[NTCP] The need for gifted speakers in the meetings.

Dave Strickland Dave at cedarcrestbaptist.com
Mon May 31 11:06:54 EDT 2004

    Brief note on this. I work in southern Asia. My focus is a little
different as I never intend to start a permanent group but more I hope to
get men together that will eventually start groups of  thier own. But
getting those in attendance to share is tough. When I first started 8 months
ago it was just a group of friends. We came together under the pretext of I
was an American Christian Tourist and I wanted to get to know them and thier
country better gradually over time it has developed but it's still tough,
just getting them to set apart time and get together is a challange and the
preasure is always hanging overhead that they will stop coming. As long as I
have to cattle prod them into showing up it's hard to also expect them to
share. Recently I had to go on a trip for about 6 weeks during that time
they never got together. Once I came back they started meeting again. The
problem is 2 fold.

1. They expect me to lead as they see me as the one with all the answers.
Since they are all young christians they think they know so little they feal
it is "Disrespectful" to share if I am present and if I am not then they see
no reason to get together.

2. Natural leaders always emerge. In any group you have leaders and
followers. The proportions are different in different groups. In another
group I work with thier are two other strong leaders they also share and are
willing to speak out. Coming from the business world and having been a part
of many development teams the problem is not just something isolated to
house churchs. Getting people to become involved invest some of themselves
to the group and share their opinions is tough in any group or organization
but natural leaders eventually emerge the more you have the more cross talk
you get.
    In business you can hire leaders adding them to your team to get
involvement. In Christian circles though natural leaders seem to be the last
ones we approach to come to a group. They are opinionated and strong willed.
It is much easier to gather together natural followers then it is to attract

3. Something else where I work there is a huge diversity of languages. The
result I have noticed is that a Language has to be chosen in which the
discussions will be held. This then limits the conversation to those that
are most confident in that language and excludes those with only some or
little knowledge in that language.

    In short I'd say several things are key to getting interaction. 1
everyone or at least everyone you expect to share and be involved needs to
be at the same spiritual maturity level. Otherwise those that know less will
look to those that know more to see if what they are saying is right.
Natural leadership ability and potential. We need to develope leadership and
push people out of thier comfort zones. Get them to organize something or
coordinate something, giving them a responsibility that forces them to
interact and lead something small will develop thier confidence to the point
that they can lead. Lastly leave. The person that started the group
eventually needs to move on and start another. He should always be preping
the group for that eventuality. However I have learned that this can also
give the group an air of being temporary so this must be carefully balanced.
Yes we need to move on to the next work God has for us but if those involved
with the group feal that you will be leaving to quickly they come to the
group "just until you leave."

My 2 cents
David Strickland

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "linkh at mfire.com" <link at mfire.com>
To: <ntcp at housechurch.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 7:27 AM
Subject: [ntcp] The need for gifted speakers in the meetings.

> I wonder sometimes about the need for gifted speakers verses the one-man
> show.
> I've been in HC meetings where many gifted people dig into the word and
> teach out if it.  I find this to be very edifying.
> But have you ever been to a meeting where not many people had much of
> anything too deep to say?
> I visited a house church here where the host functioned kind of like a
> traditional pastor.  Except he did more in a lot of ways.  He played the
> guitar.  He gave a sermon.  The difference was that there was a testimony
> time before the singing in which people were free to share, though the
> tendancy was just to give testimonies.  His message, though, was good, and
> know it ministered to some people there.
> This was in Asia where people tend to be less active in group discussions
> and things of that nature.
> In your experience, are there times when one person should do most of the
> teaching in the meeting-- like when a church plant is new and most of the
> congregation are immature or just too scared to teach or share words of
> edification?  How do you get people to where they want to share?
> Also, I am wondering if I should talk to this brother who hosts a
> quasi-instituitional style HC.  I know he has a vision for there to be
> small house churches-- rabbit churches instead of elephant churches.  I
> shared a little about mutual ministry during testimony time one time when
> visited there.  Maybe if I shared with him about the need to get people
> to teaching and leading for future church plants, that would be a
> perspective he could appreciate.
> How do we find the balance between the need for gifted teaching, and the
> need for the whole body to participate?  How do you get the whole church
> the house to use their gifts?
> Any comments?
>     -o-  Info and email management at
ttp://world-missions.org/planting  -o-

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