Look on the Cheaper Side

Busy day yesterday. Trying to get the place in condition for Saturday’s Bible study. Last week we didn’t have much besides chairs – I kinda wanted it to feel like a blank canvas, so that the students could feel changes happening with or without them over the next few weeks. Hopefully stir some more interest in service. There’s lots more to do today, too.

There’s definitely a couple benefits towards meeting in your house. I would say, though, that these benefits don’t amount to much in comparison to having a separate location. However, starting off in our house probably helped us a little bit, but I think we definitely stayed too long. It seems that you really have to consider your purposes. If you are always planning on having a small, sure-to-be under-the-radar operation, you might want to save yourself some cash and time and meet in your house. But if you’re going to attempt to get something large off the ground, you’ll need to be in a separate place sooner or later, anyway, and, in a lot of countries, the benefits to having the separate place are worth the couple hundred dollars you’ll pay a month in rent. But on to the advantages…

First, we have mostly college students right now. They’re away from home, parent-less, home-less, some even friend-less. They do not often have the opportunity to go and visit someone’s house, especially some foreigner’s. So the chance to spend time at our house really attracted a lot of them. Students often commented to us about our hospitality and how much they enjoyed spending time at our house.

Then, it saved us some money while we figured out what the next step was. This probably isn’t a very transferable idea, mainly because we didn’t start as a Chinese church but an English Bible study. So we didn’t know that what we were starting would turn out to be a major part of our lives here. I didn’t really know if we would have two people or twenty people. Again, it didn’t save us much money (rent’s pretty cheap, and I’m paying all the same set-up expenses now), and we almost definitely stayed in our house for too long. Due in part to the fact that I’m a cheapskate. But meeting here for a little while gave me time to see how large of a place we needed, as well as a little bit of a vision about how we would be using that place in the future. That really helps when you’re “place-shopping.” I don’t know how I ever would have picked something before. If you’ve got ministry experience in your country, the language ability taken care of, and a decent understanding of what your next few steps are, I’m not sure there’s much reason to spend much time meeting in your house. Unless you’re a cheapskate.

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