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Advantages of Simple Cell Church Planting

by Joel Comiskey

Summer 2011

by Joel Comiskey

Smaller, more nimble cell churches have a lot of advantages. Here are a few:

  • More pastors can lead them. You don’t need to be a great preacher to lead a smaller cell church. In fact, many cell church plants will never grow to the place of meeting in weekly celebration gatherings. The cells might meet once per month in a worship / preaching celebration and perhaps once per month in a half night prayer meeting. Of course, training and coaching will also glue the cells together. A smaller cell church might decide to plant another cell church before they ever reach weekly celebration services (I recommend 75 people in 8-10 cells before weekly celebration). Many pastors are great at multiplying cells but are not gifted preachers. Smaller, more simple cell churches provide more possibilities for church planting.
  • Less organization. Smaller cell church plants don’t need the layers of supervision that larger cell churches require. The church planter does most of the coaching of the cell leaders because the daughter cells flow from the first cell. Eventually there might be the need for additional lay supervision but church plants avoid the complex strings of coaching.
  • Reproducibility. The focus on simple cell church planting has the potential to produce lead pastors–not just cell leaders. Cell churches have been very successful in multiplying cells but have not done a great job of producing lead pastors.
  • No need for a building. Simple church plants don’t need a building and for a long time (if ever) won’t need to pay weekly rent. More money can go for missions, church planter’s salary, etc.

The world needs both small, simple cell churches as well as larger ones, and I believe God desires both.

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Joel Comiskey

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