House Churches Needn’t Grow

The goal of the house church is simple: to reach non-believers and make them disciples of Jesus. But although it’s simple, it’s hard to accomplish. It’s hard to meet non-believing Korean-Americans in Houston, because they are few in number. And it typically takes 2 to 4 years of intensive sacrifice and service to move non-believers and help them to accept Jesus. It’s hard to wait and serve faithfully for that long.

Knowing their difficulties, I have never demanded that our Shepherds grow their house churches rapidly or multiply often. If they ever felt the pressure to do so, it was self-imposed, and didn’t come from me.

Saving souls is the work of God Himself; we can’t force it. I have seen many cases where people have put in a great deal of effort for years without seeing any results. I have also seen cases where people receive Christ immediately after they start attending house church meetings.

In light of this, I have never given Shepherds quotas of people to bring to Christ in a year. All I ask is that they be faithful to their ministries. What Jesus asks of us is not the fruit itself but faithfulness to our ministry. The Apostle Paul also noted that what God requires of His servants is faithfulness (1 Cor. 4:2).

One of the topics for the 333 Prayer Partners this year is helping Shepherds keep the pledges they made at the beginning of the year. I want them to be faithful by praying for at least 20 minutes 4 days a week, reading 3 chapters of the Bible 4 days each week, and writing in their ministry journals every week.

One of the pledges they made was to work hard to have a Hug Ceremony once a year by helping non-believes receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, be baptized, and complete the 6-week Survival Kit course. Their promise is “to work hard,” so it’s OK when a house church fails to have the ceremony during a year. But I want them to be faithful to their pledge by making a list of 5 non-believers they want to pray for and have a Hug ceremony for.

Since I became the Senior Pastor of Seoul Baptist, I have never prayed for our membership to increase. But I have prayed for at least one soul to be saved through our church every week. God has answered this prayer, bringing 3 to 4 people to salvation and baptism through our church every week.

Scripture says that God desires everyone to be saved (2 Tim. 2:4). Because this is what He wants, God will allow us the pleasure of seeing people saved through our ministry, if we are faithful to our pledges and pray constantly. Eventually, we will experience the joy of seeing them as guests of honor for the Hug Ceremony.

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