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Motivated by the Why Question

by Joel Comiskey

Spring 2013

What is the proper motivation for cell ministry? Does such a motivation exist? I’ve noticed that some cell leaders are motivated by fear. They feel compelled to obey the heavy-handed pastor. One superintendent commented about a cell church pastor under his care, “This pastor motivates people through terror,” he told me. Knowing the situation, I had to agree. Yet, will such a motivation stand the test of time? No, in fact, over time, this type of motivation will do more harm than good.

Other leaders in the cell church are motivated to follow a successful model with the hope of obtaining similar results. Yet, I’ve noticed that this motivation almost always fails over time because growth doesn’t happen through formulas or models–only through God’s Spirit working through changed lives.

God has been showing me more and more that the motivation for doing cell ministry is essential. I’ve found myself speaking a lot about the “why” of cell ministry, rather than simply the “how.” Perhaps what I’m talking about can be summed up in the title of Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why.” Sinek writes about the need to properly motivate people because the correct motivation will guide, inspire, and even sustain their efforts.

If the motivation for doing cell ministry is faulty, leaders become discouraged over time, leave the church, and lose the joy and excitement of leading or supervising cell groups.

So what are proper motivations for doing cell ministry? Here are a few: theological truth, faithful service and rewards in heaven, establishing God’s family, and making disciples who make disciples.