by Joel Comiskey
I’m writing from the Dominican Republic where I just finished a cell church conference. 1300 pastors and leaders from a wide-variety of denominations were present. Shekinah Fellowship, the sponsoring church, did a marvelous job of bringing together the entire body of Christ to learn about cell church ministry. I prophesied to this hungry group of pastors and leaders that God desired to use the Dominican Republic to be a sending base for pastors and missionaries all over the world. I told them that cells are a perfect breeding ground for future pastors and missionaries because people are converted in the cell, grow in Christ, become co-leaders, leaders, and eventually multiply new groups. “Some of you,” I told them, “will sense the call to plant cell churches in the most needy places of the world.”
The process starts when Spirit-filled cell groups win new people to Jesus and prepare them to become disciple-makers. Evangelism, in other words, is at the heart of cell ministry.
Last week I spent time with the founding pastor of “La Iglesia del Nuevo Testamento Vega Baja” in Puerto Rico. Pastor Emilio burns with a passion to reach people through cell evangelism. His church started five years ago in a cell with the express purpose of reaching non-Christians for Jesus. I noticed that each of the twenty-five cell leaders burn with the same evangelistic passion of their senior pastor. Emilio models what he expects others to follow.
While modeling is the best way to train cell members to evangelize, I believe cell evangelism training should be an integral part of a church’s training track. In my own 5-book training track, one of those books is called Share, which deals exclusively with how to share the gospel from a cell perspective (I’m also excited that Share (Comparta) and the other training books are now available in Spanish).
In the last two weeks I’ve been encouraged by the power and potential of cell evangelism, both in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Modeling and training are the keys to keep the evangelistic fire burning. What about you? What has your experience been? Do you think modeling is more important than training? Both equally important?