House churches are being established all over the North America. Although there are house churches in large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, none of them are exemplary ones I can wholeheartedly recommend. House Church Ministries, the organization formed to help traditional churches convert to house churches, has decided to select a church in each large city and be more aggressive in helping them become model churches. Surprisingly, at the last conference at Jacksonville, good candidates were found for each city. I think it was God’s providence, not chance, that I met pastors of candidate churches there.
One example of God’s providence is the way I met Pastor Won of Grace Church in Chicago. When I arrived at the conference in Jacksonville, I found him sitting alone in the fellowship hall, so I struck a conversation with him. I learned of his strong feelings about the house church and made a mental note of him as a candidate. At the end of the conference, as I was waiting for my flight at the airport, I saw Pastor Won walk in. He was supposed to have left the day before, but he had missed his flight, so he spent the night at a nearby hotel and was on the standby list for a flight that day. As we waited, we talked more about his church. He converted his church to a house church three years ago but didn’t complete the process. He wanted to make the full transition. So then and there I decided to make his church a candidate for a model church in the city of Chicago.
Another strange thing happened. Since he was on the standby list, I boarded the plane first. As I was wondering whether Pastor Won would get a seat on the flight, he got on the plane, walked down the aisle and sat next to me. My seat number was 7C and his was 7B! So we were able to discuss more through the entire flight about the plan to help his church. The funny thing is that my assigned seat was actually 3C, not 7C. 7C was the gate number on my ticket stab which I misread as my seat number. God must have arranged the meeting!
Pastor Won has a desire to not only transform his church into an exemplary house church but to help other churches in the Chicago area convert to house churches as well. And he seemed to have the reputation and influence to do it. I told him that I would consider it my mission to help him succeed and asked him to not hesitate to call me when he needs help.
In order for house church movement to maintain momentum, I think that there should be one house church for every ten traditional churches by 2010. House Church Ministries will work aggressively in cooperation with other house churches to achieve that goal.
One house church for every ten traditional churches means there should be at least 3 Korean-American house churches in Houston. We need to work more closely with pastors who attended house church seminars to make sure we meet this goal by 2010.
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