“Our house church is always in flux. We meet Shan that come from the village looking for more education or work. Then they move to either another city or country searching for money to send home. Some weeks our house church is full and then the next time there are just a few. We often do not know when a friend has moved or where!”
Shan-Tai prayer month 2011, day 11
I live in a university town. Every year we have an influx of new students and exodus of graduates. Effectively one fifth of the city’s population is transient, coming and going with the passing semesters. Some students stay for multiple degrees, a PhD will keep someone here for almost a decade. Others depart after only months.
At the beginning of each year when the students are refreshed and eager our homegroups swell in numbers. During semester breaks and around exam times it is the steadfast folks only who remain as a skeleton of the former group.
A highly mobile and fluid congregation is a challenge to any church, especially if trying to disciple young Christians. It takes time, effort and dedication to keep in contact with people who move frequently and may not reciprocate the efforts to stay in touch.
In this it is good to remember that the Body of Christ spans the globe and our Father knows where every one of His sheep are. We may sow seeds, or water, or pull weeds from the garden, but the growth is from God.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6–7 ESV)
- The Shan to come into contact wiht believers as they travel (Acts 8:35).
- Praise God for His presence in all the world (Psalm 139:7–8).
- Those who hear about Jesus to believe in Him and stay strong in their faith when far away from other believers (Acts 18:26–28).