Home Church Help

As you meet around the Lord in simple ways, quality is the goal, never quantity. In other words, we want good things to be happening in the meetings and within the relationships in the group. The number of people that are gathering together is not near as important as the quality that is in your midst.

The hallmarks of quality include having a group culture that is prayerful, worshipful, and scripturally sound. We want healthy and encouraging relationships that are both loving and based in truth. We want to encounter the living God when we come together, which requires humility, submission to the Spirit, and fervent, abandoned hearts. We want to have relationships that are devoted to one another and that will work out difficult problems and remain in the light together (Rom. 12:10). These are the things that contribute to quality in a fellowship.

Quantity Can Be an Indicator – A Two Sided Coin

Sometimes the number of people attending your group is a direct reflection of the quality of the group. Think about that for a moment. People may come because it is good. People may leave because it is lacking. But this is a two sided coin. People may also be driven away from your group BECAUSE of the quality. Before we talk about that part, let’s go back and look at the first and more obvious side of the coin.

A lack of quality in your group can cause people to become disinterested. They may feel unmet. The word must be preached. People need to be taught by the more experienced. Jesus should be worshiped. People need to be loved and welcomed.  Although the goal is never to have big numbers, perhaps the reason why your group is so small, or the reason why so many people leave, could be because the quality is just not there. People are drawn to the life of Christ. They are drawn when they feel loved and accepted by others. They are drawn to sincerity and truth. All of these are huge subjects. And all three of these are difficult to maintain in any fellowship of believers (with any depth).

But let’s also consider the other side of this coin. Many times it is actually the quality you have that drives people away. How can this be?  Because of some Christians’ carnality or immaturity, they are actually afraid of intimacy in relationships, vulnerability, or deep experiences of the Spirit. Many people are also terrified of honesty. A room full of people deeply worshiping God can be quite uncomfortable to the fearful or the inexperienced person. Many are also afraid of certain biblical truths and simply cannot accept them. Truth comes with a price. Because of what it would cost them; whether in child raising, a change in lifestyle, or a change in marriage – the truth can be very offensive. Christians tend to plateau in their growth in certain areas and in certain seasons. If the Lord is emphasizing a certain truth to a group and some are unwilling to die and suffer loss in that area of their life, then they will balk. Most of the time they remove themselves, and not on good terms.

“But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

People may feel like their primary reason for seeking out a home fellowship is to find a more biblical pattern, or perhaps a desire to break free of the control and oppressive hierarchy of traditional leadership. However at their core, the heart cry of everyone is the same: To encounter Jesus Christ, to connect with others, to share life together, to know others and to be fully known, to belong, to be accepted…to be loved. But again we must remember the flip side to this coin. The flesh wants all of the above, but on its own terms. The flesh wants to feel loved, but it does not want love and truth together. Some varieties of flesh only want truth, but without love. There are difficult statements found in scripture that are very extreme. But all truth is extreme. Everything that is not of the truth is not tolerated. The truth of gravity is completely intolerant.

The Lord added to the number of disciples in Acts 5:14 because there was something going on that was good. There was quality among the saints during that time in Acts chapter 5. If people are regularly leaving your group or if there is never any increase in numbers, it could mean that there are some gaping holes in the quality of the fellowship. But again, it also could mean that the good things you have are driving some away.

One Response to “Maintaining Quality in Church Life”

  1. Don

    Thanks for that perspective, Terry. Good points. Reminds me of something I read in a book on business leadership years ago: “Profit is like health. You need it, and the more the better. But it’s not why you exist.” On that score, I think there’s probably a rough parallel between the potential deception of church growth and the potential deception of riches.

    I say that because I’ve attempted to share the gospel with wealthy men who point to their stately homes and substantial financial holdings and tell me straight up that God clearly favors them. So they don’t need saving. Along similar lines I’ve seen church people point to their large buildings and fast-growing congregations and declare that God must be moving among them. But as you point out, these are unreliable indicators.

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