Tears came down as I was praying for the 32 participants who will be coming to this year’s House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders. They are coming from 13 different churches from the states of Washington, California, Illinois, New York, Tennessee and Texas and the countries of Canada and Brazil. Praying for them brought different memories and thoughts to my mind.
I remembered how I used to go to church conferences in the earlier years of New Life. And if I thought that a conference was good, then I would take New Life leaders with me later so we could learn from other churches. My one and only desire was to help New Life become a biblically healthy and strong church.
Now, God has brought us to a place of influence. He expects us to share our experiences with other churches that are trying to learn from us in building their churches in the spirit of the New Testament. It truly is an amazing privilege as well as a tremendous responsibility.
Behind these 32 seminar participants are the pastors who fervently pray for their churches and sacrificially serve their members. I actually know several of them because they also do house church ministry and we see each other at semi-annual house church conferences. They are very humble men of God and they truly want to build their churches in a way that pleases God. However, many of these churches are very small without much in terms of resources and that’s where New Life comes in.
15 NLF shepherd families are hosting them this year. Let’s thank, encourage and pray that they will serve the participants well and have a blessed time doing it, for Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.
These are some guidelines that I would like for everyone to remember and follow when we host house church seminars.
- Please follow the standard house church meeting format because our participants are coming to see and observe this.
- If your house church is small in number and not hosting this year, do your best to join another house church that is hosting if that house church is not too big. In this way, you can participate in the blessing of being a host, sharing your life and being there where God will reveal Himself personally and powerfully.
- During the sharing time of your house church meeting, share your personal joys and struggles. It is not a time to talk about others or church, especially in a critical and negative way.
- In your conversation with the participants, feel free to share what you genuinely appreciate about New Life and me. However, don’t overdo it because that can actually be discouraging to them. The key is to be positive and affirming without boasting or bragging.
- Do your best to be very generous and hospitable to them. Ask them frequently if they need anything for their stay with us to be more comfortable and restful. Be reminded that many of them are coming from small churches where resources are scarce. Furthermore, they are coming by using their own vacation time and financial means because they too love their churches and want to build them in the spirit of the New Testament.
Our goal during the seminar is to teach, share, show, encourage and inspire them so that they will be so fired up about building their churches in the spirit of the New Testament. And when they return home they will be unreservedly committed to serve alongside their pastors. But this can’t be done by our own strength. We need God every step of the way. So, please fast and pray this coming week for the seminar that is fast approaching. Remember that if we do a great job of ministering to them, we are potentially impacting 13 churches for God’s kingdom purpose.
New Life, they are coming again! Let’s love them deeply and serve them well. I trust you will!
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