Combined 3 House Church meetings are over as of last week. I wanted to meet with all of my church members in person when I became a senior pastor, so I asked House churches to organize themselves into groups of three in order to speed up the process. I thought it would take a little over a year to finish, but because I had to be out of the office every once in a while, it took about a year and half.
I figured it would be hard to share personally since I am meeting with 3 House Churches at a time, so I wanted it to be an introduction time for me as a new senior pastor. So I created a presentation explaining in detail about me and my family and took time to share about my background. People have been commenting on how fun and interesting it was to get to know my personal history. I am grateful for the positive feedback.
It has been a great experience for me to meet all of my church members in person. I got to meet non-Korean members at our church through multi-cultural House churches and realized a good number of them are present in our church. I got to understand some of the challenges they face attending a church that has a big cultural gap. I also got to understand the importance of keeping the duration of the service time for the seniors and have since reduced my sermon time to accommodate.
I appreciate how everyone attended the meeting with great anticipation even though we had to meet at church and only for a brief amount of time. I was touched when a particular member who closes his store at 9 o’clock constantly checked with his Shepherd to make sure the meeting wasn’t over and rushed to get to the meeting because he did not want to miss the opportunity to meet my wife and me. I felt loved but also slightly burdened by all the effort people put into bringing wonderful dishes to share with everyone since the group was rather large. I was thankful for the VIPs who showed up even though it must have been uncomfortable for them to join in combined House churches and burdensome for them to meet with the senior pastor in person. Also, House church for the singles sometimes top 40 people and I am just amazed at how they were able to prepare all the food.
Since I met with all the House churches once, from now on I will go back to visiting House churches one by one. I talked a lot about myself the first time we met since I had no choice. However, the second time around I would like to hear the life stories of my church members and get to know them better. I will visit House churches that have recently multiplied and go backward since they are the ones who need the most help. But you can request for me to visit early if you have a VIP or have some other reasons as to why you would like for me to visit early. Visitations will be scheduled in 3 month periods and if there are new House churches that multiply or request for earlier visits, it will be reflected in the next 3 month schedule.
It will probably take about 5 years to make a round this time. Then it will be about the end of my 1st phase as a senior pastor in this church. I am quite excited as to what kind of meetings lay ahead this time around.
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