I have been preaching on the book of Matthew for over a year. People have asked me which book of the Bible I plan to preach on next. I actually have an ambitious goal. I plan to preach through every book of the Bible over the next few years.
I got this idea from Chuck Smith, a well known preacher from Calvary Chapel. In one of his seminar tapes he mentioned that he covered five chapters from the books of the Old Testament and one chapter from the books of the New Testament so that he could preach through the entire Bible every few years. If I follow this system I may be able to finish the entire Bible before I retire.
Even now, when I cover only ten to twenty verses in a sermon, I sometimes feel that I am moving too quickly from exposition to application due to a lack of time. If each sermon encompasses one to five chapters this problem will get worse. So from now on, house church Bible studies will go through the passages being preached on the following Sunday.
Each house church should send a member to the class led by Sister Ye-Ja Kim after the Sunday worship service. She will explain the passages and give a few pointers in leading the Bible study times. If no one from a house church attends this meeting, members may have difficulty fully understanding Sunday sermons.
As the new church year begins, shepherds and their spouses will be visiting other house church meetings. Many of them have wanted to visit other house churches to learn from them but couldn’t since they needed to lead their own meetings. We’ve now made it mandatory for a year that shepherds visit other house church meetings once a month.
On the weeks your shepherd is gone, I think it’s best for house church members to take turns leading meetings. If it’s necessary, you can appoint an intern shepherd to lead these meetings. But I think it’s best if intern shepherds are selected a few months before a house church gives a birth to a new one. So until a house church reaches that point, it’s better that members take turns leading.
You may also find Shepherd Team Leaders (STL) in your meetings from time to time. They are required to visit the house churches under their care once a month, observe the meetings, and if necessary make suggestions to the shepherd on how to make the meetings more meaningful.
I hope everyone gives their full cooperation so that our shepherds are able to visit other house churches regularly. And I am confident that when other shepherds or STLs are visiting, we will make them feel right at home.
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