I am taking a six-month sabbatical at the end of this year. I will be spending the first half of my sabbatical helping Korean-American churches convert to house churches by leading revival meetings and seminars, and spending the second half helping churches in Korea. Before I take my sabbatical I want to evaluate how our house churches are doing and help shepherds improve their ministry skills.
It’s a sad thing to live in the past. I cannot help but feel sorry for people when I visit Europe. Most countries there live off their heritage. Take France for example. Despite their renowned national pride, they have little to be proud of now save their cultural heritage. I feel the same type of sadness when I see members of so-called historical churches. They are proud to be members of such churches. Sadly, they don’t realize that their churches have become insignificant in terms of influencing other churches.
Our church is known as the church that started the house church movement. But we should not be satisfied with being the first. We must not dwell on past achievements but strive to make new history. Otherwise, we will become a church that lives off of its past glory.
As pioneers in the house church movement, we can continue to contribute by trying new things to improve house church ministries and experiencing the growth pains ourselves so that other church don’t make the same mistakes. Recently, many traditional churches have been able to convert to house churches in a short period of time. One reason for their rapid transformation may be our guidance, by us teaching them everything we know and sharing the experience we’ve gained over ten years. By doing this, churches who begin to implement house churches do not need to repeat the same mistakes we made.
It hasn’t yet reached a level where we need to be alarmed yet, but our shepherds and their spouses seem to have become a little complacent. As they acquire ministry skills and experience some success, they seem to be satisfied and don’t feel that they need to do better. If this attitude prevails, our church will soon grow stagnant and eventually start on a downward spiral. If we want to be continually used by God, we must not lose a sense of urgency in reaching non-believers and a strong dependency on God in ministering to house church members.
To help evaluate how our church is doing and plan for the future, I distributed self-evaluation forms to all our shepherds. House church members will receive another form today that allows them to anonymously evaluate their shepherds. When all the information is gathered, the Shepherd Overseers will meet with each shepherd, discuss the shepherd’s ministry, and explore paths for improvement.
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