One of the concerns people who come to attend our house church seminars have is that their church members may be unwilling to meet every week. In most Korean-American churches small groups meet once or twice a month. But every house church is a true “church” and as such, must meet every week. These people wonder if such frequent meetings might be requiring too much commitment.
Weekly meetings should not be a problem if members’ needs are met. One big human need is self-expression. In Korea, men go to bars after work with their coworkers almost every day, not so much for the drinking, but more to relieve stress by talking with their friends, the conversation aided with some alcohol. Women in Korea meet with high school or college classmates almost monthly, not because they have official business, but to relive the stress that comes from taking care of daily chores. When house church meetings are a place where people can express their intimate feelings freely, members are willing to meet every week. And if they can get practical help for their problems they will actually want to meet every week.
So a priority should be placed on members being able to express themselves openly in house church meetings. Some house churches stagnate because the shepherds prefer teaching more than allowing house church members to share. They forget that the purpose of house church meetings is to share lives, not teach doctrine. Leaders should not see themselves as teachers with all the answers to life’s problems, but as facilitators who help members share their problems and find solutions on their own. Leaders should encourage members to give personal testimonies or ask questions that may help other members find solutions for their problems, rather than give pat answers.
House church meetings should not be a place for exchanging information. Information can be found easily on the Web. Sports, politics, the economy… these are OK as dinner table topics but not as subjects of house church meetings. Instead, feelings must be shared. Leaders should ask questions that solicit feelings, rather than ideas. Instead of asking, “What do you think?”, they should ask, “How do you feel?”
If their house churches do not grow, shepherds should ask themselves if they are giving their members enough opportunity to express themselves. Or if they are helping member share feelings, not ideas, during house church meetings.
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