace and with those of the same mind, to learn about God.
There is direct evidence of the early church gathering in what we would today call 'home fellowships' for the purpose of worship and study. When Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians in 56 A.D. he mentioned a group of believers coming together each Sabbath at the place where fellow laborers Priscilla and Aquila lived (1Corinthians 16:19).
Paul wrote his epistle to Philemon sometime during 61 to 63 A.D. when he was in Rome (Acts 28). His greeting makes clear that there were Christians meeting where Philemon resided (Philemon 1 - 2).
In the area around Laodicea there appears to be have been two groups of Christians meeting. Paul's epistle to believers in Colossae makes a direct reference to a church meeting at someone's residence (Colossians 4:15). He then mentions "the church of the Laodiceans" (verse 16), which might have been another of several fellowships meeting in the area.
The Jerusalem church seems to have initially used their dwellings for food and to commune with one another (Acts 2:46). Later, church leaders used places where people lived, near the Temple, to help spread the gospel and encourage Christians in the way of God (Acts 5:42).
Before his conversion, Saul (before he became Paul) persecuted believers. Luke tells us that Saul was so zealous that he entered one dwelling after another looking for fellowships who met in order to arrest and throw them jail (Acts 8:3). Why did he do this? The answer is simple. They were the places where the church met for Biblical instruction and for learning about Jesus.