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Preparing Great Cell Group Lessons
by Joel Comiskey
Is there a specific person who should prepare the cell lesson each week? Often the senior pastor does it. Eric Glover, the senior pastor of Wellspring, makes his own lessons and sends them to the cell leaders on Sunday morning before preaching. Some pastors (especially pastors of larger cell churches) have an associate or secretary prepare the lesson.
The key is getting the lesson in the hands of the cell leaders before the sermon starts. In this way, the cell leader can hear the pastor's sermon and have a "head start" on the lesson's content before the cell.
Hearing the sermon beforehand, doesn't mean the cell leader simply repeats the pastor's sermon. I tell cell leaders not to say, "the pastor said so and so." It's much better to say, "the Bible says. ." Why? Some people in the cell will not have been in the Sunday sermon. It's also important to remember that only God's Word is infalliable. Not the pastor's sermon.
God has provided a lot of great resources to help prepare the cell lesson. I recommend the following:
- Serendipity Bible. This Bible has excellent small group questions connected to practically every Bible passage.
- Lesson Maker (NavPress). This software program has lots of questions (observation, interpretation, and application) for almost every passage in the Bible. All you have to do is copy and paste the questions to your own document. Warning: out of the 20+ Lesson Maker questions for each passage, I normally only keep about 2-3.
I believe the best cell lessons are based on dynamic questions. However, it's good for the cell leader to give a general commentary about the Bible passage before asking the questions. Yet, afterwards, I tell cell leaders to use the 70-30 principle. The 70-30 principle encourages members to speak 70% of the time while the leader speaks 30% of the time.
Thus, questions are very important to get the members talking. We'll look at dynamic questions next week.