Why I Don’t Allow House Church Hopping

Lately I have been hearing from several house church shepherds that their members are thinking about changing their house churches. We don’t allow people to switch their house church, and I have addressed the issue a number of occasions in the past. I feel the need, however, to talk to you again about this. It seems as though we have gotten many new members in the recent months who have never heard about the reasons behind this policy. This is good because it is a sign of growth!

First reason why we ask people to stay and remain in their house church is because it teaches them the importance of making and honoring their commitment. And when you make and honor your commitment to stay in one house church, it always builds your character. A high percentage of marriage is falling apart these days because husbands and wives, who once stood before their pastor, friends, family members and especially in the presence of God and made their marriage vow, are breaking it so casually. The end result of all this is that we have a society full of people who are shallow, superficial and without much character. By stressing the importance of remaining in one house church until it multiplies, we are teaching people to swim against the current of today’s culture. If you heed this policy obediently and faithfully, your character will be built up.

Second, we ask you to stay in one house church, one that may not seem to be too ideal for you, because we are committed in helping you become extraordinary people. It is an ordinary thing for a person to look for a place where everything seems to be in tact and comfortable. However, it is an extraordinary thing for a person to stay where many things are uncomfortable and less than ideal and help build it to make it healthy and strong. In my office, there is a little poster hanging on the wall of a black wolf. On the bottom, it says, “RISK: Do not follow the common path. Go where there is no path and leave a trail.” At New Life, we are in the business of producing extraordinary people who accomplish God-size work for His glory.

Third reason why we don’t allow you to switch house churches is because you may mess up and destroy the group dynamic of the new house church you choose to attend. Often times, we have false conception of ourselves. We think of ourselves better than we ought and overestimate the qualities that we possess. But you have heard of the phrase that says, “Don’t look for a perfect church because there isn’t any. But if you happen to find one, don’t go there because you are going to make it imperfect!” Frequently, the problem that you face in your house church is not someone else. It is you and it is me. That’s why by changing your house church, you never learn about your true self. Before pointing your fingers at someone else, you need to ask yourself the question, “What can I change about myself to solve the problem that I am facing in my house church?”

I do acknowledge that there are some cases where changing house church is necessary. In those cases, you need to talk with your house church shepherd first, and then your shepherd will need to come and talk with me about your situation. I will listen and then prayerfully decide whether or not you need to change your house church. If your house church shepherd and I think that changing your house church is best for everyone, then I will ask you to come and spend some time with me to go over a few things before you make any change.

Otherwise, for the reasons I have addressed to you above, please know that you will not be permitted to change your house church. It may be a good time for you to pull out your membership certificate that has our membership covenant on it to review what you committed to do as a member of New Life. If you are not a registered member of New Life and you have a difficult time agreeing with this policy, you are more than welcome to visit different local churches in Houston and make a wise decision for yourself. I would love to hear everyone’s unique and personal story and accommodate all of your desires and wishes, but for the health of the whole church, I have responsibilities and obligations that require making some firm decisions. Thanks everyone for your understanding and cooperative spirit!

Your pastor,


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