Layman’s seminar is just around the corner. This time more participants are coming from different continents like Korea, China and Australia than the US. Considering the great sacrifice of these participants who are coming from such distant location, I sincerely hope that they will gain what they come for. Since this week’s house church is with a guest, it would be important that the house church will be presented without omitting any important elements. Because of that, I want to stress few areas which can be neglected easily.
The two most important parts of house church are to help people to experience love and answered prayer. Even the unbelievers see the love in house church and feel the presence of God albeit vaguely. This in turn leads them to decide to attend house church and church. People often become a believer through answered prayer, which convinces them God’s existence and that God does not ignore people who seek Him. This is applicable not only to VIP but also to believers since we can observe the process of growing faith along with the corresponding events of answered prayers.
Therefore, house church should be a place to venture into a leap of faith and to experience answers to prayers. To achieve this, prayer request must be selected carefully and from the heart in the presence of house church members. Therefore, please be careful that the prayer request will not be shared as an common part of the evening, but it should be shared with much thought. To do that, if there is an urgent prayer request, it may be advisable to pray for that before moving on to the next person.
For house church to be a place of answered prayer, it is necessary to have a time to celebrate for answered prayers. Therefore, before sharing, ask whether prayer of last week was answered or shepherd can announce the answered prayers so that house church members can celebrate it together.
I want to emphasize not to skip olive blessing. This is for parents and children to share faith, but through this time, children’s skill of expression and presentation can be developed so VIPs are interested in this part. Shepherds need to acquire skill to wait for children and to guide them so that children can learn to express themselves.
From baby in womb to toddlers, mothers can share prayer request or gratitude in children’s place. For house churches without children can pray for teenage children or grown up children. Praying for grown up children used to be a recommendation but now it is a part of official element of house church meeting based on House Church Ministries International (HCMI) guideline. Therefore, please remember this part. Regardless of their age, children are object of incessant prayer of parents.
Another part added for house church meeting based on HCMI is a time to bless the host home for the house church meeting. The reasons we take turns to host house church are twofold. First, it is to follow the example of churches during the new testament era. Second, it is to bless the home they gathered and to fill it with worship songs and prayers. Therefore, please allocate some time to bless and pray for host home during the intercessory prayer time.
(by Lee Soo Gwan)