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July 2014 Newsletter

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Preview Joel Comiskey's new book:
2000 Years of Small Groups: A History of Cell Ministry in the Church

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. 

Read chapters of Joel's new book, Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church
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2015 JCG Events 

--We will have our annual JCG event in the Elim Reseda Church, on February 28, 2015. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering in Spanish and simultaneous English translation will be available. Place it on your calendar and  register today for special deals. . 
  
2014 Trip to Israel  

--Daphne Kirk (Generation to Generation) and Joel & Celyce Comiskey (Joel Comiskey Group) will lead a team to Israel July 18-28, 2014.  
  

  
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Biblical Foundations book: 
--Biblical Foundation for the Cell-Based Church, is now available for $10.95 (discount of $4.00)
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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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The Leader's Spiritual Life

Eighteen years have passed since I researched why some leaders were able to lead their small groups to multiplication and why others were not. To make sure the statistics were accurate, 700 leaders filled out the questionnaire in eight countries.  I published the results in my first book, Home Cell Group Explosion, as well as on my website

In summary, the data revealed that cell multiplication did not correlate with  personality, spiritual gifts, social class, education, marriage status, or gender (i.e., external factors). Yet, it showed very clearly that cell leader fruitfulness depended on the leader's spiritual life. In other words, those cell leaders who were willing to pay the price in prayer, spend time with God in daily devotions, and intercede in prayer for their cell members were much more effective in leading and multiplying a cell group.    

These findings should not be surprising because Jesus himself talked about the reward of the Father for those who seek him. He says, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." It's during our secret devotional time with God that he fills us, guides us, and shows us how to live the Christian life. 

During those fellowship moments, he gives leaders insight and direction. He shows them how to lead the group, evangelize others, and develop new disciples that results in multiplication. The reality is that so many unexpected things happen in the course of a normal cell group: the ringing phone, the unexpected non-Christian visitor, the forgetfulness of John to prepare the icebreaker, and so forth. Leaders need Spirit-anointed common sense to minister effectively. The great news is that the Holy Spirit is willing to give the inside, play-by-play counsel on a moment-by-moment basis. To hear His voice loud and clear when you need it, you'll need His filling before the meeting begins. 

Even Jesus made decisions after communing with the Father. As we read in Luke 5:16, He made it a priority to spend time alone with His Father: "... Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:15 explains that when Christ's fame was spreading, the success of his ministry compelled Him to spend more time with God. In the midst of an increasingly busy ministry, He separated from the multitude for quiet time. If Jesus Christ, our model, prioritized His time with the Father, shouldn't we?

As a small group leader, pastor, or both, spending time with God must be your chief and most important priority. When your group senses you're hearing from the Creator, they'll be more apt to follow you. When you can point to times in which you sensed His urging, and He spoke to your heart, you'll gain the respect of those in your group.

During the month of July we'll be exploring different aspects of the leader's spiritual life. We will write twenty blogs on this topic in the month of July. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:

  • Week 1 (July 01-07);  Soul care in general. Why is it important for a cell leader, team member, or pastor to keep spiritually strong and alert? Statistics say that the leader's spiritual life is the most important in both pastoring a cell groups and making disciples who make disciples that results in multiplication. 
  • Week 2 (July  08-14); Personal devotions. The most important preparation we can give our leaders is to spend daily qualitative time with God. It's during the quiet time that the leader (or team member or pastor) hears from God and then applies that direction to the cell group, whether that direction is how to evangelize, raise up new leader, or how to more effectively guide the group. 
  • Week 3 (July 15-21);  Other spiritual disciplines. Beyond personal devotions, we should encourage our leaders to engage in fasting, journaling, spiritual warfare, and other spiritual disciplines. We must always remember that effective leaders hear from God and obey. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and facilitate their cell groups out of their abundance.  
  • Week 4 (July 22-28); Resting and family time. Some churches are so keen on church ministry and growth that they burn out their leaders. Long term effectiveness demands spiritual care over the long-haul. We must encourage our leaders to take a day off, plan family vacations, and especially to prioritize spouse and family (family is more important than ministry!).

Have you noticed a difference in your own leadership effectiveness when you spend time with Jesus? Please feel free to comment here