I really appreciated what Steve Cordle said on his Thursday blog about holiness. Last Wednesday I was on the phone with a pastor who also leads an open cell group. He was just about to release a leader to take over his own group, while he planted another one. But as we talked about this particular new leader, we both agreed that he needed to first go through my Encounter book to make sure he was walking in holiness in all areas of his life (this pastor happened to be using my encounter material but there are a number of other great encounter resources out there that help members walk in holiness).
I know this pastor wanted to quickly leave his group in the hands of someone else, yet long term effectivness demands holiness in the life of the leader. Holiness brings fruit. Without holiness, cell leaders won’t bear long-term fruit.
Some shy away from talking about holiness. They only want to talk about God’s grace. But let’s remember that true grace brings holiness! Pauls says in Titus 2:11-14, ” For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
In one sense, the entire cell movement is trying to say, “let’s get back to holy living; let’s start walking in honesty and truth with one another. Let’s start seeing real change among our members.”