House Church Shepherds (HCS): Think of HCSs as the “Sunday school teachers” of the house church. They lead the care group that is the house church. They are not pastors or deacons. Their responsibility overlaps into the area we typically see in pastors and deacons but only for their particular house church.
The HCS are under the corporate authority of and are mutually accountable to the Presbytery Council, their district/regional elders ( and any elders they may happen to fall under if they are not elders themselves). They are under the day-to-day oversight of a designated elder representatives (the district elder if they themselves are an elder). They are directly responsible for ministry to the members of their individual house church. They shall carefully watch over and guide the spiritual interests of the house church and other ministry groups as assigned by their presbytery representative (usually a district/regional elder).
They shall perform all scriptural duties of their office as servants of the church, and such other duties as shall be delegated by the Presbytery Council. The HCSs will seek to maintain unity and strong lines of communication with the members of the Presbytery Council through their district elders as they serve together in exercising oversight of the affairs of the Church in all its relationships.
The goal of the church is growth through the multiplication of the house churches. Therefore, the most important level of the church is the house church. The responsibilities of house shepherds include, but are not limited to:
- Organizing, discipleship and leading fellowship among members
- Personal devotion and intercessory prayer for members
- Raising up and mentoring interns who will lead the next house church when a multiplication occurs
- Exhortation in the house church to invite friends
- Leading evangelism efforts at the house church level and setting goals for multiplication of the house church and the “birthing” of “daughter” churches
- Seeing that the needs of the members are ministered to
- Ensuring church discipline is maintained (certain matters of church discipline will be handled by the Elders)
House shepherds may be elders, deacons or any member of Agape Home Fellowship who is in good standing and is approved by the Presbytery Council, members of the Presbytery Council, or their designate. They are to be upheld to the same high standards of Christianity as determined by the Scriptures and the constitution and by-laws.
House shepherds will be appointed by the Presbytery Council or designated members of the Presbytery Council (usually the district elders) and will report directly to them or their designate. The Presbytery Council will determine the means and methods by which house shepherds will be established and governed, by majority vote.
*** House shepherds will usually host the house church in their homes. However, this is not a requirement. Other members, who do not wish to shepherd a house church, are certainly free to host house churches in their homes but have another member shepherd those house churches.