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Harvesting through the Celebrations

By Joel Comiskey

Winter 2011

by Joel Comiskey

Christmas is coming soon, and it’s a great time to reach out. Some unchurched people feel a responsibility to fulfill their religious duties during the Christmas season and are willing to attend a Christmas cell or celebration event.

The beauty of cell church ministry is the use of both wings to evangelize (cell and celebration). I’ve written a lot lately about the role of the cell in evangelism, but what about celebration outreach?

In the early church, God granted a gigantic celebration harvest when three thousand were added on one occassion, five thousand on another, and we read in Acts 2:47, “. . . the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Sometimes people prefer to come to a celebration event first. They’ve been befriended by someone in a cell or just heard about the church’s Sunday celebration service. Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore uses annual “harvest events” to evangelize the lost. In December, they have designed an evangelistic event called “Come Celebrate Christmas.” Rob Reimer, pastor of a cell church in New England, preaches an evangelistic message on grace about 8-10 times a year. He told me, “Most of our evangelism growth occurs through the cells – that is, people from the cells, doing teamwork evangelism, bring people to church. But, usually their first exposure to a ‘Church’ experience is Sunday morning worship.”

About a month ago, Nancy, a single mom living in Moreno Valley, saw Wellspring’s sign on Sunday outside our rented public middle school and decided to attend. She liked the worship service and has been coming back ever since. My wife befriended Nancy after the service and invited Nancy to attend her women’s LIFE group on Wednesday afternoon. She came to the LIFE group and loved it.

One Southern Baptist pastor said to me, “I train our cell leaders to be ready to pounce on every visitor in the church. Our cell leaders immediately try to assimilate the newcomers by inviting them to their cell groups.” You don’t have to “pounce” on visitors but it is important to love and eventually invite them to the cell.

Christmas day this year (Saturday) is sandwiched between two Sunday services, so it’s a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors. How are you planning to reach your non-Christian or unchurched contacts this year? Don’t miss this opportunity to reach out through the cell or celebration.