House churches are autonomous local churches. Seoul Baptist Church is the united entity of these house churches. A united body needs to exist because certain things can be done more effectively this way than by individual groups. For example children’s education, mission projects, community service, and in-depth Bible studies.
Because Seoul Baptist Church is solely the united body of many house churches, one cannot be a member of Seoul Baptist without first becoming a member of a house church. Apart from its house churches, Seoul Baptist does not exist.
Since they were instituted, house church attendance had always been higher than Sunday worship attendance by 5-10% because many non-Christians came only to house church meetings. However, lately house church attendance has been lower than Sunday worship attendance. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the reason for this may be a change we’ve made in how we tabulate attendance, but I’m still a bit concerned; this may be a sign that the number of people who come to Sunday worship but don’t attend house church meetings is increasing.
The House Church directory is listed on the House Church home page. To be included, churches must meet certain requirements. One requirement is that their total house church attendance must be at least 70% of their Sunday worship attendance or higher. If it is less than 70%, these churches are considered churches with small groups, not house churches. The 70% mark is an indication of how house churches are doing. If churches grow but the ratio remains at 70%, it means that the growth is not occurring by conversions through house churches, but as a result of drawing people through good preaching or church activities; these people are probably already Christians who came from neighboring churches.
From now on we are going to monitor house church attendance regularly. Every 3 months we will check house church attendance and members who have not attended house church meetings for 3 months will have their church membership revoked.
Those who only attend Sunday worship services are respectfully requested to join other, traditional churches. Propagating house churches is the mission God gave to Seoul Baptist. This is a privilege we would not trade for anything else in the world. We must guard this privilege closely. And to do that we must be faithful to house church principles.
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