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The lesson: Aiming for Transformation
by Joel Comiskey
The best cell lessons are focused on application that lead to transformation. Yes, some of the questions will observe the text, but make sure you have other questions that apply God’s Word. My general rule is to include an application question for every one or two observation questions. Here’s an example from Psalm 90:1-12.
Opening: leader reads (or asks others to read) Psalm 90:1-12 and then gives a brief summary of the text (5-10 minutes)
Question 1: According to Psalm 90:9-10, How does the Psalmist describe the condition of man (observation)
Question 2: Share an experience when you realized how short life really is (e.g., the death of a parent, friend, etc.) (application)
Question 3: According to Psalm 90:4-6, How does the Psalmist describe the way we should view our time? (observation)
Question 4: Describe your feeling when you think about eternity (e.g., fear, confidence, joy). Why do you feel this way? (application)
Question 5: According to Psalm 90:12, What does Moses want God to teach him? (observation)
Question 6: What are some concrete actions that you can take this week to live in the light of eternity (application)
If the lesson contains 10 questions, ask the cell leader to select 3 to 6 of the most relevant questions. The worst cell leaders mechanically use all the questions without much thought or prayer. The best cell leaders pick 3-6 questions and make them work. The cell leader is the pastor of the cell and knows the sheep.
The purpose of the cell questions reflect the aims of John Wesley’s ancient class meetings much more than a modern day typical Bible study. Wesley’s cell groups (called class meetings) normally lasted for one hour, and the main event was “reporting on your soul.” The class would open with a song. Then the leader would share a personal, religious experience. Afterwards, he would ask questions that focused on the spiritual lives of those in the group. The meeting was built upon the sharing of personal experience of the past week.
What kind of interaction is taking place in your cell group? Is application that leads to transformation the chief goal?