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Resourcing the Worldwide Cell Church 
November 2012 Newsletter

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2013 Seminar Schedule

2013 JCG Events

--We will have our next JCG event on March 02, 2013 at the Elim Church in Reseda, California (greater Los Angeles). Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering with simultaneous translation in English. Place it in your calendars now. Register today and get the special deal of 39.00.

--We will have a second JCG event in the Elim Church in Richardson, Texas (same place as last year) on May 18, 2013. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering and English translation will be available. Place it in your calendars now. More information coming.

Myths and Truths book available

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Denominations and the Cell Church

Some people look at Brazil as the Mecca of cell church ministry. Much of the credit for the widespread acceptance of cell church principles in Brazil can be attributed to Robert Lay's ministry, Ministério Igrega em Células. The beautiful thing about Lay's ministry is the training and coaching of a multitude of denominational leaders and churches.

During my last conference in Recife, Brazil, a Presbyterian cell church pastor co-led the seminar in a Baptist cell church. I spoke on Sunday night in an Anglican cell church. Each denominational group maintained its unique identity while fully embracing cell church principles. I sensed a unity among these pastors that went far beyond denominational ties. And these denominational churches understand that transitioning to the cell church is a marathon, rather than a 50-year dash.

Yet, on another occasion I spoke in a growing cell-based conference which partly attributed its growth to leaving the denominational church and being free from the constraints of denominational rules and regulations. One of the leaders questioned the biblical base for denominationalism and felt that denominational tradition hinders cell ministry.

Some denominational pastors want to become cell churches but feel trapped through criticism, regulations and lack of encouragement. What can denominational churches do to ensure successful cell church transitions? What can denominational leadership do to help individual churches in cell ministry?

This month on the JCG blog, we will be exploring the question of denominations and the cell church. Experienced cell church pastors will write 20 blogs on this topic during the month of November. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:

  • Week 1 (November 04-10): We know that many successful cell churches are within older denominations. Some denominations, like the Baptists, view each individual church as an autonomous entity. The local church, rather than the Baptist denomination, has ultimate authority. Other denominations exercise more control over their churches and might discourage their churches from following the cell strategy.
  • Week 2 (November 11-17): Many positive examples of cell church vision and growth exist within denominations today. We will look at some of them and specifically examine what they did to lead their church.
  • Week 3 (November 18-24): We will look at some ways denominations can hinder cell involvement. Denominations often want their churches to follow specific programs and overload them with the latest strategy from headquarters. If the superintendent is not excited about cell ministry, the pastors can feel hindered. This is why a pastor needs a cell coach. A pastor also needs to have the ability to say "no" to promoting programs that will clutter the people's time and energies away from relational evangelism and leadership development through cell groups.
  • Week 4 (November 25-December 01): What can denominations do to help their churches in cell ministry. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Learn about cell ministry 2. Encourage cell ministry as one of the options 3. Provide coaches. 4. Offer seminars and cell resources.

What has your experience been concerning denominations and the cell church?

Joel Comiskey