Responding to "We Do Church at Home"
by Steve Backlund
Read this excerpt from Steve's first church leadership book, Help! I'm a Pastor about a common scenario many church leaders face with people they know.
Pastor Unita Church is frustrated with the Freedom family who attends her church’s special meetings, but does not come on Sunday because they watch Internet services of their favorite revival church. Frank Freedom tells Pastor Church, “We believe God has called us to do church at home as a family. We appreciate what you offer in these special meetings, but we do not believe we are to attend consistently.” Unita has noticed that the Freedom family seem to be strong, consistent believers and have children who love God. If you were Pastor Church, would you strongly encourage the Freedoms to start attending a church?
LIES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SCENARIO
- People who do church in their home are bad people.
- If we disagree with what someone is doing, it means we are dishonoring them.
- Churches who put their services on the Internet are a hindrance to the local
- Only a legalistic person would be concerned if someone was not in consistent fellowship.
LIFE AND LEADERSHIP CORE VALUES TO CONSIDER
- Core Value #16 – I embrace seasons of building trust in the eyes of those I lead.
- Core Value #38 – I pastor a city and region, not just a local church.
- Core Value #35 – I adapt my leadership and relational emphasis according to the culture I am in.
- Core Value #61 – I have high-level beliefs about the people I lead and desire to influence.
- Core Value #70 – I am more for things than I am against things.
For 80 life and leadership core values, reference pages xv-xxviii in 'Help! I'm a Pastor.'
DISCERNING WHAT GOD IS DEVELOPING IN ME
- I am learning how to become an increased strength to all believers in my
- I have the opportunity to evaluate how my church can grow in reaching
- different kinds of people.
- I get to celebrate believers in my area who have a great hunger for God.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING ACTION
- Am I more concerned about building my church than what God is doing in people?
- How can I be a blessing to this family?
- How can we become stronger in reaching those who have become disillusioned by church?
- How can we increase a value for being connected with a local group of people?
- Should I share my concerns with this family? If so, how and when?
PRACTICAL STEPS TO CONSIDER
- Understand why many Christians do not attend traditional churches – It is too simplistic to say people who do not attend a church regularly are out of God’s will. Some do not come because they have had very negative experiences in church. Others do not have a revelation of the importance of consistent fellowship. There are also those who have challenging family dynamics which affect the ability to make a church commitment. Certainly some are distracted by wrong priorities and undisciplined living. Whatever the reason, it is always good to understand people before labeling them as wrong or uncommitted.
- Determine to “pastor” a region, not just your church – It is small thinking to only consider yourself the shepherd of the people who attend your ministry. Something powerful happens when we take spiritual ownership of a city or region. The success of our ministry is not determined by how many people attend on a weekend, but it is to be judged by the influence we have on the widest spectrum of people – including other churches and those who do church at home. This positive impact will increase exponentially when we do it out of pure motives, and not out of selfish ambition.
- Articulate life-giving beliefs about the importance of being in consistent fellowship – Many leaders have used Hebrews 10:25 as a spiritual club in an attempt to knock sense into inconsistent church attendees (“not forsaking the assembling together as is the manner of some”), but using Scripture as a law probably will not help most people. Great leaders have the ability to inspire people to do what they formerly did not want to do.
- I love Christians who do church at their home and am a blessing to them.
- Because of the amount of life in our church, people can hardly stay away.
- I am able to articulate great beliefs about why Christians should commit to consistent fellowship.
About Help! I'm a Pastor
Help! I Am a Pastor addresses many common situations in church life that few seem really prepared for, including 80 life and leadership core values and 50 scenarios. It gives tools to successfully addressing these happenings with humor, healthy beliefs, and divine strategies. The truths presented will help every church leader become more proactive in his or her leadership, plus be able to equip their teams with the core values necessary to create healthy ministries.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.