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Persistence: Don't Give Up

by Joel Comiskey


Persistence. Determination. Pressing on. Successful cell church ministry is like running a marathon and not a 50-yard dash. The race requires persistence. Many begin well but don't finish. The difference? Persistence.

Often pastors become excited about cell ministry because of the large cell churches around the world. They dream about being the next David Cho and seeing their church grow as large as Yoido Full Gospel Church. And yes, church growth is wonderful when God gives it. The problem is that often pastors take short-cuts to obtain that growth. They copy other churches, seminars, or books that promise quick growth or the latest anointing.

These instant growth schemes remind me of the difference between a tomato plant and a coconut tree. The tomato plant grows quickly and provides immediate results, but it dies at the end of one year and needs to be replanted. The coconut tree, on the other hand, is planted only once, but it lasts for a lifetime. Persistence in cell ministry that comes from belief in biblical values is like planting a coconut tree. Taking short-cuts might bring immediate results but the fruit won't last. Are you planting a coconut tree or a tomato plant?

I know one pastor who is struggling right now in cell ministry. Some members are leaving because of the demands of cell life. But this pastor has a bedrock conviction that what he is doing is biblical. He persists because he wants to make disciples and not just hearers. In fact, he's focused on future generations, so he's developing children and youth cells. This pastor is planting a coconut tree. He has a dream and is willing to persist until he sees the reality.

Colin Powell, the famous U.S. general, once said, " A dream doesn't become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work." All pastors and churches fail at times, but those who succeed keep moving forward.

As I do seminars around the world, I like to give the illustration of Mario Vega handing out plaques for those who had led a cell for 25 years or more. For those who received the plaques that evening (and I happened to be present), cell ministry was a lifestyle. For these people, it would be very hard not to lead a cell group.

Don't give up. Persistence and determination are the ingredients for cell church victory over time. You will see the breakthrough. The best is yet to come-if you persist.