From the Pastor’s Desk (123)
Over the past four or five years, we have tried house church rest month during the summer, typically in June or July. The main reason for this was because many New Life members responded positively and faithfully to the leadership’s challenge and encouragement to go on a short term summer mission trip. There were times when a third of New Life members were on mission trips, making house church gatherings difficult. Moreover, until Pastor Tae came on board as our Missions Pastor, house churches were encouraged to visit their missionaries. The house churches that followed through on this instruction found it very difficult to have their regular house church meetings during the summer because the majority of their members were on the mission field. However, the situation has changed due to New Life’s numeric growth and our strategic focus on missions in Southeast Asia.
Also, over the years, I have noticed two things about house church rest month. First, many house churches met anyways during the rest month because they truly enjoyed getting together with each other at the end of the week to give and receive support and encouragement from one another. On the other hand, some house churches that took the whole month off had a difficult time getting back to the normalcy of house church ministry.
Therefore, we are not going to have house church rest month from this year on. I am sure many of you are not going to be affected by this because you were planning to meet with your house church members anyways.
But for those of you who may be uneasy about this decision, I want to inform you that many churches that are doing house church ministry, modeling themselves after our church, are becoming much more serious and committed than we are. They refuse to receive Christians coming from different churches that are in the same city because they don’t want people to hop around from church to church pursuing after their own wants and desires, often driven by self-centeredness. Moreover, these churches have a strong passion and desire to grow their church through conversion and not by church transfer. They don’t want to be robbed of the joy of giving birth to spiritual babies, growing them and seeing them serve God together with them as their ministry colleagues.
I don’t want you to become rigid during summer times in regards to your house church. Go on a camping or fishing trip with your house church members. Do a barbeque inviting your unchurched neighbors and workmates. Take a road trip or go on a mission trip together with your house church members. Do an impromptu joint house church.
As you can see, ideas for the summer house church gatherings are limitless. But whatever you do, don’t forget to love and serve your unbelieving friends and family members. It is for them and their salvation that our house church ministry exists. And it is when we are focused on this that our heavenly Father gets glorified!
Enjoy the summer with your house church members!
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