How much should I focus on creating networks of healthy life groups and how much time should be invested in producing life change both inside your life and the lives of others?
What House Churches get Wrong.
There is leveraged impact when many people are moving in one direction together and it allows more of everything. Appearance of Energy. Potential Impact. Tighter Communication. Clearer Direction. Unity.
The greater number of resources invested ideally produces more consistency in vision and clarity of content along with the control of content. House churches attempt to decentralize and as a result lose some of the quality control piece of teaching, leader development, and accountability. Everyone is left to their own devices with little oversight and free reign that could go terribly wrong. Things go well and you begin to grow and develop a need to create a leadership pipeline of mature elders though never sought that at the onset. You release control of teaching to more voices and develop checks and balances for accountability.
What Large Systems get Wrong.
Likewise, when you put to much emphasis on the system to carry the day you lose out on the individual effort required in transformation.
1. You lose the ownership and buy in to be personally transformed from the inside out.
2. You rely on someone else to deliver the mail via video feed, curriculum, or “sermon” based messages that are overly application based.
3. You have a confused philosophy that believes the vessel can do more than it actually can. The vessel can never truly provide the impact because at its essence it is just. a. vehicle.
The true heart of a vessel is provide a platform for the treasure to be carried, but in an attempt to leverage the treasure, we begin spending more time on vessel maintenance than should be warranted.
Finding the Balance
In an attempt to do both, you allow autonomous, leader led, built, gathered communities to find support and direction within a community of those fellow leaders driven by your most mature, future elders working alongside vocational elders/staff that can invest more time to unity and corporate momentum and direction.
1. Inside-Out Philosophy. A system that encourages informality.
2. Text based sermons. Self feeders pursuing God through his word and finding ownership in the unified direction.
3. Corporate Gatherings outside of Worship. Larger, intentional equipping labs that provide rails for those autonomous leaders to run on that can come alongside personality types while simultaneously allow for freedom of Gods unique personal design of skill sets to be lived out as they shepherd their people.