The Need to Delegate

marioby Mario Vega

At the beginning of our cell work, I personally supervised the work of my leaders. But, as the leaders began to multiply, it was evident that it delegatewas no longer possible to personally encourage them in their work. As we followed Pastor Cho´s model, we started promoting leaders that showed greater effectiveness in their work so they could encourage as well a group of five to ten leaders each. These promoted leaders were called supervisors. Each group of five to ten cells became a sector.

In a short while, the sectors began to multiply demanding a greater number of supervisors. Later on, the sectors increased up to a point of having to begin appointing zone workers. In each zone there were several sectors.

These workers, whom at first were only four, had each one under their own responsibility a great part of the congregation. At this point is where every Pastor who appoints Zone Accountables or Zone Pastors, come to the dilemma of whom to entrust such responsibility?

In our case, the selection criteria was the following: to have effectiveness in the cell work, a Pastoral character, spiritual maturity, active in the work of God, eager to serve. At first these brothers were appointed and were offered a small financial aid to help them with the cost of transportation, later on, they were called to work full-time. This is how the first zone supervisors were born, that following the Korean model, became known as Zone Pastors.





In Spanish:

La necesidad de delegar.

Al iniciar nuestro trabajo con células, supervisaba directamente el trabajo de mis líderes. Pero, cuando los líderes fueron multiplicándose, fue evidente que ya no era posible animarles en su trabajo de manera directa. Siguiendo el modelo del Pastor Cho, comenzamos a promover a los líderes que mostraban mayor efectividad en su trabajo para que animaran a un grupo de entre cinco a diez líderes cada uno. A estos líderes promovidos les llamamos supervisores. Cada grupo de cinco a diez células llegó a convertirse en un sector.
Pero, en poco tiempo, los sectores comenzaron a multiplicarse demandando mayor cantidad de supervisores. Después los sectores aumentaron a un punto que fue necesario comenzar a nombrar obreros de zonas. Dentro de cada zona había diversas cantidades de sectores.
Estos obreros, que al principio fueron solamente cuatro, tenían cada uno bajo su responsabilidad una buena parte de la congregación. Al llegar a este punto es donde todo Pastor que nombra responsables de zona ó pastores de zona, llega al dilema de ¿a quién confiarle semejante responsabilidad?
En nuestro caso, los criterios de selección fueron los siguientes: poseer efectividad en el trabajo con células, carácter pastoral, madurez espiritual, activo dentro de la obra de Dios, deseoso de servir. Al principio estos hermanos fueron nombrados ofreciéndoseles una pequeña ayuda económica para ayudarles con los gastos de transporte, posteriormente, fueron llamados a tiempo completo para éste trabajo. Así nacieron los primeros supervisores de zona que, siguiendo el modelo coreano, llegaron a ser conocidos como pastores de zona.

Temptation to Lower the Goals

jeffRemember the story of the little boy with his bow and arrows who would shoot at the fence and then run over and draw a target around his arrow? GOALSHe hit his goal every time!

Goal setting for Cell multiplication must be a regular practice along with having a process in place for measuring the progress desired. Adjustments can be made as needed, but there will come a temptation to lower the goals to meet current performance. This is where your faith must play an important part in resisting this temptation toward mediocrity.

Keeping your eyes on Jesus and His sacrifice for the lives of men, women and children must continue to guide the goals. Training leaders to have hearts of compassion, coupled with action for reaching the lost is paramount; “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10. Faith to reach the goals set must be fueled by prayer and the belief that Jesus will move us along toward the completion of what He has inspired us to accomplish for the Father.

Goals birthed by prayer will reflect His motivation to reach more and more of our communities. This combined with a simple appraisal of the number of existing leaders in place who have the promise of multiplying themselves within the specified time period can provide a realistic goal. We must then protect ourselves from reducing the goals arbitrarily due to a seeming lack of ability to reach them. Faith and praying together with the existing leaders can win the day and keep us on course to discover new multiplication leaders who will in turn win souls in their circles of influence and consequently begin new cells full of new believers.

Have you ever reduced your goals just so you could meet them? Have you experienced this temptation to lower your goals after setting them? What realizations have you come to after making these adjustments?

Jeff Tunnell

This Blog Post: Only Questions

One of the purposes of this JCG blog community is to get us talking with each other.  I would encourage you to comment and to read the comments of others.

In light of this purpose, would you succinctly reply to the following three questions?  A few sentences would be very much appreciated and you need not strive to be eloquent with your words. 

1.  How did you first hear about cell church?

2.  What fear do you have about the cell church movement in America and/or around the world?

3.  What is the greatest strength of the cell church model?

Please comment.

by Rob Campbell

Goal Setting for More Leaders

joelMario Vega talked about goal setting in his blog on Thursday. When I wrote my book about the Elim Church called Passion and Persistence, I was very impressed by the goals setting at Elim. Souls count to God, and Elim believes they can do a better job at winning men and GOALSwomen to Jesus Christ if they plan for growth. Mario Vega works with each district to determine how many new cells can be established. A newer, more receptive district might produce more cells than an older, saturated one.

Multiplication goals are then updated weekly and posted to show which leaders are closest to reaching their goals.

By posting the goals, each leader knows where he or she stands in the process. The leaders encourage and stimulate each other for the Kingdom’s sake. Elim is passionate about conquering a city for Jesus and thus believes strongly in setting clear goals to accomplish it.

Elim, like other cell-driven churches, concentrates on developing new leaders through multiplying cell groups, and they will in turn reap the harvest and pastor the church. It’s the strategy that Christ gave to His disciples in Matthew 9:37–38: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” The goal of new cells is the goal of new leaders being equipped and sent out as harvest workers.

With this approach, a church can concentrate on multiplying the infrastructure—developing new leaders—and be assured of qualitative and quantitative growth. Outreach and evangelism are core values in this approach. Galloway wrote, “The concept is that first you build leaders. The leaders build groups. Out of these groups come more leaders and a multiplication into more groups.



Joel Comiskey

Setting Goals

marioby Mario Vega

A goal is defined as an specific objective to achieve at a specific time. Growth targets are set to be achieved within a specific time for a number of goalsleaders and for a specific attendance when working with small groups in houses.

The goals were very ambitious at the beginning of our cell work. During each quarter the goal was to achieve one hundred percent of new leaders and attendance. In other words, we had to double the number of leaders and attendees every three months. The goal was so high that it was never reached. With the exception of one single occasion to which I will refer in the future.

A factor that influenced in setting goals so high was that we were not planting a cellular church. We were making a transition from a church that was already larger to a cellular one. Some of our house meetings had attendances of 60, 100 or more people. It was urgent to multiply them. That is why we also had to use a shorter training course for leaders.

Later, the target was reduced to one hundred percent in a year. We are currently working with a more realistic and achievable goal. It is to obtain the ten percent of growth in a year.

We have learned that as more numerous a church is the much more difficult it will be to reach its goals. For example, a church that has ten cells and manages to open two more cells in a year will have reached the twenty percent of growth. But that would mean, that a church that has five thousand cells would have to open one hundred cells in the same period of time. As a church becomes numerous its goals should become moderate too.

Obviously, every church should set its goals according to its own circumstances. But results should never be expected if there are no defined goals.


Mario Vega


Translation in Spanish:

Las metas.

Una meta se define como un objetivo específico a alcanzar en un tiempo específico. En el trabajo con pequeños grupos en casas las metas de crecimiento se establecen para una cantidad de líderes y asistencia específicos para ser alcanzados en un tiempo específico.
Al iniciar nuestro trabajo con células las metas eran muy ambiciosas. Cada trimestre la meta era alcanzar el cien por ciento en líderes y en asistencia. En otras palabras, se debían doblar los líderes y los asistentes cada tres meses. La meta era tan alta que nunca fue alcanzada. Con la excepción de una sola ocasión a la cual me referiré en el futuro.
Un factor que influyó en fijar metas tan altas fue que no estábamos plantando una iglesia celular. Estábamos haciendo una transición de una iglesia que por sí era ya numerosa a una iglesia celular. Algunas de nuestras reuniones de casas tenían asistencias de 60, 100 o más personas. Era urgente multiplicarlas. Por ello es que también nos vimos en la necesidad de utilizar un curso de capacitación de líderes de corta duración.
Posteriormente, la meta se redujo a un cien por ciento en el año. En la actualidad estamos trabajando con una meta más realista y alcanzable. Es lograr el diez por ciento de crecimiento en el año.
Hemos aprendido que mientras más numerosa es una iglesia mucho más difícil le es alcanzar sus metas. Por ejemplo, una iglesia que tenga diez células y logra abrir dos células más en el año habrá alcanzado el veinte por ciento de crecimiento. Pero eso, para una iglesia que tenga cinco mil células significaría abrir cien células en el mismo tiempo. En la medida que una iglesia se vuelve más numerosa debe ir moderando sus metas.
Obviamente, cada iglesia debe establecer sus metas de acuerdo a sus circunstancias muy propias. Pero, nunca se debe esperar resultados si no se tienen metas definidas.




Lessons from a church planting movement


by Steve Cordle


In areas of Africa and China, there are church planting movements which are rapidly spreading the Gospel and multiplying churches (generally house churches). A missionary from southern Africa recently said that the method used to spark a chain reaction of church plants was simple: train the trainers.

That is, the focus is not to plant a church. It is not even to train a leader to plant a church. It is to train those who train leaders. This is the leverage point.

How does that translate to your church’s cell ministry? If the group leader is the “planter”, and the coach is the trainer, then the idea is to train coaches. They will, in turn, train the leaders.

“What if I don’t need coaches because I don’t have enough leaders right now?”

Good question. I think the missionary would says “Do it anyway”. Set the foundation to allow a rapid expansion of groups.



Beggars, Diggers, Stewards

by Rob Campbell

In Luke 16:1-13, we see a beggar, a digger, and a steward.  A beggar’s motivation is survival.  He wants  to make it through another day.  A digger’s motivation is success.  He’s digging for gold.  He’s on an insatiable journey to “make it big” and “turn a deal.”  A steward’s motivation is significance.  She wants to leave behind a legacy.  She wants to invest in souls and the kingdom of God. 

The story teaches us that we must give an account to God for our stewardship.  Stewardship is much broader than how we manage and allocate money.  It also includes the management/allocation of our time, influence, expertise, abilities, and resources.  Speaking of resources, the use of one’s resources is a test of values, character, and heart.  Further, the management of one’s resources is a preparatory lesson for other responsibilities before God.

Indeed, life is an exercise in stewardship.

David displays to us a majestic heart of a giver in 2 Samuel 24:10-25.  He refuses to give something to God that doesn’t cost him something personally.  The root of this reality is worship (a continuous preoccupation with God).  In other words, he refuses to worship God on the cheap.  The result of his gift is acceptable unto God (see 1 Chronicles 21:25-28).

Beggars beget beggars.  Diggers beget diggers.  Stewards beget stewards.  A cell pastor who doesn’t steward well probably will beget a cell leader who doesn’t steward well.  I wonder what the cell members might be like in such a reality?

Leadership is modeling.

May your church, cell, and community experience Acts 2:43a, 44, 46b:  “A deep sense of awe came over them all….They shared everything they had…They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need…They shared their meals with great joy and generosity.”

Please comment.

Giving to the Local Church

joelWe don’t take offerings in cells– yet. We’ve talked about it and greatly admire those who do! Most of the largest cell churches in the world do take tithingofferings in the cells and celebration.

Beyond where a person gives (cell or celebration) is whether people are giving at all. At least in North America, giving to the local church is in a dismal state. The latest statistics I have say that 5% of church goers in NA tithe (whether to the local church or missions). And this problem even extends to leadership. I remember talking to one potential church planter who confessed to me that he wasn’t giving/tithing to the local church because he was going through a difficult financial time and his wife didn’t believe in tithing. I asked him about how he was going to exemplify the priority of giving in difficult times to his new congregation. He just shook his head. He didn’t know.

Martin Luther once said, “People go through three conversions: their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” When a person is ready to give part of their money to God, major values shifts have already taken place in their heart. Making Jesus Lord of our lives includes Lordship of our material possessions.

I know it’s impossible to “require” that church people in general give/tithe. Yet, the essence of leadership is setting forth an example for others to follow. Thus, my questions are these: What kind of “giving” requirements do you have for the leadership of your church–whether cell leaders, elders, or pastoral team members? To be a cell leader does a person have to tithe/give to your church? How about elders? Pastors?

Joel Comiskey

Offerings in the Cells

mario By Mario Vega

When we started our work with small groups in houses, we began to wonder about the offerings subject. Was it appropriate to collect offeringsofferings in the cells? There were two positions: one from brothers who thought offerings should be collected and the other from those who thought it was not a good idea if the main purpose was the evangelization.

Those who thought offerings should be collected supported their position stating that this subject is part of the gospel and, consequently, the gospel had to be presented as it was. Those who thought was not appropriate claimed that guests could get the impression that we were only interested in money. Others thought it could generate the idea that the snack was being charged.

Finally, others thought that it was not right to let leaders and supervisors handle the churches´ money.

Both positions had their valid reasons. At that time, we did not have a clear idea about the whole meaning of the cell work. Our only reference was Pastor Cho´s model.

In his books, Pastor Cho made repeated references on the fact of collecting offerings in his meetings. Therefore, we decided to follow the Korean model and set the offering as part of the home meeting program.

In the subsequent years, experience has taught us that collecting offerings was a good decision. Now we are sure that cells are a very effective way for not only achieving evangelization and growth goals but also economic ones. About that, I will write later on.


Mario Vega


Translation in Spanish:

¿Qué sobre las ofrendas?

Cuando iniciamos nuestro trabajo con grupos pequeños en casas comenzamos a preguntarnos sobre el tema de las ofrendas. ¿Era conveniente recoger ofrendas en las células? Existían dos posiciones: la de los hermanos que pensaban que se debía recoger ofrendas y la de los que pensaban que no era una buena idea si el propósito principal era la evangelización.
Quienes pensaban que se debía recoger ofrendas sustentaban su posición expresando que el tema de las ofrendas es parte del evangelio y, consecuentemente, se debía presentar el evangelio tal como era. Los que pensaban que no era conveniente, argumentaban que los invitados podían llevarse la idea que lo único que nos interesaba era el tema económico. Otros pensaban que se podía generar la idea que se estaba cobrando por el refrigerio. Finalmente, otros pensaban que no era sano dejar que los líderes y supervisores manejaran dinero de la iglesia.
Ambas posiciones tenían sus razones valederas. En ese tiempo, no teníamos una idea clara sobre todo lo que significaba el trabajo con células. Nuestro único referente era el modelo del Pastor Cho.
En sus libros, el Pastor Cho hacía repetidas referencias al hecho que en sus reuniones se recogían ofrendas. Decidimos entonces seguir el modelo coreano y establecimos la ofrenda como parte del programa de la reunión en casa.
En los años posteriores la experiencia nos enseñó que el recoger ofrendas fue una buena decisión. Ahora estamos seguros que las células son un medio muy eficaz no solamente para alcanzar metas de evangelización y crecimiento sino también económicas. Pero, de ello, escribiré más adelante.

Equipping Track as Discipleship


by Steve Cordle


What makes for a good equipping track?

One of the characteristics of an effective equipping track is that it will combine disicpleship training with leadersihp training. Specifically, there will be little difference between growing as a follower of Jesus and growing in group leadership.

When discipleship training and leadership training are part of the same process, people understand that it is normal to become a disciplemaker; that growing in maturity involves becoming able to disciple someone else.

This in not to say we must communicate that everyone should become a group leader (though some churches feel led to make that a goal). But when we combine discipleship training and leader training into one track, we will grow more leaders, and more effective disciples who know how to make disciples — whether as a group leader or not.