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Resourcing the Worldwide Cell Church 
April 2012 Newsletter

JCG NEWS

 

 2012 Schedule

 

April Ministry  
 
April 19-23: Cell Ministry in Valencia, Venezuela with pastors from the C&MA. Focus is on planting churches. Contact person:  Murray Derkson  


 Myths and Truths book now available in PDF format 

 Myths and Truth of the Cell Church: Key Principles that Will Make or Break Cell Ministry,  is now available for purchase. Feel free to read the introduction, table of contents, first chapter, second chapter, or press release

Sale on Comiskey books
   
(prices that are far better than amazon.com by $4.00 to $10.00)
  
----most books now available as PDF downloads
--How to be a Great Cell Group Coach (8.95, down from 18.95 on amazon) 
---Appointment with the King (8.95)
 --Relational Disciple (10.95) 
--Church that Multiplies (9.95)
--Planting Churches that Reproduce  (8.95)
--You Can Coach (9.95)
--All training track material: 7.45 each or 32.95 for entire set
--All Touch Publication books for 12.95 ($5.00 under amazon.com pricing)    

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Church as Family

I believe that "family"  is the principal image of the church in Scripture. Paul says in  1 Timothy 3:15, "If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." 

The family of God and household of God are two sides of the same coin and both extend from the house church. The household of God goes beyond the idea of nuclear family and refers to the larger kinship group (oikos) that met in the early house churches. Christ's family extends beyond blood relationships and reaches all those who call on Jesus as Lord and Savior.    

When Christ's mother and brothers wanted the first place in line to see Jesus, he replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:48-50).   
    
Robert Banks writes, "The metaphor of the family was a vital one to Paul. . . .For given the family character of the Christian community, the homes of its members provided the most conducive atmosphere in which they could give expression to the bond they had in common" (Paul's Idea of Community, p. 49).   

Use of the homes of Christians for the gathering of the community reflects the family character of the early church. The atmosphere and attitudes in the community speak to fundamental family values, like trust, respect, love, patience, tolerance, and generosity. The home atmosphere provided the necessary interaction for truly being the church.        

This month on the  JCG blog, we will be exploring different aspects of the family of God and how that applies to the cell church.  Experienced cell church pastors will write 25 blogs on the topic of cell and celebration throughout the month of April. If you'd like to receive these blogs daily via email, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:
    

  • Week 1 (April 1-7): Family theme in the Bible. Ephesians 2:19, Galatians 6:19, and 1 Timothy 3:15 refer to the church as the family. The idea of the church as the household of God came out of the actual house churches. The church as family is one of the central images of the church and many scholars believe it is the main theme.. 
  • Week 2 (April 8-14): Group and family orientation of those to whom the NT is written. The U.S. and western world is more individualistic, but this is a recent phenomenon. The Bible is written to the Mediterranean culture which was group oriented. We are called to look beyond ourselves and welcome others into the family of God. So many are lost, lonely, and hurting. They need a family. Cell groups help them to find a family of God. 
  • Week 3 (April 15-21): The nuclear family. Healthy cells  come from healthy families. We must not neglect the nuclear family! The inner circle is the first cell and healthy cell groups focus on family health. Key questions are: What are we doing to strengthen the family? What should we be doing?   
  • Week 4: (April 22-28) Family cells. I believe the bread and butter of cell homogeneity must be the family cell.  Yes, we can have other types of cells (men's, women's, youth, children, etc.) but family cells are critical and must serve as the base.  
  • Week 5: (April 29-May 05) Testimonies of strengthening the family. What are cell churches doing to prioritize family in both cell and celebration. We will hear about what churches are doing to priority family.     

What do you believe about the family emphasis in Scripture? What is your church doing to strengthen the family? Please comment  HERE.

 

Joel Comiskey