House Church Talk - Re: House Church Talk Digest, Vol 3, Issue 89

Keith Smith castillofuerte at
Mon Mar 29 09:09:51 EST 2004

Sean and Cliff wrote:

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 06:16:17 -0800
From: cliffsilliman at<mailto:cliffsilliman at>
Subject: Re: House Church Talk -  Growing Pains
To: House Church Talk  at<mailto:House Church Talk  at>
Message-ID: <20040327.175337.-520543.0.cliffsilliman at<mailto:20040327.175337.-520543.0.cliffsilliman at>>
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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 out.

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<mailto:cliffsilliman at>>
1 Corinthians 14:15

On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 22:04:47 -0800 "Sean Kelly" <seank at<mailto:seank at>> wrote:
> 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 tooffer 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 thosewho 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

Well, generally I agree with Cliff, but when it comes to the unrully children I think that you really need to think this one through. 1) in my house I expect a certain behaviour, and I have no problem explaining that to whoever... but at the same time I am a realist, my kids were exposed to all sorts of language and behaviour in the streets and other places (as well as occasionally from visitors), I simply taught them that this is how the world behaves and that God has called us to a different way of life and gives us the grace to live it to His glory. They consistently lived that higher life, and were consistentlymore attractive both to their friends and their friends parents, who saw them as good examples. We told them never to criticise their friends just be good models of behaviour (We corrected their friends in our home, and they soon learned that in our home the rules were different). Soon we not only were adding kids to the church, but their parents too. Our kids have grown and gone on to church planting ventures of their own, reaching out to folk that holy people haven't got time for.

The second question faces many House Churches. The answer is simple, don't split, but have more meetings on different days of the week. SUNDAY IS NOT SACRED! some will find mondays more acceptabe and others thursdays, you can all go to all of the meetings if you like (but that will seldom happen) each will find a niche, and the churches will slowly move apart ameoba like. Then once in a while (monthly for example) you can have a bigger joint meeting in a rented room or hall, where anyone can visit, keeping the home meetings for those who really want to become part of you. We've done this over some years and it really works.

Keith from Spain (in the USA at present)

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