My 6 years of experience in house church ministry has taught me this: house church members take after their shepherds.
One day my wife and I were enjoying some free time with coffee and doughnuts at a doughnut shop. I noticed some writing on the window and said to my wife, “The sign on the window says that this store’s specialty is TUNOD. Do you know what that is?”
“TUNOD? Never heard of it.”
Then I realized that I had read the word “donut” in reverse.
The other day at our house church meeting, a female member served chicken wraps, the most popular item at the deli shop where she works part time. My wife thought that the tortillas were especially good. So she asked the name of the brand. She said, “Just minute!” and searched the wrapper and replied. “It has a weird name: UOISSIW”
Unsure, my wife asked, “UOISSIW? How do you pronounce it? Are you sure that’s the right name?”
If you haven’t realized it yet, turn what you’re reading upside down. (If you’re at a computer, you may have to stand on your hands.) Yes, you figured it out. The tortilla brand was MISSION. House church members surely take after their shepherds.
One time our house church members decided to take a group picture. I set the camera to automatic and ran to my place in the group and shouted. “This camera flashes three times before it takes a picture. So wait!” They burst into laughter. My pronunciation of “flash” sounded like “plash”. It’s a common problem for Koreans of my generation who learned how to read English but not how to speak it well.
My wife went to the mall to buy clothes with the youngest member of our house church. (Because of her deteriorating eyesight, she can’t go out unaccompanied.) My wife tried something on and asked, “How does this look on me?”
“Well, the dress looks nice but the “jaku” looks sort of funny.” My wife laughed because this girl, who laughed at her shepherd’s funny English pronunciation, used the term “jaku”, which is the English name for zipper used only by older generations.
House church members may not be able to help but take after their shepherds. It’s fun seeing my house church members becoming like me.
But on a serious note, house church members do become like their shepherds, in the way they talk, how they treat other people, in their likes and dislikes, in the way they spend money, and especially in their Christian walk. If their shepherds are praying men, house church members become praying people. If their shepherds are obedient, members become obeying people. Just like children learn by watching their parents, spiritual children also learn by watching how their shepherds live. What an awesome responsibility it is to be a shepherd! I pray that my Christian walk is exemplary enough to help my house church members become more like Jesus.
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