340. Why We Don’t Allow Changing House Church

340. Why We Don’t Allow Changing House Church

Jesus gave a simple commission to his disciples before he was ascended: Make disciples. (Mat 28:19-20) That is why the church should have only one mission, and that is to save the lost and make disciples of Jesus.

But too many churches view “bible study” as something synonymous with “discipleship”. Bible study is important as it provides information we need to believe and follow Jesus. But expecting someone to become a disciple of Jesus through a Bible study is similar to expecting someone with a G1 license to drive competently. We need a place to practice what we learned, and that is “House Church”.

Discipleship is carving in us the character of Christ. It requires knowledge, but also real human interaction, especially ”conflict” with other people. We learn to love by being around not-so-lovable people, incompatible people, different people and persevering in it, so that Christ can change us from within. If someone changes house church every time they get into conflict, they won’t be able to experience transformation of character. That is why we don’t allow changing house church.

But with every principle, there is an exception. We allow a person to change house church under special circumstances. The reason we don’t define such a special circumstances is because we want it to be an exception, not a rule. The reason has to be special enough to warrant such consideration, and it is a judgement call.

Once the request is made, then the reason is communicated to all leaders involved. If the original shepherd, new shepherd, and the lead pastor agree that it is a legitimate reason that could unnecessarily hinder the person’s growth and belonging in the church, the person is allowed to change house church. The reason we make such provision is that despite the special reason, if the person is still willing to be part of a house church and stay in the church, it would be gracious to make such provision. The ultimate goal of every rule is to benefit the people, not keeping it perfectly. (Mark 2:27)

Once the new person joins the house church, the reason will be communicated succintinly (without too much detail) to all house church members why the move was necessary. It is so that members won’t be guessing the reason and create an opportunity for gossip. A reasonable amount of transparency will help the existing members to build trust more easily with a new member.