If you read last Wednesday’s blog, you’ll noitice that I talked about a new hunger for the radical middle. I illustrated this hunger by a particular church that realized they needed to get back on track after reading Cell Church Solutions. Since I’ll be coaching this church for the next six months, I met with the senior pastor and board to decide on the next course of action.
One of the board members was so hungry for change, he just wanted to go for it immediately. I appreciated his zeal because I have a similar personality. Yet, I also have learned, as many of you have, that it’s super easy to start small groups–even 100s of them. Yet, it’s much more difficult to establish a long-term cell group system. Unless the senior pastor and staff are modeling it, cell ministry usually falters over time. .
I suggested that the senior pastor lead the staff in a prototype for at least two months. I then suggested that each staff person lead a turbo type pilot group for four months that consisted of key lay people who were willing to lead an open cell. After the four months, these key lay people would pair off two by two to open their own cells. The senior pastor and staff could start leading a normal open cell (3-15 that meets weekly outside the church building for the purpose of evangelism, community, and discipleship with the goal of multiplication) at that time.
I recommended that then, and only then, the church make an announcement about the new cell church vision.
I was very impressed with the urgency/passion level among the key leadership. They really wanted to become a cell church. I’m seeing this same passion more and more, not just in majority/third-world chruches, but also in the western world.
According to Jim Egli’s research, coaching is even more important than training to assure long term success. I’ll be covering the topic of coaching in my next few blogs.