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Preparing for the Future Now
A couple weeks ago, I had a very bad day. Nothing worked out right. I was crabby, indecisive, and critical. I didn't sleep well the night before and it showed. By the end of the day, I welcomed a good night sleep. I started the next day with concentrated devotions, asking Jesus to fill me. A strong cup of coffee helped. Jesus gave me new hope, direction, and vision. My attitude was completely different, and I had a great day.
January is to a new year what the morning is to a new day. 2017 can be a time to reset your cell ministry or strengthen what you're already doing well. Some pastors witnessed amazing fruit in 2016. Maybe you're one of them. Take advantage of the strong head winds as you press ahead in 2017.
Others struggled in cell ministry in 2016. They didn't see their goals fulfilled and are needing to reboot. Maybe you're one of them. Remember that God is more interested in his church than you are. He wants to help you fine-tune your current cell ministry to more effectively make disciples who make new disciples. After all, God is the one who has ordained small groups to mold and shape new disciples, and he does this through an amazingly simple system that consists of five main areas:
- Cell. Disciples are formed in the small group atmosphere.
- Celebration. Disciples are encouraged through vision casting, worship, and preaching.
- Equipping. Disciples are trained to lead new cell groups (or be part of a team), supervise cell leaders, and plant new cell churches
- Coaching. Disciples receive care, encouragement, and accountability to remain strong in their leadership roles.
- Prayer/Missions. Disciples breathe the pure air of Christ's church through prayer and participate in the missional outreach of Christ's church.
So which of the five above aspects do you need to work on in 2017? What are you already doing well? Celebrate those areas. What steps can you take in 2017 to fine tune your current cell church ministry? Work on those areas. The worst thing is to ignore the problems and not do anything. Passive inaction generates more stagnation. Be proactive. One pastor decided to promote the cell vision from the pulpit (#2 above). Another realized he needed to jump-start his equipping process (#3 above). What about you?
Take time to pray and envision your current cell ministry--the strong points and weak ones. Then get others involved in the process. Refuse to be a lone-ranger. Be honest about the strengths and weakness of your cell groups and cell system.
As I speak in churches around the world and coach pastors each month, I'm constantly urging leaders to prioritize children and youth in cell ministry. The young people today will be the church of tomorrow. Those pastors who prepare well for the future concentrate on discipling the children and youth now.
In the month of January on the JCG blog, we'll take the first two weeks to offer practical advice and vision to fine-tune your cell church ministry in 2017. During the third and fourth weeks of January, I'll share excerpts from my new book, Youth in Cell Ministry: Discipling the Next Generation Now. If you'd like to receive December blogs in your email, click here. Here are the themes we'll cover in December:
- January 08-14. Refresh and Reset. The new year is a time of hope and refreshment. It's a time of envisioning God's plan for the church through making disciples through cell ministry.
- January 15-21. Mending the nets. What needs to be changed, improved, or maintained for 2017. The best pastors are not lone rangers but work in a team. They seek counsel from others to determine what to change, maintain, and what goals to set.
- January 22-28. Preparing a new generation. Insights from Comiskey's book, "Youth in Cell Ministry."
- January 29-February 04. Specifics of youth in cell ministry. Insights from Comiskey's book "Youth in Cell Ministry."
What are your goals for 2017? What are you doing well and what do you need to improve? Share your experiences here.
Joel Comiskey's 2016 book, Youth in Cell Ministry, is available now for purchase. Read introduction and chapters here
Free articles and resources here
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Read parts of Joel Comiskey's book, Children in Cell Ministry, here.
Ebook for 2000 Years of Small Groups
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2017 JCG Event in Reseda, California
- 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 up now for $49.00 ($59.00 at door).
2017 JCG Event in Falls Church, Virginia
- We will be holding our second JCG conference in Virgina/Washington D.C. area at the Elim Church Virginia area on September 02, 2017. You can register here.
JCG offers coaching
- 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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