I first wrote this blog for the ONE Body Life Blog at this link.
If you have ever wanted to attend a house fellowship, but couldn’t find one, why not start one yourself? It’s easy. Any believer can do it if they follow these simple steps.
1) Pray and surrender: Give up your expectations and turn it over to Jesus. Let it be His meeting, not yours. That takes a lot of pressure off. (No need to worry about numbers or agendas.) You don’t have to lead it. Just create an open, loving atmosphere and watch what the risen Jesus can do in your home.
2) Invite a few friends over to your house. You don’t need a big crowd. Jesus promised to be with us, even in “groups” of two or three. So don’t try to get dozens of people over. Start small with twelve or less.
3) If you want to, have food. However, for me, if I’m hosting, organizing food can be a distraction and make it hard to focus on hearing the Spirit. So food is fine, if you want to have it, but it isn’t a requirement. If you do have food, it is good to serve it either before or after the meeting time and not during the meeting.
4) Be prayed up and in the Spirit. Then warmly welcome everyone who comes and create a loving atmosphere as people arrive.
5) When you’re ready, pull everyone together. I’ve found that it is helpful to begin with someone leading heart-felt worship songs. (I ask them to be the “lead worshiper” and not the worship leader.) Let the worship go as long as the Spirit is moving and working.
6) As worship tapers off, tell the group that this is an open meeting and that anyone can share as they feel prompted by the Holy Spirit. Encourage them to consider others and to make their sharing short so that others will have time to share. Then say a prayer with the group and watch what the risen Jesus does next.
7) In most cases the Holy Spirit will run the meeting all by Himself. As the host all you have to do is to be what the New Testament calls an “overseer.” (Other mature believers who are present may also help oversee the meeting.) An overseer is like an official in basket ball. She or he, just stays out of the way and observes what is going.
Should anything be said or done that is off base or unbiblical, an overseer kindly interrupts the person and says something like, “Thank you for sharing. Who else has something from the Spirit?” If something biblically way off base is shared, an overseer can take 30 seconds to gently correct it and then turn the meeting back over to Jesus. Also it is good to not let the meeting turn into a counseling session where everybody begins to instruct one person. Sometimes it is good to kindly remind people not to share unless they know the Holy Spirit is telling them to do so.
Note by Henry Hon: I would recommend not openly correcting anyone as an authority figure. It is much more profitable to have personal fellowship in private if correction is needed. If an authoritative correction is done openly, it could well discourage others from speaking up since they would be afraid to say anything wrong. If no one is dominating the fellowship time, then even if something is spoken that is unscriptural, it will be covered over by others speaking concerning Jesus. So, in my experience, the typical “referee” job is just to make sure no one dominates and everyone has opportunity and time to share what is in them.
8) Let Jesus, Himself, end the meeting. People will know when the meeting is winding down and it is time to go.
So what can you expect from this 8-step process? Every meeting will be different. Ordinary people will say and do things that amaze you. Some will even read from Scripture and give short teachings. You will see the Holy Spirit coordinate the various things that are shared into one. You will continually feel His presence. People will open their hearts to the group. They will compassionately pray over one another. The gifts of the Spirit (listed in 1 Corinthians 12) will begin to happen right in front of you. Love will fill the room. Some tender tears will probably flow. People will be built up and encouraged.
So what are you waiting for? Try this in your home and see what God does. This is not a formula for you to follow, but a simple way for you to create an atmosphere where the risen Jesus can take control.
If you need personal coaching or have questions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t wait to hear how God works in your home!