Are you tempted to begin worshipping with your family at home because you are disillusioned or even disgusted with the politics of traditional (or even non-conventional) church groups? When Jesus spoke openly against the unspiritual acts of the Pharisees, you exclaim, “Right on!” Have an earnest conversation with God and uncover if you are reacting to the immature choices or words of church-members (or even church leaders), rather than receiving a direct call from God to start a house church. You might think that our main thrust is for all believers to leave the traditional churches and that everyone should only worship in home-based groups. It isn’t. While we received a clear call from God to plant churches in homes, we cannot assume that everyone is ready to live church life the same way.
Many believers bite the bullet after some reflection and choose to remain in the traditional format of “doing church” because practitioners of the house-church approach often do without aspects of church life that may be indispensable to some families. These “musts” may include a fully trained children’s or youth ministry. Families may expect having state-ordained ministers on staff that are licensed to marry couples, for instance. These ministers are obligated by their job description to respond to midnight emergency phone calls from hospitals, jail cells or death beds. A house church leader may not be bound to obtain those licenses, may not have the formal training to expound theology or lead large groups of children or teenagers on a weekly basis or to sleep-away camp. They simply do their best for you and for God, out of love. This may be just what you’ve been looking for or simply not enough. You decide.
Much weight is placed on the house group leaders to have an intensely sincere, sharply obedient relationship to the Holy Spirit, Who guides the mysterious ways of God the Father and Jesus’ inexplicable act of love at the Cross. “Dying to self” is a daily experience for a house church leader. It is not simply the job of shepherding or preaching, which are inherently and supremely difficult in themselves. A house church leader’s work is more closely associated with that of a church planter or missionary. Many who have tried to become missionaries or church planters find it is difficult to sustain the heavy load except for short bursts, punctuated by seasons of rest. Similar to church planting and missionary work, a large portion of the total effort has to be devoted to raising funds for day-to-day necessities to keep the ministry alive.
If you choose to become a house church leader of your own family, enter soberly. Be in agreement with your spouse and children!! That agreement may take years to forge. Enter prayerfully, with the full guidance of God’s Word. Let the Holy Spirit penetrate every aspect of who you think you are. You will emerge quite different.