What you call your cell groups says a lot about what you are trying to accomplish through cell life. My church family’s cell groups are called HEART groups (H- Home, E- Encouragement, A- Accountability, R- Relationship, T- Teaching). In this post, I want to concentrate on the Big “E”– Encouragement.
My pastoral team recently attended an interactive, experiential leadership conference. You deliberate with a small group of individuals for a few days which leads a participant to a deeper level of how he/she is wired in the leadership realm. As my team shared about their experience, it was evident that they “lit up” when they discussed how they had been ENCOURAGED by their fellow group members.
Years ago, the overseers of my church utlilized Leadership Catalyst’s affirmation exercise. It’s a simple exercise in which you focus on one individual and spend a concentrated amount of time affirming him. I’ll never forget one of the overseers saying, “Thank you gentlemen. I’ve waited all my life to hear those words and I’ll never forget them.” His life changed because of the power of encouragement.
Recently, I ran across a list entitled “How to be Perfectly Miserable.” I don’t know the origin of the list, but I do want to share it with you. Here’s a few things you can do that will not only make you perfectly miserable but also keep you that way.
1. Think about yourself, 2. Talk about yourself, 3. Use the personal pronoun “I” as often as possible in your conversation, 4. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others, 5. Listen greedily to what people say about you, 6. Insist on consideration and respect, 7. Demand agreement with your own views on everything, 8. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them, 9. Never forget a service you may have rendered, 10. Expect to be appreciated, 11. Be suspicious, 12. Be sensitive to slights, 13. Be jealous and envious, 14. Never forget a criticism, and 15. Trust noboby but yourself.
Sounds like a pathway to a miserable life, eh? Here’s my point. Cell gathering and cell life are incredible platforms for encouragement to flow. “Encourage one another.” Yes, this is a simple but powerful command from scripture. God is the “lifter of our head.” How God wants to use you to lift up the head of your fellow cell member!
A journeyman walking down a miserable path is inward focused. He’s not others-centered. One will never find himself until he/she focuses on the needs of others.
Allow your cells to teem with encouragement.