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Planting Cell Churches
Making disciples who make disciples is at the heart of the great commission and also drives cell ministry (Matthew 28:18-20). When Jesus told his disciples to make new groups of disciples, he was implying that new local churches would be established and not that one local church would grow larger and larger.
I rejoice when a cell church grows to mega-church status, but I also realize that megachurches are the exception, rather than the rule. The vast majority of cell churches will be smaller and should be encouraged to continue to make disciples through cell church planting.
When a pastor wants to keep the disciple-making process within the confines of his own local church, there's always the danger of division. Why? Because leaders who feel called to plant churches will feel hindered and might eventually break loose to fulfill their calling. How much better for the lead pastor to encourage church planting, additional training, discovering the call of God, and then receiving a proper send-off from the mother church. A person who has led a cell, multiplied it, and supervised the new leaders should be encouraged to pray about being a missionary or church planter in order to extend God's kingdom. Will all plant churches? No, but many more will if they are encouraged to do so.
I remember with joy my church planting seminar in the Vine Church in Goiania, Brazil in 2011. This church actively encourages leaders who have multiplied cells and supervised them to plant new cell churches all over the world. Rather than being threatened by new church plants, pastor Aluizio Silva encourages them. This attitude has not only helped the mother church grow exponentially, it has also extended God's kingdom throughout the world. Steve Cordle, JCG board member and lead pastor of Crossroads UMC, has the vision to plant 100 churches in the years to come. As I write, Steve is giving a church planting seminar in Germany. Steve desires to give away his ministry through multiplying church plants.
While visiting Hong Kong a few years ago, I talked to a Chinese cell church planter in Bangladesh. He was showing me charts and graphs of his church plant in Bangladesh. When inquiring further, I realized that before accepting the missionary call to Bangladesh, he had multiplied cells and become a supervisor in Grace Community Church (Ben Wong) in Hong Kong. He was simply repeating in Bangladesh what he had already accomplished in Hong Kong.
I believe that the Lord of the harvest is looking to raise up more church planting pastors and missionaries today. Cell church ministry offers an exciting platform to raise up church planting pastors and missionaries. For the month of July, JCG bloggers will write about cell church planting. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox, please sign up here. We'll cover:
- Week 1 (July 03-09). Why plant cell churches? Jesus asked us to pray for laborers. Cell church has been very good at multiplying cell leaders but not so good at raising up pastors. Church planting is the natural result of fruitful multiplication and coaching.
- Week 2 (July 10-16). Who should plant cell churches? Fruitfulness is a prerequisite, but calling of God is also essential and church planters should receive additional training.
- Week 3 (July 17-23). How do cell churches plant churches? I recommend not starting weekly celebration services until enough cells exist (3 cells, once per month celebration; 5 cells, twice per month; 7-10 cells and 70 people, weekly celebration). Some cell church plants will start with a large number of cells sent out from mother church.
- Week 4 (July 24-30). Why is there resistance to cell church planting? Probably the main resistance is not wanting people to leave the mother cell church. Some pastors only have a vision to grow the mother church larger and larger.
- Week 5 (July 31 to August 06, 2016). What are some examples of churches who plant churches? How do they do it?
What has your experience been in cell church planting. Share your experiences here.
New: 2016 JCG Event in Virginia
- We will be holding our first JCG conference in the eastern part of the United States in Virgina/Washington D.C. at the Elim Church Virginia area on September 24, 2016. The cost is 39.00. If you'd like to attend, please click here.
Major 2017 JCG Event
- We will have our annual JCG event in the Elim Reseda Church, on February 25, 2017. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering in Spanish and simultaneous English translation will be available. Sign upnow for $39.00 ($59.00 at door).
- Do you need help with your cell ministry? Perhaps you are making a transition to cell ministry and would like a coach to help you in the process. Or maybe you're planing a new cell church. For more information on receiving coaching, please email us or call 1-888-511-9995.
Desire a cell seminar in your church? Click here
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Joel Comiskey's new book, Children in Cell Ministry, can now be purchased here.
27 videos on cell church from Joel Comiskey
- There are 27 videos on all aspects of cell church (with downloadable resources) on Ministry Grid. Check it out.
Free Ebook byJoel Comiskey and small group health assessment
- Free Ebook from Joel Comiskey (Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church). Joel's book is available at the end of the Thriving Small Groups Assessment. There is no catch to this. We are not asking for your contact information or trying to up-sell anything. At the end of the assessment, you will also discover the health of your small groups. I think you'll find both of this free resources extremely helpful.
Joel Comiskey's new book: 2000 Years of Small Groups
- Ebook: 2000 Years of Small Groups
Bill Beckham's new books
Audio books (Click here)