Do you place a high priority on the host or hostess of the small group? Is it important that each cell group/life group have a distinct leader and a distinct host/hostess?
Carl George taught in Prepare Your Church for the Future that each cell should have a host/hostess apart from the leader of the cell (i.e., the cell should not meet in the leader’s home but in the home of the host/hostess). At one point in my cell journey I pushed this concept.
The Elim Church, the second largest church in the world, practices this strategy. Each cell has a host/hostess, who opens his/her home for the cell group. Elim places a high priority on the ministry of the cell host/hostess. The host doesn’t just open his or her home but is actively involved in reaching neighbors. Nubia Lopez, for example, started her ministry at Elim as a hostess in 1997. She opened her home for a cell group and began visiting her neighbors to befriend them and ultimately reach them for Jesus. Her goal was to find a need and meet it. One of her neighbors was very resistant to the Gospel message, so Nubia volunteered to care for her neighbor’s children, since this was her neighbor’s immediate need. As Nubia cared for these children, her neighbor saw Jesus demonstrated in such a practical way that she decided to attend the cell group and even accompany Nubia to Elim Church.
Apart from evangelism, a host/hostess can bear the administrative burden of the cell leader by preparing the home and then cleaning up afterwards.
To share the load, often cell groups will rotate the job of host among cell members. That’s what my own cell has been doing lately. We rotate among three homes–one of them being my own.
How do you view the ministry of the host/hostess in the cell group? Does each cell in your church have a distinct host/hostess? Do you rotate from house to house?