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Cell Lessons for both Believers and Unbelievers
By Joel Comiskey
Great cell lessons transform the hearers rather than simply add to their Bible knowledge. The goal is transformation. But does this transformation only apply to Christians? No. I believe the goal of transformation applies both to believers and unbelievers.
But how does this take place? Most of us know how to gear a cell lesson to believers, but what about unbelievers? Allow me to offer three suggestions:
Suggestion 1: Remember that God's Word convicts both saints and sinners. Jesus said in John 16:7-8: "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." The Spirit of God is able to use verses directed toward believers to convict and minister to unbelievers. It's God's Word through the Spirit that brings conviction. Sometimes we become so "seeker friendly" that we end up hiding God's Word. In reality, we need to expose unbelievers to God's Word. The book, Worship Evangelism, talks about why the best way to convert sinners is to expose them to the living God. In summary, it's okay to use the normal cell lesson when unbelievers are present because God's Word will convict both the saved and unsaved.
Suggestion 2: Include "extra questions" geared toward non-Christians. Although the regular questions will minister to the unbelievers, the extra questions try to hit the target more precisely, making the Sunday sermon more palatable to the unbeliever. Granted, this takes more work to include extra questions.
Suggestion 3: Tweak the questions you already have. This is what most cell leaders do. If the cell leader knows in advance that a non-Christian is going to attend, he or she can choose the questions from the Sunday sermon that will be more relevant to the unbeliever (or change the question slightly to meet his or her needs). If a non-Christian shows up unexpectedly, the cell leader simply prays and seeks God to guide the discussion, which might mean tweaking a question, adding another one, or deleting one.. This is why I always say that the best cell leaders concentrate on preparing themselves spiritually to be ready for unexpected circumstances.