Can an average couple be used by God to have a significant effect on families?
Yes! We believe that God wants all of us to make a real difference in the lives of others. Yet many in the church are held back by a lack of vision and the failure to develop skills to practically help others. Believe us, the world will be a better place if you allow God to share His blueprints for marriage through you. You can make a real difference in the lives of today’s families.
The four most common concerns people have about forming and hosting a Homebuilders group are:
“I don’t think I have enough time.”
Many potential hosts feel pressured by time—there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all they want. Believe it or not, Homebuilders actually can be a time saver. This one activity can combine a number of your top priorities. It gives you the opportunity to:
- Invest in your marriage relationship
- Study the Bible
- Improve your character
- Have fun and make friends
- Serve your church
- Reach out to those in your community who could use some help
- Strengthen your family by strengthening your marriage
You don’t need to spend a lot of time preparing for each session. Most hosts spend 15-30 minutes looking through each session. And this is a valuable time in itself because it gives you the opportunity to think and pray personally about the issues you will study in the group session.
“I don’t have any training or experience in hosting a small group.”
Obviously, some experience in small groups would be helpful, but if you have basic conversational skills, then you’ll do fine. Homebuilders studies are written so that the group host just needs to ask the questions. You don’t need to be an accomplished Bible teacher to host a Homebuilders group. In fact, your role is that of a facilitator, not a lecturer. The main function of the facilitator is to keep the discussion moving in the right direction and to provide an environment of openness, warmth, and acceptance of one another.
If you are unsure about your ability to host, consider co-hosting with another couple or rotate leadership around the group. You can divide the responsibilities. Together, you can trust God to work in your lives and help other couples.
“How can we host a group about improving your marriage when we’re still working through issues in our own marriage relationship?”
The best hosts are couples who are willing to share their successes and weaknesses while trying to have a better marriage. Unless you and your partner are working through severe problems in your relationship, chances are you could do a good job of hosting other married couples. Let them know from the outset that you are learning just as they are.
One host told us, “We have now hosted Homebuilders groups for three years. You don’t lead the group as much as you guide it. You’re not a counsellour, but you’re just another married couple who wants to see marriages work.”
“This is not my first marriage. Why would anyone listen to me?”
When it comes to marriage enrichment, those who have been previously married may feel they have nothing to offer. Since they have been divorced, they think that nobody will listen to their experiences or insight. This is far from true. Couples who have suffered the heartbreak of a divorce often go the extra mile to prevent this from happening to others and often make outstanding hosts. God has greatly used many church couples that have a background of divorce.
What is required?
While there are no requirements to host a Homebuilders group, the following are some traits that we hope are embodied by the Homebuilders host:
A desire to allow God to work in and through your life as you reach out to others.
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” It’s impossible to live the Christian life in your own power, and that’s why God gave us His Holy Spirit, who dwells within you. He gives you the power and wisdom you need to make the daily choices of life. He gives us the discernment and sensitivity to leave a legacy as hosts.
We would rather have a church couple controlled by God’s Holy Spirit hosting others than a bible college graduate or a professional counsellour not controlled by the Spirit. The reason being, every Homebuilders group is different, and every situation and every person is unique. There is no way that you can be trained to deal with every situation. But the Holy Spirit can and will give you wisdom in any situation.