Next Friday until Sunday, our church is hosting the annual “House Church Lay-leader seminar” at Mokmin. There will be 22 participants, coming from the US and Canada. The lay-leader seminar helps lay leaders to grow in understanding of house church ministry and decide to become a shepherd for those who were contemplating of the decision. In fact, attending the seminar hosted by other churches is a requirement to become a shepherd in our church.
It is a big event because pastors send out their lay-leaders or potential leaders to the seminar, expecting them to become ministry partners in their churches. Their church future might be hanging in the balance, depending on the participants’ experience.
That is why, to host a lay leader seminar, the church has to meet certain qualifications to demonstrate it is doing the house church ministry well. So, we see it as a great responsibility but also a privilege to host the seminar, as we are making a massive impact on the health and growth of many other churches, helping them to advance the mission of Jesus. With this impact in mind, many serving members will be serving with meals, administration and media production during the seminar.
As house church is not just am idea that is taught but an experience to witness, the participants sleep in the shepherds’ home of the hosting church, and they will observe house church meetings after the last lecture on Saturday. The house churches that have seminar guests have to move the meeting date to Saturday. As there are many single participants, many of them will be visiting house churches at The Seed, as we have two house churches that are predominantly made up of singles.
You might think the participants get inspired by house churches that are doing well, but many past participants shared they got inspired by house churches that were struggling. Many of them come with the assumption that all house churches need to do well, but they feel relieved to find that is not the case. They saw the faithfulness of the shepherd (and shepherd’s wife) even through the struggle and the imperfect house church feels genuine to them, giving them courage that they can also do the same.
So, when you see the seminar participants in your house church, be kind but act as you normally do. Because we are not trying to impress them, but to show honestly how regular house church is done.