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February 2014 Newsletter

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Read chapters of Joel's 2013 book, Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church
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2014 JCG Events 
--We will have our  next JCG event on February 22, 2014 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 Houston, Texas on May 17, 2014. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering in Spanish and simulaneous English translation will be available. Place it on your calendar and register today for special deals. More information coming. 
  
Trip to Israel on July 18- 28, 2014
--Daphne Kirk (Generation to Generation) and Joel & Celyce Comiskey (Joel Comiskey Group) will lead a team to Israel July 18-28, 2014. You are invited! Please click here for more information or email us here

 

February 2014 ministry of Joel Comiskey

--February 03, 2014 in New Jersey. One-day cell seminar at El Shaddai. Contact person: Pastor Jorge Chocoj 
--February 08, 2014: Phoenix Arizona. Cell seminar at Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal (lead pastor Mario Porras). Contact person: Mario Porras.
--February 22, 2014: Day with Joel Comiskey and Mario Vega in Los Angeles at IREST. Contact person: Jeff Tunnell or Celyce Comiskey

 

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You can also order Joel's new book in PDF format and download it. 

--Read parts of Comiskey's new book, Biblical Foundation for the Cell-Based Church

2014 Seminar Schedule

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Cell Integration

One pastor in the U.S. concluded that cell ministry didn't work. When I probed further, I discovered that this pastor had wrongly interpreted the cell church strategy. He thought that cell church consisted only of cells with no children's program or any other ministry. He believed that the cell groups performed all the other ministries in the church, like ushers, missions, children's church, etc.           

Much of the resistance toward the cell group model comes from wrong interpretations. "Cell group churches are against everything except cells," some imagine.  The reality is that it's okay to have additional ministries in the cell church. The goal, however, is that all those participating in ministries are fully integrated into the cell system.
  
So what does integration actually mean? Integration means that those in a ministry are already involved in a cell group. They are also participating in the larger gathering. Will this happen immediately? No. If a church is transitioning to cell church ministry, full integration will take place over time. If a church is newly planted, integration can start from day one. 

Cell churches believe that the cell is the base of the church. It's the best place for a person to discover and use his or her spiritual gift and it's where people become disciples. The larger gathering prepares those same disciples through the preaching of God's Word and extended family time. In other words, the first priority is to be actively involved in a cell group and the larger gathering. Beyond this, some will have the time and energy to also participate in additional ministries. 

For example, when a church has fully transitioned to the cell church strategy, those on the worship team are also regularly attending a cell group and in fact, it's a requirement (and often those on the worship team were first using their musical talents in a cell group). In a "church with cells," some are in cells and some in other ministries--cell groups are one ministry among many. In the cell church, the cell is the base of the church and the place where people grow as disciples.   

So integration is not the absence of ministries. Rather, it's making cells the base of the church by asking all those participating in church ministries to first become regularly involved in both cell and celebration. Will everyone be involved in a ministry? No. But in the cell church, everyone is expected to be fully involved in cell and celebration. 
  
Integration also involves those who are in a cell but have not yet connected to the larger gathering (the reverse is also true. Some will first be involved in the larger gathering and need to join a cell group). Note: It's very important that cell groups don't try to invite and integrate evangelicals from other churches into their cell groups. This is called sheep stealing and is unethical!! 

This month on the JCG blog, we will be exploring the topic of integration in cell ministry. Experienced cell pastors will write twenty blogs on this topic during the month of February. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:

  • Week 1 (February 02-8). What does it mean to make cells the base of the church? It's not getting rid of all ministries but integrating people into cell and celebration and then to ministries. 
  • Week 2 (February 09-15). Difficulties and victories of integration. Difficulties include those who don't want to be in cells but just want to do tasks. How do cell churches overcome this? Victory is having a true cell church. 
  • Week 3 (February 16-22). Integration of those outside the church: Remember that cells are for members of your church and unchurched people. We need to avoid sheep stealing.  
  • Week 4 (February 23-March 01). Some people will be in a cell and not attend the celebration gathering while others will attend the larger gatherings but integrate into a cell group. What are some of the ways to integrate people into both cell and celebration?  

What has your experience been with regard to integration in cell ministry? Do you have people in your cell group from other evangelical churches? What are your convictions in this regard? Please feel free to comment HERE. 

Joel