What about structure and leadership?

We are convinced that each house church should have as much autonomy as is compatible with its stage of growth. There will usually be a designated leader or leadership couple, whose role may be shared with another leader/couple. The role of the leaders is primarily to facilitate. The ideal style is servant leadership in a low-key manner. To be effective, the leader must exhibit honest self-disclosure and acknowledge his or her struggles when appropriate.

Important decisions, as much as possible, should be made by consensus. However, circumstances will arise on occasion which will require the intervention of a leader. This is particularly true when someone may attempt to manipulate the meeting. In such a case, it is wise for the leader to review his or her decision with another leader or elder as soon as is feasible after the incident.

One well-known writer on house church issues believes that all house church decisions should be made by consensus, and that leadership should never be appointed, but should emerge out of the interactive process. We disagree, but we also acknowledge that we are learning.

The house church leader will often be an elder, whose main role should be modeling, mentoring, and training, supplemented with much prayer. The eldership should exercise a facilitative and consultative role, with the mindset of working themselves out of a job. Ideally, one or more elders should in time be released for apostolic (church planting) activity, and replaced by emerging elders. We believe it is always wise to have a plurality of elders, and when that is not possible or advisable, outside guidance should be sought.

The house church meeting

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