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Joel Comiskey Group
Resourcing the Worldwide Cell Church 
October 2013 Newsletter

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Comiskey's October Schedule:
   
--October 02-07, 2013. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Cell ministry at Shekinah church (both for pastors in the city and for pastors and leaders from Shekinah). Contact person: Rafael Cruz
--October 12-13, 2013. Ridgecrest, California. Ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church (both to English church and Spanish church). Contact person: Karen Veazey
-Oct. 23-26, 2013. Santarem, Brazil. Conference at Igreja de Paz (lead pastor Abe Huber). Contact person: Abe Huber

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
  

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

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Preparing the Next Generation

God often speaks to me when I conduct seminars and conferences around the world because I see what other churches are doing up-close. During my September trip to Barquisimeto, Venezuela, God spoke directly to my heart about the need to emphasize children's cells--as well as adolescent and youth cells

On the plane from Caracas to Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Henry Camacho, the organizer of the event, turned to me and said, "Joel, there are very few books on children's cell groups. You should write one." Henry then said, "You are going to be surprised by how this church (MCM) in Barquisimeto has prioritized children's cell groups." 

From the first day at MCM in Barquisimeto, I knew God was speaking to me. Pastor Keison, lead pastor at MCM, told me that when he visited Scotland a few years earlier, he was grieved by the many empty churches in a land famous for revivals. God spoke to him about the need to focus on children and youth, or face the same eventual fate as Scotland. MCM now has 500 cell groups and the goal is that every adult cell has a children's cell group attached to it. They are well on the way to fulfilling that goal.  

MCM also believes in training the adolescents to lead the children's cell groups. I interviewed several adolescents (10-14 years) who clearly told me how they finished the equipping and were now taking full responsibility to visit, prepare the lesson, and pastor their children's cell groups! I came back with a new vision to prepare the next generation. 

I believe God is speaking to his church today. We cannot afford to only emphasize cell  groups when the members are in high school or college.  If the children are not actively engaged and becoming disciples, there's a good chance they'll lose interest before reaching high school or college.  

A number of cell churches are waking up to this challenge. Pastor Aluizio Silva's church in Brazil, the Vine, is actively developing children's cell groups and now has 1000 children's cells (and a yearly children's cell conference). Mario Vega, lead pastor of Elim,  is prioritizing children's cells and actively training children cell leaders. Daphne Kirk has dedicated her life to developing the next generation and has created excellent literature on how to do it. Lorna Jenkins is another expert on children's cells and has written a excellent book on the topic called  Shouting in the Temple: A Radical Look at Children's Ministry. And there are others.   

During the month of October on the JCG blog, we'll explore the topic of children's cell groups. Experienced cell church pastors and coaches will write twenty blogs on this topic in the month of October (including Daphne Kirk and Lorna Jenkins). If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:  

  • Week 1 (October 06-12). The need to prioritize children's cell groups. We'll explore why children are the future and what the Scripture says about children.  
  • Week 2 (October 13-19). How to organize children's cell groups. We'll look at what they are, who are doing them, how to organize one, and so forth.
  • Week 3 (October 20-26). Avoiding pitfalls. There's a million reasons why children's cells won't work--or at least why churches think they won't work (e.g., legal questions, equipping, children's programs, and so forth). This week we'll examine some of the pitfalls and suggest answers to avoid them. 
  • Week 4 (October 27-November 02). Catching a vision. Someone said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The first step is to catch a vision for children's cells, start talking about the values, and prepare for God to open doors to start them in your church.  

What have you observed about children's cell groups? Adolescent cells? Feel free to share here.


Joel Comiskey