Being A Home Church Leader

As God continues to use us at Bethany to spread the Good News of Jesus and invite others in Niagara to follow Him, we’re faced with an interesting opportunity.

To find more space!

No, not in our parking lot, Auditorium or in KidZone. The opportunity is that, as we get ready to start up our Home Churches (our name at Bethany for adult small groups) this Fall we need more of them to make space for everyone who wants to be connected. As a church, we simply aren’t content to turn people away when they’re looking for meaningful connections that will help them grow and follow Jesus more. So, the opportunity is simply this. We want more Home Church leaders!

Now, if you’re like most of us, the idea of leading feels daunting. Do a search on Amazon, Google or any of John Maxwell’s books you’ll find an extremely long list of skills, abilities, attitudes, characteristics, leadership laws and more about what it takes to lead. Some of them are incredibly helpful, others, not so much. But inevitably, that long list makes it feel like only a select kind of person has what it takes to lead and, if you’re like most of us, you probably get the sense you wouldn’t make the cut. Or, maybe you’ve tried leading a small group before, either at Bethany or another church, and felt like the responsibility was too great.

We get it. And to be honest, we’re not saying that leading a Home Church isn’t a big responsibility. It is just not in the way you might be thinking.

That’s because we believe Jesus’ teaching about leadership to be true, that leading well isn’t about demonstrating authority, knowledge or skill, but will always mean serving. Having any sort of great impact in God’s Kingdom will mean wanting to follow Jesus well and caring well for others.  Jesus says in Luke 9, that to be His disciple we need to follow Him, and in Mark 10 that “whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”

Put plainly, if we want to lead according to Jesus’ way, leaders are expected to do two things well:

  1. Love Jesus, which means working to be obedient to Him (John 14:15,21)
  2. And, love others

That’s it. A Home Church leader doesn’t need to have a degree in ancient Hebrew, isn’t required to have full chapters of the Bible memorized and doesn’t need to have 25 years experience following Jesus. All those things can be good, but all that Home Church leaders need is a desire to follow Jesus more and a willingness to care well for the few others in their Home Church. If our trajectory is pointed towards Jesus, taking our next steps with Him, then we’re headed in the right direction. Whether it’s one of your first steps with Jesus or your 10,000th, Jesus works in us to lead and care for others as we walk with Him.

It sounds crazy but, let’s be honest, this is how God has always built His church, by working through people that thought of themselves as unqualified to lead more and more people into a relationship with Jesus.

The bottom line is that we need more Home Churches at Bethany to make space for more people who want to take more steps with Jesus, together. We’re convinced that God is still doing great things in our city and is calling people all over to follow Him. As a church, we want to be part of this great work.

To do this we need more individuals and couples who will be willing to lead a Home Church. Maybe you’re in a Home Church already but would be interested in helping to start a new one. Or maybe you’re not yet connected but would like to be. If that’s you we’d like you to do the following:

  1. Pray about it. Share your thoughts with God and invite others you trust to pray with you. If you feel God leading you toward leading a Home Church…
  2. Start thinking about what day of the week and where yours will meet. Our Home Churches will start meeting for the Fall season the week of Sunday, September 9th. We are encouraging Home Churches to meet weekly at the same time and place to provide consistency and a better opportunity to grow together with others in the Home Church.
  3. Let us know you’re interested in knowing more. You can do that by filling out this short form or by contacting Jamie Reimer (Group Life Director) at or 905-937-5300 x217.

If you’re interested in helping a new Home Church get started but aren’t sure if leading one is the next step for you, then maybe you’d want to consider being a host for your Home Church. If that’s you, just follow step 3, above.

Talk to you soon!