Starting from the age of 11, I studied overseas living in 3 boarding houses in Singapore and Perth over 11 years. When the church started I stayed in a ministry house till Dinah and I got married in Jul 92. After we got married, we had different single leaders come stay overnight in our guest room for extended discipleship.
My buddy Lawrence is a min-house veteran. He stayed in 6 different ministry houses. He said it's 7 if you count the office when he was in-between ministry houses. He reminds me of Christ who lived with his disciples for several years, and Paul who lived with different apostolic teams with whom he traveled.
The purpose of a ministry house is to encourage discipleship through learning and sharing a Christ-centred lifestyle with other disciples. They are also a great way for singles to enjoy the benefit of Christian community.
A ministry house is started when a few guys (or a few gals) from a mid-size group come together and rent a place. Ministry houses like all homes have ground rules and there are 'house captains'. We provide guidelines and our leaders assist and advise house captains even though this leadership is not an official office in the church.
Today we have people staying in 18 ministry houses. Most come from overseas. We also have ministry houses when our go-teams land overseas for missions.
I'm sure those of us who live or have lived in a ministry house can sure tell a few blooper stories. The overall discipleship effect over the years has been good. We have seem many people (pastors included) growing in character and building close relationships, while serving the local church.