We have been doing youth house church ministry for over four years now. It’s been quite a ride. There have been many moments in the past when I concluded that this is not going to work. It’s not worth it. It’s too hard on the kids, parents, village leaders, and me. But we’re still doing it because I believe it’s worth it. Here’s why.
Recently, a ninth grade student shared her testimony with me. I had asked her to answer some questions for me because she wanted to be baptized. After answering those questions, she added a personal note. In it, she shared about her journey from being an unbeliever from an unchurched family to the Christ follower she is today. It all started with her youth house church. It just so happens that I visited that house church when she came for the very first time. Through her interaction with me and her eventual fellow house church members that night, she immediately felt welcomed and loved. Here was a group of middle school and high school students who played with, listened to, prayed for, and supported one another. Within months, she knew that she wanted to follow the same God these kids did.
Her house church isn’t extraordinary. It is not particularly mature or well-organized. The shepherd is serving and leading his members just like many of our other shepherds are doing. And that’s probably the most encouraging and exciting part of this story. They were just doing what they normally did and now they’re part of her salvation story. My gut tells me that it’s not going to end with her. Her whole family will be saved one day through her.
Unfortunately, she hasn’t been baptized yet. Not because she changed her mind or fell away. It’s because her parents are still not too keen about her going to church, which is where she wants to be baptized. I told her that we can do her baptism anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t have to be here. But she insists that it’s here. She wants to get baptized where everyone else in our youth group does. She wants to be just like one of us.
And she is.
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