Leading a home church requires a great deal of commitment on the part of the leader. Visitors from other churches often wonder how we motivate people in Dwell toward this level sacrifice and service:
- Instruction regarding the biblical precept for human leadership.
- Instruction regarding what "makes" a person a church leader.
- Continually preach and model grace in ministry.
- Instruction about learning to lead for those not gifted in leadership.
- Meetings to celebrate home church growth (Harvest Meetings)
Motivating People to Get Involved in Home Churches
Perhaps you are already personally convinced of the biblical rationale for having home churches and the need to be involved in one yourself. However, it can be quite another matter to motivate others to get involved.
Most of the adults attending Dwell are also involved a home church. How do we motivate people toward this level of involvement? How do we communicate the importance of home churches to all who attend our Central Teachings?
Here are some of the ways people are made aware of the benefits of being in a home church at Dwell:
Brought by a friend
Most new people at a Dwell meeting were brought by a member who witnessed to them. These hosts will also invite them to be their guest at their own home churches. Home churches grow relationally, not geographically.
Modeling from the leadership
Every Central Teaching teacher, every Dwell staff member, and every type of ministry team leader is involved in a home church.
Central Teaching teachers and class teachers regularly highlight the importance of home church involvement for spiritual growth. They communicate this through direct instruction and through offering personal examples. This channel has been extremely effective in raising people’s interest in home churches.
Spontaneous sharing in the larger meetings
After the teaching portion of every Central Teaching we have a time for questions and comments from the group. Members will often spontaneously share about a spiritual victory, an answered prayer, or an experience of love that occurred as a direct result of his involvement with others in a home church. Others present can sense the intimacy available through home churches.
Home Church Connection/Next Steps Booth
The Home Church Connection web page allows you to see where home groups are located around Columbus. Information includes meeting nights, demographics and a form for contacting a leader of each group. The highly-visible Next Steps Booth is located in the lobby of our meeting buildings. Here, you can search for home churches and talk with Next Steps staff members.
As mentioned elsewhere, true biblical koinonia develops best in smaller groups.
For one thing, smaller home groups provide a natural venue for building close, consistent relationships for giving and receiving biblical love. The home church context allows a profound level of intimacy to develop among the members, so that each person can truly play a vital role in the spiritual growth of others in the group. Home churches become even closer when they operate cell groups.
Also, home churches provide a natural context for discovering and exercising spiritual gifts. People are more aware of each other’s needs in smaller groups, and opportunities to serve and step into new roles are most clearly seen in the context of a home churches. Thus, home churches offer individuals an excellent opportunity to discover and then pursue God’s specific purpose for them.
Opportunity to practice what we learn
"Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up" (1 Corinthians 8:1). God intends for biblical knowledge to be put into practice in the context of loving relationships. Home churches provide an ideal environment in which individuals can contribute to the meeting by sharing what they've learned (1 Corinthians 14:26), and they can use their growing biblical knowledge to apply truth with love to each others’ life situations.
One-on-one discipleship (or mentoring) relationships are common in Dwell, but normally only with people already involved in a home church and a cell group. Disciples can be coached most effectively in the context of home churches and cell groups as they learn to love, serve, shepherd, teach, etc.
Some ministries require consistent home church involvement. Oasis, our children’s program, is one example.