A lot of home church members I have met in the past few years have expressed these same frustrations:
“Meeting for the sake of meeting”
Some of them have been meeting with the same group for years but don’t feel like they’re growing.
There are two main reasons your home church will become stale:
#1 None of the members in your home church are actively going out to find disciples.
2 Corinthians 5 says if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. It goes on to say that, we are ambassadors for Christ, imploring people on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God.
Jesus wants to see the lost saved. He wants to see broken relationships restored, sicknesses healed and people brought out of darkness into light. He works through his followers to see that happen. Unfortunately, He is inhibited from doing this as much as he wants to because his body is not stepping out enough.
If you’re not doing this on a consistent basis, you won’t have any recent testimonies to share, you won’t hunger to understand God’s word so you can share it more effectively. You will tend to feel frustrated because you haven’t obeyed Christ’s commandment to share the gospel and your meetings will naturally become stale.
Sharing the gospel with others might be a real challenge for some, but here’s a practical tip which may help:
Our family has recently started a ‘Focus On Others Day’ (F.O.O.D) where once a week, we think about practical ways to do something kind for a non-believer. Last week my wife and daughter baked a raisin loaf for a lady who lives down the road. This week, we took a banana loaf, which our five-year-old daughter made, to our neighbour. We haven’t shared the gospel yet but we are at least getting outside our four walls and looking for opportunities to do so.
What can you, your family or your home church do together, for others on a regular basis?
#2 Placing Too Much Importance On the Need for ‘Quiet Time’
Another observation we have seen is a lot of these home church members who are complaining about not growing, are the ones who tend to prioritise their individual ‘quiet time’ alone with God as their main way of communing with him.
I know that Jesus spent time alone with God and I’m not saying it’s unimportant for us to do this. If you look through the gospels only a small portion of His time was alone with God. Jesus spent the majority of his time on earth with his disciples and ministering to others.
The ‘quiet time’ is a strongly ingrained cultural idea that seems to only be prevalent in the Western world.
I spent just under a year in Thailand before I got married. One of the things that took a long time to get used to was the different culture in regards to having other people around. I lived in a house with 12 others and there was no ‘alone time’ as I was used to. Time and time again, I saw this in action. If your fridge broke down, you would get 2 people coming over to fix the fridge. At the local shop, there would always be 2 people working together to stock shelves, sell goods or clean up. They would often be chatting away while doing it. We hired a local lady to do all the cooking and cleaning in our home and could only afford one, so she would ring up her friend while she was working and talk to her the whole day on speaker.
In Asian countries, it is natural for people to do things together. In the Western world, it has become natural for people to do things alone. But God never intended man to be alone.
“It is not good that man should be alone.”
This is important for us to do in the Western world because when you are gathering with others, everyone will be at a different spiritual level. Some may need to understand repentance, others may need to know how to pray effectively and others may need to be more grateful. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ method. As a facilitator, it will be more beneficial for you to prioritise spending more time focusing on other members of your home church instead of your ‘alone time’. Then you will be able to find out the areas which people need to grow in and help them more specifically.
What have you noticed about another home church member you can help with?
Breathing In AND Breathing Out
1 Corinthians 12 says that the church is the body of Jesus and that He is the head.
A head cannot move far if the body doesn’t follow! It also can’t go far without breathing in AND breathing out.
We breathe in when we gather with other disciples and encourage them to look more like Jesus. We breathe out when we go to where unbelieving people are and tell them the good news about Jesus. For a church to thrive it needs to do both in equal measure.
I talk more about this in my booklet ’10 Things You Need to Know About Home Church’. This is available as a free download for our subscribers. If you are not a subscriber then sign up to our newsletter on our website and you will receive the download link for free.