“What agenda should our group meetings follow?”
“How often should our group meet?”
There are a million and one decisions to make when leading a cell church.
For answer, you could copy another church’s practice, but there are at least two problems with that.
First, it probably won’t work as well for you as it does for them. Their practice is shaped by their context and is based on what God led them to do. You probably don’t live in their city and even if you do, you are not them.
Second, someone is eventually going to ask, “Why do we do it that way?” You need a different answer besides, “So-and-so Church does it that way, and they’re blessed”. If you don’t have a better answer, it will leave people unconvinced and dissatisfied.
The best answers to the questions of practice are based on the scriptural and Kingdom values.
Here are a couple of biblical truths which can guide you in the building of a solid cell ministry foundation.
Truth #1- A disciple is one who hears and obeys Jesus.
Jesus clearly defined the kind of disciples we are to make:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
The goal of your ministry is not to get a lot of people into groups. The goal is to make disciples who hear and obey.
So when confronting options for designing your cell ministry procedures, a key question to ask is, “Which approach will best help people hear and obey the Lord’s word?”
Truth # 2: Discipleship happens in a relational context.
When Jesus started making disciples, he said, “Follow me.” He didn’t say, “Listen to me teach,” or “read my books.” He invited the 12 into community. His disciple making was personal.
The New Testament gives us at least 50 “One another” statements: “love one another,” “bear one another’s burdens,” “forgive one another,” and so on.
In order to grow in our faith, we must be with “one another.” As Ralph Moore said, “No relationship, no discipleship.”
So when making cell ministry decisions, consider “What will promote true community and influence?”
You may come up with structures that look similar to those of another church, but the key is you will have built your ministry on scriptural fondations, not trending fads.
Steve Cordle is the founding and lead pastor of Crossroads Church, a small group-based congregation with five locations in the Pittsburgh metro area. He also leads a18movement, a non-profit dedicated catalyzing church plants globally. Steve is the author of three books: A Jesus-Shaped Life, Hear it, See it, Risk it, and The Church in Many Houses. He coaches pastors and church planters in the United States and Western Europe. He enjoys running, playing classical piano, and all Pittsburgh sports. Steve is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary (M. Div) and United Theological Seminary (D. Min). Steve and his wife, Linda, have three grown sons, three daughters-in-love, and three grandchildren.
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