A Vision For Christian Servanthood

Dennis McCallum
Our vision for advancing in the cause of Christ today should still, as it has in the past, center around the formation, nature and composition of our work force. Dwell has always been viewed as a church with an extraordinary work force. However, today the values which have brought us this far are not as clear as they should be, and a general sense of confusion has settled over the church. Today, we have to decide whether we want a work force that is divided, demoralized and immature, or a work force whose way of life reflects godly values and the effectiveness that comes with those values. Our future success as a house-church planting movement depends on these values.

Areas of Leadership Responsibility

Dennis McCallum
Christian leaders have to function in a number of areas, and different leaders will perform better in some areas than others. Leaders should appraise their own strengths and weaknesses, not hesitating to get help in their weak areas when possible. At the same time, all leaders need to be ready in principle to perform in all of these areas on occasion.

Balance in Spiritual Experience: "Crisis" vs "Process"

Gary DeLashmutt
Christian spiritual experience is a very broad and rich biblical theme. We have been invited into a personal relationship with Christ--a relationship that can be experienced. We have been given the gift of the New Covenant--the Holy Spirit who personally communicates the life of Jesus Christ to us and through us to the world. For these and other biblical reasons, we are fully justified in both wanting and cultivating a rich experiential dimension in our relationships with Christ.

Dependent Relationship Clusters

Dennis McCallum
The notion that leadership neglect is abuse, for instance, suggests an understanding of leadership that is analogous to parents and children. This is out of order. Children are entirely dependent on their parents, and must be supervised closely at all times. Therefore neglecting them is abusive. This argument cannot be applied to church leaders and their members without accepting a dependency model that conforms somewhat to the descriptions of addiction in Toxic Faith.

Developing a Theology of Failure

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
The biggest problem with many of us is that we are soft from too much success. We are like a child riding a bike on training wheels who thinks he has actually learned to ride. His parents warn him, "It's a little harder when you take the wheels off," but until you actually do take them off, the kid continues to enjoy a false sense of mastery. Once the wheels come off, the child may have to endure a few nasty crashes that could lead to tears, and even a refusal to ride anymore. But without removing the wheels, he will never learn to ride.

Effective Leaders Meetings

Doug Patch
"Effective!" Is that how you would describe your meetings? Do you even have leaders' meetings or believe they are a waste of time? It is difficult to imagine how a leader can effectively communicate to the home church – verbally and by modeling – excitement and direction for evangelism and discipleship without healthy leaders meetings that evaluate the success and direction of the group. Here is a brief guide on how leaders' meetings can help a home church "stay the course."

Eleven Reasons Why Home Fellowship Groups Usually Fail

Dennis McCallum
The need for effective small-group ministry is implied in the New Testament. If the local church is to develop the spiritual gifts of its members, mobilize the terrific power of the Holy Spirit to work through a trained and experienced laity, and facilitate true relationship-based community, it will need to organize smaller groups. Dwell Community Church, an independent fellowship in Columbus, Ohio, has centered around lay-led home church ministry since beginning in 1970. Using this focus, Dwell has grown from a handful to roughly 5,000 today. Home churches have also resulted in good morale among the hundreds of lay leaders, all graduates of a two-year graded training course.

Factors in Leading Change in the Church

Dennis McCallum
We should consider a number of special factors when our leadership is taking people from an established way of doing things to a new way.

Follow Up Workshop

Dennis McCallum
In general, the primary person responsible for interacting with new guests is the person who brought them. Bringers should not abandon their guests unless they are satisfied that others have already engaged them. New people should not be left alone during social times before or after meetings. However, most bringers are happy to have others in the home church talk to their guests, either together, or even instead of the bringer. This could be because the guest is a different gender than the bringer (especially in singles groups), or because the bringer has already made progress, but would now like to have other voices confirm what they have been saying. Typically, other members from the same cell group as the bringer should feel special responsibility to follow up guests. Those from the related men’s or women’s cell would be equally suitable. If a bringer wants others in their cell group to help follow up with a guest, the best thing to do is let them know of the need beforehand.

Goals for Personal Discipleship

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
A discipler is one who helps people attain servant team status by both ministering in a general way in the church, and by holding specific meetings for study, coaching, counseling, and prayer, all in the context of a close personal relationship. Discipleship usually begins in the context of the home church and cell group. Numerous members may contribute to the process at this level. Body life is a major contributor to the discipleship task. Below we have described what we see as the nine main areas of learning and growth every disciple needs in order to be complete and mature. For each area of learning, we have described specific skills, attitudes, and competencies the disciple needs to acquire in the course of the discipling process.