Seoul Baptist Church has implemented house churches for the adults and children, but not yet for the youth group, who just have small groups. The youth group plans to implement the house church in January. The house church Shepherds will consist of youth group members (instead of Sunday school teachers) and other students will choose their own shepherds as in adult house churches. By serving as shepherds, our youth will develop leadership skills.
We also expect higher rates of conversions. A youth pastor serving at a church in California said that the number of youth baptisms at his church increased significantly after implementing the house church because many non-believing teenagers who wouldn’t come to church on Sundays came to Friday house church meetings.
Youth house church meetings will take place at church, not at their homes. They will worship together but have separate house church meetings. On Sundays, they will have worship services and Living Life Bible studies, thus implementing the 3 Axes of the house church – house church meetings, the Living Life Bible studies, and Sunday worship services.
The first thing we need to decide is when to meet: Fridays or Saturdays?
Meeting on Fridays has one huge advantage: it’s the same day that the adults and children already meet. Youth group members won’t need stay at home alone while their parents attend their house church meetings, which can be dangerous. Surveys show that most teenagers have their first sexual encounters at their homes when their parents are not around.
A disadvantage of meeting on Fridays is transportation. Most of the youth depend on their parents for rides, but if they have their own house church meetings to attend on the same day, arranging rides won’t be easy. There are alternatives, like carpooling and ride sharing, but parents will need to find creative ways to provide rides for their children.
Meeting on Saturdays makes it easier for parents to give their children rides to church. But it would mean most of their teenage children will be home alone on Fridays. And having house church meetings on two separate nights makes it harder for families with teenagers to do activities together.
I’m posting this column on our website. I urge parents with teenagers to comment, explaining their preference. Pastor Oh will meet with parents to discuss the issues with them, and at some point, parents will select the day of youth house church meetings by vote.
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