JCG Board (team) Meeting

jcgREDUCEDWe had a great board meeting in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks for praying. The JCG group “board” can best be described as a team. We actually like each other. We do ministry together. We work together for the same end–resouring the worldwide cell church. Here’s an example of what happened:


We spent the morning answering the following questions:

-What event/experience/ relationship do you take great joy in since we last met? Please share something that is personal and not related to church life.
-What has been a struggle or burden for you since we last met? Please share something that is personal and not related to church life.
-If you could change one thing about your life right now, then what would it be? Please share something that is personal and not related to church life.
-What was a point of celebration for you in the church where you serve (since we last met)? What failure did you experience in the church where you serve (since we last met)?

Powerful questions that I’d recommend that you use sometime! We shared deeply, prayed, and then went to lunch–Fuddruckers has been our traditional lunch spot for the last four years.

In the evening I reminded everyone that we are a ministry that resources the worldwide cell church through:

o Internet resourcing
 Blogging
 Articles
 Translations
o Coaching and seminars
o Publishing arm

After affirming and discussing our vision, we laid out the talking points for the next day. We went to our rooms to pray, relax, and prepare ourselves for the next day. I loved running on the beach that evening. I ran beyond the second pier to a place in where God’s creation reigned. God always speaks to me there. I wasn’t disappointed.


At 9 a.m. we were ready to roll. We discussed new and better ways to financially support the ministry, day with Joel Comiskey/Mario Vega, a cell church networking group, reaching the post-modern generation, how to fine-tune the  blogging, improving our web presence, and how to better connect with churches not familiar with the cell church movement.

We will fill you in on many more details soon.

With regard to this blog, we will blog Monday-Thursday, leaving the weekend clear. Mario Vega, a JCG board member, has agreed to blog regularly on Thursday. I’ll blog on Monday, Rob Campbell on Tuesday, Steve Cordle on Wednesday, and Mario on Thursday (when Mario can’t do it, I’ll replace him). Jeff Tunnell, a cell church pastor in Big Bear, will pinch hit for us. We’d also like to have more blog interviews with those in the cell battle–like yourselves!

We’re excited how God has raised up JCG and continues to use this ministry. We also expect Him to use us in the future.

Joel Comiskey

p.s.: I’ve combined today’s blog with Monday’s blog.

Please Pray for JCG Team Meeting

PRAYOn February 26-27, the Joel Comiskey Group team meets in Myrtle Beach. Pray for Steve Cordle, Rob Campbell, and Mario Vega, Celyce Comiskey and myself as we pray and talk about the future of JCG (Jeff Tunnell will also be present as our special guest).

First and foremost, we’ll be connecting with each other, sharing burdens and concerns, and then casting vision for 2008. We also do a lot of nitty-gritty planning. All that you’ve shared thus far about blogging, learning modes, and future events will be processed.

We will NOT be blogging from Monday to Thursday of next week. On Friday, February 29, 2008, I’ll post another blog, telling you about what happened at the JCG team meeting. Please pray for God’s Spirit to come upon us, so that we might have wisdom to know God’s plan for JCG.



Joel Comiskey

A Day with Joel Comiskey?


Thanks to all who have been offering the great feedback about cell ministry learning and JCG in particular!

Question: if JCG were to offer “A Day with Joel Comiskey” learning event, how interested in attending would you be?Ideas: Attendance would be limited to assure everyone got personal interaction time with Joel. There might be a combination of informal presentations roundtable conversation, and lots of Q & A… the agenda driven largely by those attending. 

What do you think? Suggestions?

We will discuss this idea at the Board meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, so your input will be valued. 

Steve Cordle

The JCG Blog-How Can We Improve It?

joelRob mentioned our JCG meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday (26-27) in Myrtle Beach (Buddy Lindsay, the tax lawyer who organized JCG, lives inblog Myrtle Beach and owns a Hampton Inn hotel, which he offers for us at super reduced rates).

We spend the morning on Tuesday building our team relationships. Often the icebreaker is to show five significant pictures that summarize our past year and explain why those pictures are so important. We take time to pray and then share lunch together. Tuesday afternoon is brainstorming and vision casting time. On Wedneday we get down to hashing out the particulars for 2008 and beyond. One item we will be covering is this blog. We want to know how we can improve it, what we should be doing differently, etc.

Soooo, let me ask you:

How can we improve this blog? What have you liked and disliked? Should we be more thematic in our approach–that is, cover one topic for the entire week? Or do you like the free-flowing way that we have been running this blog? Who else would you like to hear from on these blogs?

Thanks in advance for your response!


Effective Learning

The Joel Comiskey Group team assembles next week for two days of deliberations.  We would appreciate your prayers.  Further, we are thrilled that Mario Vega, Pastor of Elim Church in San Salvador, El Salvador has joined the team and will be present.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit Mario in San Salvador and I must say I was captivated by his humility.

In preparation for our team gathering, would you give us some insight on the following question?

How do you grow in your knowledge and practice of being a cell church?  If I could ask that question another way, then I would ask:  “What tools enable you to be most effective in your church and/or cell?”

Is it through experience (“the school of hard knocks”)…books…seminars…conferences…dialogue with other cell leaders/pastors…websites…cd or dvd teachings…etc.?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Please comment.  You need not be wordy (unless you so desire).  A few sentences is super as I know your time is important.

by Rob Campbell


The Ministry of the Cell Host/Hostess

joelDo you place a high priority on the host or hostess of the small group? Is it important that each cell group/life group have a distinct leader and a distinct host/hostess?

Carl George taught in Prepare Your Church for the Future that each cell should have a host/hostess apart from the leader of the cell (i.e., the cell should not meet in the leader’s home but in the home of the host/hostess). At one point in my cell journey I pushed this concept. host

The Elim Church, the second largest church in the world, practices this strategy. Each cell has a host/hostess, who opens his/her home for the cell group. Elim places a high priority on the ministry of the cell host/hostess. The host doesn’t just open his or her home but is actively involved in reaching neighbors. Nubia Lopez, for example, started her ministry at Elim as a hostess in 1997. She opened her home for a cell group and began visiting her neighbors to befriend them and ultimately reach them for Jesus. Her goal was to find a need and meet it. One of her neighbors was very resistant to the Gospel message, so Nubia volunteered to care for her neighbor’s children, since this was her neighbor’s immediate need. As Nubia cared for these children, her neighbor saw Jesus demonstrated in such a practical way that she decided to attend the cell group and even accompany Nubia to Elim Church.

Apart from evangelism, a host/hostess can bear the administrative burden of the cell leader by preparing the home and then cleaning up afterwards.

To share the load, often cell groups will rotate the job of host among cell members. That’s what my own cell has been doing lately. We rotate among three homes–one of them being my own.

How do you view the ministry of the host/hostess in the cell group? Does each cell in your church have a distinct host/hostess? Do you rotate from house to house?


Sowing and Reaping

joelIt’s always important to go back to the basics, as Steve mentioned in his blog yesterday. One of the very basic aspects SOWINGof cell success is spending enough time at it. Let’s face it, we reap what we sow. Paul said, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). If we’ve prepared for the lesson, chances are we’ll do a better job leading and people will receive more. If we invite people to the cell, chances are someone will eventually come. If we call the members, chances are the cell will grow in community and cohesiveness. If we spend time preparing the house’s atmosphere (e.g., lighting, chairs, etc.) before the cell starts, chances are people will respond better.

Time spent, in other words, normally equals eventual fruit.

And this is the frustration I expressed on my Wednesday’s blog with one of my leaders. His passion has shifted to his entrepreneurial work load, and he has simply not been giving the time necessary to any of the cell disciplines that make for great cells and cell leadership. And isn’t this one of the great dangers we all face with volunteer leadership in our materialistic culture? In contrast, I look at another cell in our church that is booming. Why? Time spent at praying, evangelizing, fellowshipping, etc.

How can I as the coach help this leader? How can I jump-start his passionlessness? The only remedy I know is fervent, white-hot prayer, and practical suggestions–then following up on those suggestions.



Back to the Basics


Adding to Joel and Rob’s thoughts on broken cells :

Ultimately the results of our ministry is in the hands of the Lord. However, it is important that we do what we can so He may do what only He can.

When a group isn’t going well it is important to check the basics. No amount of clever scheming will help a football team win if it can’t  block, tackle, and execute well. A group needs to do certain fundamentals, too.

 * Is the group relationally connected?
  – Try group bonding activities, serving one another, eat together!

 * Are they sensing the Lord’s presence in their midst during the meeting?
  – testimonies, answered prayer, seasons of prayer, worship

 * Have the group members been praying for and reaching out to lost people?
  – Do they have a list of specific people they are praying for? Invite comments about outreach efforts that week, and plan some as a group.

 * Has the group been responsive to acting on the Word of God?
  – Follow-up Q’s about how they lived out last week’s lesson

 * Does the group serve beyond itself?
  – Plan a service project to someone in need…

A coach can help a leader diagnose where the problem lies and strategize through prayer some ways to address it.

Leadership is crucial- yet sometimes the problem is that the leader has not given away enough of the ministry. Meaningfully mobilizing more members is often a way forward.



Fixing Broken Cells

JOELRob’s blog yesterday talked about groups that are not working. I actually awoke at 3 a.m. this morning burdened about a cell leaderbroken who has lost passion and direction. He’s a seasoned leader at Wellspring who has been leading a group for several years and multiplied his group one time. At this time, however, he just doesn’t have the passion. Other job related desires are filling his heart and mind.

The first thing I need to do is pray. Only God can renew this brother with passion. Only Jesus can remind this brother that the eternal reward is in heaven (volunteer service in a materialistic loving culture can be very difficult, as all of you know).

The second thing I need to do is coach this brother better. I need to take a more active role in finding out how I can help him AND how I can discover/suggest ways for his cell to come alive. In my case, I need to stimulate others to coach him as well (e.g., our associate pastor).




What do you do?

What do you do…when a cell in your church doesn’t….work?

You have experienced this, right?  Sometimes a cell just doesn’t work.

This reality can be hurtful to the leaders.  It can also be a momentum buster for a church who desires health and growth.

So… this blog post is for you.  Please join in the dialogue.  What do you do?


by Rob Campbell