From One Generation to the Next

mario

by Mario Vega

The 23rd Church Growth International Conference of Seoul Korea’s Church has finished. As always, Pastor Cho shared the Word of God with more than 1,500 participants from 63 countries in the underground Paul Chapel. In this conference, his message focused on the topic of faith. He shared several personal experiences in which he made clear that his life has been a “living crucifixion” to bring blessing to other people.

He shared publicly that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but that he is confident that God is healing him. As evidence he raised his hands and showed everybody that he has no longer the tremor that characterizes the disease. This detail is indicative of how his whole life has been: keeping to himself his diseases, conflicts and difficulties in order to stand behind a pulpit and share a message of hope, healing and blessing.

As Abraham was invited by God to see the stars way beyond his own tent, Dr. Cho invited all those present not to stay within the limits of their own tents but to look toward God’s stars. He ended his message saying, “Get out of your tent. Look at the stars. Choose one and pursue it.” He then said a prayer of blessing for all of us who were present.

As he concluded his prayer, the attendees spontaneously stood up and cheered Pastor Cho with an unending applause that did not allow the master of ceremonies to continue with the program. After a couple of tries he decided to let the ones present continue with that symbolic and improvised tribute to the father of modern cell movement.

That same night, after thanking the Board of Directors’ members of CGI (Church Growth International) for their presence, he said good bye stating that this has been one of the best conferences. Many of us who were present agreed with him.

Pastor Cho is now 74 years old and is the Pastor Emeritus of Yoido Full Gospel Church. The official Pastor now is Rev. Young Hoon Lee who has been a member of the church since his conversion in 1964 (when the church had 4,000 members). Pastor Lee has taken over most of Cho’s responsibilities. Among them are the financial management and leadership of the church. Pastor Lee preaches also in the Sunday schedules that previously corresponded to Pastor Cho who now preaches only once in awhile.

Pastor Lee’s great challenge is to set new goals for the largest church in the history of Christianity. Not such an easy task. What else could be expected from a church like Yoido? At the same time, God is not limited and with this in mind, we can wait patiently for what God will do through Pastor Lee..

Despite being the world’s largest church, the transition from the founding pastor to one of his disciples has occurred smoothly without upheavals–evenn though human logic says that a man like Pastor Cho can not be so easily replaced. Was the process helped by the discipline and remarkable respect shown by Koreans? Or perhaps it was the slow, democratic process they used to transition the leadership. What do you think?

Mario

translation in Spanish:

De una generación a la siguiente.

Finalizó la 23ª Conferencia Internacional de Crecimiento de la Iglesia en Seúl Corea. Como siempre, el Pastor Cho compartió la palabra de Dios con más de 1,500 participantes originarios de 63 países en la subterránea Capilla Pablo. En esta conferencia su mensaje estuvo centrado en el tema de la fe. Compartió varias experiencias personales en las que dejó en claro que su vida ha sido un continuo vivir crucificado para dar bendición a otras personas.

Compartió públicamente que padece de Parkinson pero que confía en que Dios le está sanando. Como prueba levantó sus manos ante todos y mostró que ya no tiene el temblor que caracteriza a la enfermedad. Este detalle es una muestra de cómo ha sido toda su vida: callar sus enfermedades, conflictos y dificultades a fin de colocarse detrás de un púlpito y compartir un mensaje de esperanza, sanidad y bendición.

Al igual que Abraham fue invitado por Dios para ver las estrellas, mucho más allá de su tienda, invitó a los presentes a no quedarse en los límites de sus propias tiendas sino a ver hacia las estrellas de Dios. Terminó su mensaje diciendo: ‘Sal de tu tienda. Mira a las estrellas. Escoge una y síguela.’ Luego hizo una oración de bendición por todos los que estábamos presentes.

Al concluir su oración, los asistentes se pusieron en pie espontáneamente y aclamaron al Pastor Cho con un interminable aplauso que no permitía al maestro de ceremonias continuar con el programa. Después de un par de intentos decidió dejar que los presentes continuaran con ese simbólico e improvisado homenaje al padre del movimiento celular moderno.

Esa misma noche, al agradecer la presencia de los miembros de la Directiva de CGI (Crecimiento de la Iglesia Internacional) se despidió diciendo que esta ha sido una de las mejores conferencias. Muchos allí presentes estuvimos de acuerdo con él.

El Pastor Cho tiene ahora 74 años de edad y es el Pastor Emérito de la Iglesia del Evangelio Completo en Yoido. El Pastor titular es ahora el Rev. Young Hoon Lee quien es miembro de la iglesia desde su conversión en el año de 1964. Es decir, cuando la iglesia rondaba sus primeros 4,000 miembros. Muchas de las responsabilidades del Pastor Cho ahora recaen sobre el Pastor Lee. Entre ellas, el manejo financiero y dirección de la iglesia. El Pastor Lee también predica en los horarios dominicales que antes correspondían al Pastor Cho y éste se limita a predicar en los horarios de los invitados.

El gran reto del Pastor Lee es el de establecer nuevas metas para la iglesia más grande en la historia del cristianismo. Cosa nada fácil. Pues, ¿qué más podría esperarse de una iglesia como la de Yoido? Solamente el saber que para Dios no hay límites es lo que nos hace esperar con paciencia lo que el trabajo del Pastor Lee traerá como fruto.

A pesar de ser la iglesia más grande del mundo, la transición del Pastor fundador a uno de sus discípulos se ha producido sin sobresaltos ni conmociones. A pesar que la lógica humana dice que un hombre como el Pastor Cho no puede ser sustituido tan fácilmente. ¿Será la disciplina y notable respeto que muestran los coreanos? ¿O será el procedimiento bastante democrático y pausado que se utilizó? ¿Qué piensa usted?

Coaching for Clarification

coach-tunnell    Jeff Tunnell

This morning I sat in Joel Comiskey’s living room for a coaching session with my staff.  We are finding clarification for moving ahead in cell-driven ministry.  In sharing my excitement with others, about re-entering a coaching commitment, it was suggested by some that I know enough to accomplish this coaching myself and probably don’t need to meet with Joel.

HOWEVER, times like these are inestimable in value.  We desire the “give and take” of conversation and accountability in ministry.  Sitting with an “expert” who is objective about our situation provides an unbiased view of how well we are connecting to cell principles.  Another benefit is the coach’s grasp of knowledge we do not yet “own” and his ability to guide us to its application.  Where we are weak, he presses us to grow by reading authors who have tackled the difficulties we are facing.

Returning home (we travel 3 hours to connect) we have projects to work on together that will forge our strength as a team, reading assignments that will bring further discussion and goals to set which will lead to progress in fruitful ministry.

How are you connected in coaching?  Do you have a resource to draw from regularly?  Is this blog site a help to you?  Would you like me to “chronicle” our journey in coaching over the next few months?  Let me know.

The Power of Invitation

rob

By Rob Campbell

www.cypresscreekchurch.com

Andrew was a disciple of Jesus Christ.  The scriptures teach us that Andrew was the first of Jesus= twelve disciples.  Notice John 1:40-42: AAndrew, Simon Peter=s brother, was one of the two who heard what John [the Baptist] had said and who had followed Jesus.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon [Peter] and tell him, >We have found the Messiah (that is, Jesus Christ).=  And he brought him to Jesus.@

In scripture, Andrew is known as the Ainviter@ who brought his own brother to meet Jesus.  Further, he is the disciple who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus.  Think of the ramifications of his invitations.  Think of his brother=s enormous experience with Christ and his impact throughout the New Testament and even today.  Think of Andrew=s simple recruitment of a young boy to offer all that he had so that Christ might perform a miracle in the midst of thousands gathered to experience the living Messiah.

My friends Ryan and John are much like Andrew.  Because of their passion for Christ, God has given to these men a deep passion to see God change lives.  This is their heartbeat: Allowing others to experience a change of life through the touch of Jesus Christ.  Ryan, John and Andrew are synergists, connectors.  They are not flaming evangelists prowling around condemning the Alost@ to hell.  They look like Jesus who was a Afriend of sinners.@  These men were not and are not independent flyers, soaring through the lands seeing who they might target and Apick off@ all in the name of Jesus.  They are a part of a teamB the body of ChristB the church today.

There is another exceptional quality that bears mentioning concerning Ryan, John and Andrew.  They love their fellow man.  They live out Christ=s second greatest commandment of loving one another.

Love God and others.  Be an inviter.

Comments?

Rob

Resistance in the West Toward Cell Church?

joelby Joel Comiskey

Most of you know that I wrote the book The Church that Multiplies to focus on the cell church in North America. In that book I highlight key principles that are essential for cell church to work in North America and the western world. We all know that cell church is exploding in the majority world, but what about the West? I attempt to answer that question in CTM.

Just yesterday, someone who read the book wrote me saying, ”

I’ve been reading your book “The Church That Multiplies” and have found it very inspiring and informative as I research the cell and house church movements. My goal is to plant a network of house based churches in the near future, starting with one in my own neighborhood. I did find one thing somewhat interesting in your book, and wanted to get your perspective on it. In the final chapter you list about 40 churches who have successfully embraced and implemented the cell church strategy. I decided to check out the websites of some of the churches, and was startled to find no mention of “Cell” church on the very first two sites I visited! Seems like some of these former “Cell” focused churches are now going the way of focusing on growing the big church through programs and ministries, and have lost their vision for making the cells the primary focus. Seems like some of these former “Cell” focused churches are now going the way of focusing on growing the big church through programs and ministries, and have lost their vision for making the cells the primary focus. My question is – is this indicative of a trend in the USA? If so, any idea why? Is it becoming too “hard” to do real cell church ministry? Or, perhaps some leaders are now being drawn to a more conventional “grow the big church with lots of programs” model?

I wrote him back saying,

Great insight and thanks for this probing. I’m always open to remove and add churches that no longer fit and will check out the ones you mentioned. However, I don’t have the impression that pastors are streaming to one programmatic model or another, like I did several years ago. Yet, I also know that ministry is very, very hard in the  Western world. Church attendance is going way down. Pastors are attracted to gimmicks to boost the numbers. Cell ministry requires down-to-earth discipleship and some churches start with this vision in mind, but then grow weary when people move and church members resist it. So much boils down to the passion and vision of the pastor. One of the churches you mentioned truly had a great cell vision, but then became consumed with the building program and soon afterwards the lead pastor retired. Thanks again. You’ve jogged my thinking. . . .

Now it’s your turn. What would you say if this person sent you the same question? Do you see a certain trend in the North America and the West in general? Do you get the impression that leaders are being drawn into the program-based model in recent times?

[p.s.: Randall Neighbour’s excellent book, The Naked Truth about Small Group Ministry, exposes a lot of the recent faulty thinking toward holistic small group ministry in North America. Please buy and read this great book].

Joel

The Key to Yoido Full Gospel Church’s Growth

mario

by Mario Vega

I’m writing this blog from Korea where I have been invited by Pastor David Yonggi Cho to the 23rd Church Growth International Conference which takes place from the October 21-26..

Every time I come to Korea, I visit the Prayer Mountain. I have noticed that of all the people that register for the Conference, relatively few visit the Prayer Mountain. Most people want to see the impressive church building in Yoido and listen to Pastor Cho preach. But you won’t get a complete picture of this phenomenal church until you visit the Prayer Mountain.

An hour away from Yoido, the Prayer Mountain in Osanri is a key to understand the growth of the world’s largest church. Since March 1973, the Prayer Mountain has been open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all the people who desire to go to pray and fast for one or more days.

Despite the fact that this year I visited the Prayer Mountain a day before the Conference started, I found approximately three thousand people praying in the place’s main auditorium. Another large number can be found praying in the “grottoes of prayer” (tiny single rooms where you can only be on your knees).

The passion of these Korean believers is very noticeable when they pray. They do it with all of their strength and, literally, with all their voice. One lady explained to me that she was completing a 40-day fasting, drinking only water.

Pastor’s Cho personal grotto is in the middle of the trees. He comes to pray every week–especially on Saturdays to prepare for his Sunday sermon.

Why is Pastor Cho’s church the largest church in the world and its outreach impossible to match? You will not find a complete answer without going to Prayer Mountain. It’s only at Prayer Mountain that you’ll understand the incredible prayer power at Yoido and how prayer is a key element in the church’s growth.

Comments?

Mario

Translation in Spanish:

La clave del crecimiento de la iglesia de Yoido.

Escribo este blog desde Corea en donde me encuentro invitado por el Pastor David Yonggi Cho para la 23ª Conferencia Internacional de Crecimiento que se desarrolla del 21 al 26 de octubre.

Cada vez que vengo a Corea visito la Montaña de Oración. He observado que de todas las personas que se inscriben en la Conferencia son relativamente pocas las que visitan la Montaña de Oración. La mayor parte de personas desean conocer el impresionante edificio de la iglesia en Yoido y escuchar predicar al Pastor Cho. Pero, no se puede tener una visión completa del fenómeno hasta visitar la Montaña de Oración.

A una hora de camino desde Yoido, la Montaña de Oración en Osanri es parte clave para entender el crecimiento de la iglesia más numerosa del mundo. Desde marzo de 1973 la Montaña de Oración se encuentra abierta las 24 horas del día los 365 días del año a todas las personas que deseen ir a orar y ayunar por uno o más días.

A pesar que éste año visité la Montaña de Oración un día antes de que iniciara la Conferencia, encontré un aproximado de tres mil personas orando en el auditorio principal del lugar. Otro número indeterminado se encontraban en las ‘grutas de oración’: pequeñísimas habitaciones individuales donde sólo se puede estar de rodillas.

La pasión de los coreanos es notable al orar. Lo hacen con todas sus fuerzas y, literalmente, con toda su voz. Encontré a una señora que me explicó que estaba terminando un ayuno de 40 días bebiendo solamente agua. En medio de los árboles se encuentra la gruta personal del Pastor Cho. Él llega a orar todas las semanas, específicamente los días sábados, para prepararse para su sermón del día domingo.

¿Por qué la iglesia del Pastor Cho es la más numerosa del mundo y por qué su alcance para ser imposible de igualar? Éstas preguntas no encontrarán respuestas completas si no se va a la Montaña de Oración. Allí uno conoce el tipo de espíritu de oración que envuelve a ésta iglesia y ese es el elemento clave para su crecimiento.

The Cell Church’s Two Wings Penetrate Society

ralph

by Ralph Neighbour (guest blogging for Jeff Tunnell, who is on vacation this week)

Last week we discussed the biblical foundations for a Two Winged Church. Bill Beckham has a classic text on this subject you simply must read. It is a free download from www.cellsymposium.com/articles, entitled Measuring God’s Small Group River. It reviews all the various types of structures for contemporary church life.

We would all fully agree that in the Kingdom there are no dismembered body parts! The first official act of the Holy Spirit is to baptize each new convert to become a functioning arm, leg, inward part, etc. Am I right? Yes! We must all live in community if we live in the Kingdom.

But why do we stop the principle there? Is a “Simple Church” a dismembered body part? (I am not trying to be offensive, just grieving over the separateness that seems to be built into the body?)

When I went to Singapore, we had 300 in the church. Five years later when my apostolic calling moved me on, we had 7,000. Four services on Sunday, one on Saturday night. The power of God fell on those services in awesome ways never to be matched by 8 or 10 people in a living room. And in the high rise flats of Bishan Village, Ruth and I would meet with our cell  on Tuesday nights and through the opened windows we would hear a sister cell in the adjoining building also singing worship songs.

My deep concern about the house church movement targets their rejection of the large wing lifestyle:

1. When the large wing is present, the impact into the community draws people who would never, ever be drawn to a little group of 8 or 12 meeting in a living room. Thus, Dion Robert’s massive gatherings in Abidjan has attracted even the President, along with powerful leaders in business and industry. (They then entered cell life. Same thing in El Salvador. Same thing in Uganda, where the 1,000+ cells gather and the President’s wife is a faithful cell member. I could go on and on . . .

QUESTION: HOW DOES THE SIMPLE CHURCH IMPACT THE SOCIETY AROUND IT?

2. Because of the large group wing, there is a weekly reunion of the small groups that brings cohesion and symmetry. Their separate witnesses in the community are enhanced by the larger gathering. Ride the buses in Seoul and you will find hundreds of handbags carried proudly by women cell leaders with an imprint of their main sanctuary on Yoido Island. Their handbag opens them to many hurting people who trust them on the bus to share their burdens.Yet, if you drive through the city at night you see hundreds of red neon crosses glowing to reveal a small group of 30 or so meeting in that building who have no impact on their surroundings apart from the glow of the cross.

QUESTION: HOW CAN DISMEMBERED BODY PARTS IMPACT SOCIETY?

3. One house group or small cell church that keeps multiplying when it hits 6-8 cells and remains independent will never have enough resources to serve the greater needs of the society. My classic example of what a large two wing cell church can do is the Watoto Church in Kampala, Uganda. Gary Skinner and his 1,000+ cells have built several villages of residences to house orphans of aids victims. I will never forget the drama of walking through one of them, complete with school, clinic, and underground plumbing. Harold Weitsz in South Africa is now planting an orphanage where he plants a new cell church!

I am solidly committed to the cell model. It is not just “descriptive;” it is PRESCRIPTIVE.

Dr. Ralph  W. Neighbour

Character

robby Rob Campbell

Joel’s blog yesterday spurred in my mind/heart some thoughts about one’s character in relation to community. Joel wrote:

There’s something beautiful about God’s people openly sharing, confessing sins and struggles, applying God’s Word, and asking for prayer. God is pleased when koinonia takes place because He’s a community-oriented God, dwelling in perfect unity with the other members of the Trinity. And He wants us to act like Him.

In light of these statements, a godly connection between character and community would be ideal. Don’t you think?

How do you define character? How do you recognize character? How do you know if you are a man/woman of character? These questions probed my mind today as I reflected upon character. In the various venues of life, there seems to be a large void of character among men/women.

Certainly, our homes, churches, communities and work places are crying out for people of character.

D.L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” I like this, but I am still left searching for some handles to grasp the essence of character. Horace Mann adds that “character is what God and the angels know of us; reputation is what men and women think of us.” Character deals with one’s inner core values, convictions, thoughts and purposes. Image (or reputation) is how others perceive you and me.

Let’s dig a little deeper! The American Heritage Dictionary suggests that character is “the combination of qualities, features or attributes that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another; moral or ethical strength; integrity; fortitude.” Karl Day summarizes these before mentioned thoughts by writing, “Character connotes noble, positive, distinguishing or defining standards of moral and ethical behavior. Implicit in the definition are such attributes as industriousness, honor, loyalty, compassion, self-control, integrity, courage, and fortitude.”

Therefore, what does character look like?

 Character is keeping appointments, being on time, honoring your commitments.

 Character is choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

 Character is working through the tough times of a marriage instead of throwing in the proverbial towel.

 Character is being committed to the well-being of others even if it is personally costly.

 Character is setting a good example- even if it requires playing a difficult and unfamiliar role.

 A person of character does not envy another’s success, but rejoices in it.

 A person of character recognizes that lust is a second look and shuns even the appearance of evil.

 A person of character is self-disciplined and self-controlled.

 Character implies the courage to stand for what is right, to oppose what is wrong, and to make the effort to discern the difference.

Remember, character is developed over time. It is forged in the fires of daily living, often in adversity. It is a product of our environment, our experience, our reaction to our circumstances, and our willingness to learn.

A final thought: “People of character fear neither the light nor the dark.”

Comments?

Rob

My Journey into Cell Community

joelby Joel Comiskey

A lot of my writing on cell ministry has focused on cell evangelism, multiplication, leadership development, and growing cell churches. When talking about cell community, I’ve often referred to it as a byproduct of cell outreach and multiplication. When a cell is evangelizing, I’ve taught, the group will experience community. I’ve often warned others about the dangers of cell stagnation that comes from over-emphasizing cell community and fellowship.

God has been changing my thinking over the past year. I now see community as an essential part of cell ministry. I’ve been marveling lately in God’s triune nature, and how often Scripture talks about one-another ministry. Jesus even said that the way non-Christians will know we are His disciples is by our love and unity.

I now understand why so many cell voices have promoted relational ministry over the years. Ralph Neighbour and Bill Beckham have always seen community as an essential reason for cell ministry–maybe even the basis. Others have echoed this same sentiment. I’m a late bloomer. Yet, now I’m on board.

I realize now that it’s important to prioritize and enjoy relational ministry in the cell group–not just as a means to win people for Jesus and multiply a group, but as an essential part of cell life. There’s something beautiful about God’s people openly sharing, confessing sins and struggles, applying God’s Word, and asking for prayer. God is pleased when koinonia takes place because He’s a community-oriented God, dwelling in perfect unity with the other members of the Trinity. And He wants us to act like Him.

Thoughts?

Joel

P.S.: My new book, The Relational Disciple, explores this topic in much more detail. . .

God’s Work in El Salvador

by Mario Vega

This past week, a prestigious institute of public opinion, which belongs to the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), directed by Jesuit priests, issued a  survey on the status of religion in El Salvador. The results are very interesting.

In the first place, 38% of the population identifies itself as Evangelical Christians while another 50% define themselves as Catholics. This means that in the past eleven years the number of evangelicals in El Salvador has doubled. Meanwhile, the number of Catholics has declined.

The evangelicals are members, in their vast majority, of four churches: Assemblies of God, Baptists, Elim and Church of God.

Another interesting fact is that 95.5% of the population claims to believe in God while only 0.5% say they don’t believe in God. 90% of the population of El Salvador affirm  that what is written in the Bible should be believed word by word and only 10% believe that it should not be believed.

The vast majority of Salvadorians believe in the existence of life after death, in salvation, heaven, hell, and Satan. Almost all believe in miracles, and most of the people pray more than three times daily. Most are of the opinion that public schools should teach the Gospel.

There is more valuable data, but what I mentioned already tells us that in El Salvador there is a visitation from God and that in the past few years God has produce a  strong interest in Himself among the people.  This is a  “kairós” moment of God, and we give Him all the praise for what He’s doing.  It also represents a huge responsibility for Salvadorian Christians.

Comments?

Mario

Translation in Spanish:

Dios en El Salvador.

En la presente semana un prestigioso instituto de opinión pública, que pertenece a la Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), dirigida por sacerdotes jesuitas, publicó una reciente encuesta sobre la condición de la religión en El Salvador. Los resultados son muy interesantes.

En primer lugar, salta a la vista que un 38% de la población se define como cristiana evangélica en tanto que otro 50% se define como católica. Esto supone que en los últimos once años la cantidad de evangélicos en El Salvador se ha duplicado. Por su parte, la cantidad de católicos ha descendido.

Esa gran cantidad de evangélicos son miembros, en su inmensa mayoría, de cuatro iglesias: Asambleas de Dios, Bautistas, Elim e Iglesia de Dios.

Otro dato interesante es que el 95.5% de la población afirma creer en Dios en tanto que sólo un 0.5% afirma no creer en Dios. El 90% de la población de El Salvador afirma que se debe creer lo que está escrito en la Biblia palabra por palabra y solamente un 10% cree que no se debe creer.

La inmensa mayoría de salvadoreños creen en la existencia de la vida después de la muerte, en la salvación, en el cielo, en el infierno, en Satanás. Casi todos creen en los milagros y la mayoría ora más de tres veces diarias. La mayoría es de la opinión que en las escuelas públicas debería enseñarse el evangelio.

Existen más datos valiosos, pero los mencionados deben servir para conocer que en El Salvador existe una visitación de Dios y que en los últimos años se ha producido un interés muy fuerte por Dios y su iglesia. Es un kairós de Dios que alabamos pero que al mismo tiempo representa una inmensa responsabilidad para los cristianos salvadoreños.

Don’t Throw the Weekly Gathering of Cells under the Bus

ralph

by Ralph Neighbour (Jeff Tunnell is on vacation for two weeks)

Recently one of my doctoral students was challenged by some pastors of traditional churches, stating that the early church only met in house groups and that there was no need for cells to gather in a public service. The current house church community endorsers take great pains to defend the position that regular gatherings of the house groups is unnecessary.  One view they endorse is that we should be guided by the Jewish Old Testament festivals and meet only a few times a year.

This flies in the face of important facts:

1. From the start of the ecclesia’s life in acts, they went from house to house and to the temple to hear the Apostles teach. We are also told that the Apostles taught both in the Temple and from house to house. That sounds to me like Bill Beckham’s reference to a “two winged church” was present from the start.

2.  1 Corinthians 16:2 reveals Paul directs that upon the first day of each week (Sunday) the congregation should set aside support for the needs of the brethren in Jerusalem. Obviously in addition to the daily house meetings there were gatherings on a weekly basis. Sunday was the chosen day for the congregational meeting.

3.  By the time Hebrews was penned (AD 65), the weekly gathering is obviously referenced as the writer says in 1 Corinthians 11:33-34, So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you may not come together for judgment. And the remaining matters I shall arrange when I come. (NASB77)

In the next blog, I will add additional reasons why the cell church that is allowed to grow and grow by the cleaving of its basic communities brings an impact to a community never possible when the house churches all exist in semi-secret in home groups.

Comments?

Ralph