The Importance of Meeting Outside the Building

by Steve Cordle

When I eat out, I judge the restaurant not only by the quality of the food but also by the atmosphere and décor. The food and the setting combine to create the experience.

Cell groups are influenced by their settings, too. If a group meets in a church building, the public setting makes it a little harder for the participants to get personal. But the same group of people meeting in a living room can feel more relaxed and open. Meeting in a home also subtly communicates, “Faith in Jesus is not just confined to church settings, but your whole life.”

Of course, homes can be distracting environments at times. It is important for the host to plan ahead to minimize phone calls, undisciplined dogs, and the like.

Meeting in homes also allows us to invite our neighbors across the yard to a familiar setting (living room) instead of across town to an environment which is foreign to them (church building).

As a pastor, I am also quite glad that we don’t have to build enough space for all the groups to meet in the building. Instead of competing for limited space in a building, we have an unlimited amount of free square footage available as the ministry grows!

Question: For those of you ministering in inner-city American environments, do you find that people willingly open their homes to host groups there as they do in suburban or small town settings?


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