House Church Talk - Growing Pains

cliffsilliman at cliffsilliman at
Sat Mar 27 06:16:17 EST 2004

Hi Sean.

Excellent questions. You need to clarify to your selfs what the goal is.
With out a vision the people go unrestrained or perish. Why do you home
church? Why are people attracted to what you are doing? Answer these then
the plan for the future growth and development will be more easier laid

We always have an open door to visitors. We also are not shy in bringing
correction to anyone, in a loving way. We use this in the meeting or by
taking the brother aside and mention that his children are not edifying
ours but tearing them down. Also with guests I tend to watch my children
closer so that I can catch any needs sooner. 
Cliff Silliman <cliffsilliman at>
1 Corinthians 14:15

On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 22:04:47 -0800 "Sean Kelly" <seank at>
> I just got added to this list this week and I have been enjoying the
> posts so far. So since I have a free moment, I thought I would throw 
> out
> two questions we are up against now. They are loosely related so 
> perhaps
> there is a single answer that ties them together.
> I'm apart of a new house church (less than a year old) that is 
> growing
> out of a group of believers that are leaving more traditional 
> churches
> (for lack of a better word) in the area. As such, none of us has 
> been in
> a house church environment before and so each new situation leaves 
> us
> with questions that no one there has any practical experience with 
> to
> offer guidance. 
> How do you handle those who want to "visit" our meetings?
> It seems obvious that in the new testament, upon belief, a new 
> believer
> was baptized and then taught to observe all that the Lord commanded
> (made a disciple). So naturally they would be invited to join us as 
> an
> extension of a relationship that began with one or more of our local
> body. But in the 21st Century we also have those who feel they are 
> being
> called out of the more traditional church who hear (thanks to
> innovations like websites and email) that we gather in a home under 
> the
> headship of Christ as a body held together by what ever joint 
> supplies,
> according to the proper working of each individual part, causing the
> growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. 
> So they want to "visit" our fellowship (again for lack of a better
> word). On the one hand I don't want to be like Diotrephes and not
> receive other brethren, but on the other hand our local body is a 
> lot
> like a family to me and I don't want to invite just anyone to the 
> family
> reunion. One family I invited had positively unruly worldly children 
> and
> I was ashamed because our (collective) children were among other 
> things
> hearing words they'd never heard before. Maybe I'm being selfish, but
> what we have is to dear to me to want to allow it to be dragged 
> through
> or exposed to the worlds gutters for the sake of reaching out to 
> those
> who claim to already be saved. However these are the exceptions. 
> We have had families join us that one or the other of us has known 
> for a
> long time and so our fellowship is growing (60+ when you count 
> children)
> to the point where now some of our homes are too small to hold 
> everyone
> in the same room, so people are having trouble hearing what is 
> shared
> and are starting to wonder what we should do? No one wants to 
> buy/rent a
> building but splitting up would seem almost like a divorce. So my 
> second
> question is.
> What do you do when you get too big? 
> Or better what things can you do before you get too big to make it a
> positive experience?
> I appreciate your thoughts.
> Go Carefully,
> SeanK
>     --- Info and subscription management at 
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