Relationship Building in the Cell and Multiplication

We’ve been talking a lot about evangelism, but what about community? We all know that community and relationships are a key part of what cell ministry is all about. It’s hard to hide in a cell. Everyone is encouraged to share. And the cell is often just the launching pad for cell members to develop deep relationships with each other outside of the cell meeting.

A key question is whether building community helps or hinders cell multiplication?

In my the questionnaire of 700 cell leaders, I asked the leaders how often their group met outside of the regular cell group for social gatherings. According to the data, there was a positive correlation between frequency of social meetings outside the regular cell meeting and group multiplication. Thus, building relationships among group members really does help in the multiplication process.

During social gathering outside of the cell meeting, close connections are created between group members that will participate in the leadership team of the new daughter cell. And giving birth to a new group doesn’t mean that members of the mother and daughter cell won’t see each other anymore. Cell Churches don’t just emphasize cell ministry. Rather, celebrating together and meeting in other venues is part of the cell church experience.

Relational building in the group is an essential part of the DNA of cell ministry, but we also must see relational building as a positive step in the process of group multiplication.



COME and GO Evangelism

If you lead cells, I suspect that you have discovered the same thing I have: it is a lot easier for group members to show care for each other than to reach out to the lost. Groups seem to be natural at fellowship, but most of the time evangelism is less automatic.

One of the main ways group members think about evangelism is inviting people to the cell. This is great! When we find a spiritually open person who is open to attending the cell meeting, that is a huge win! As a leader, I love to see people inviting others to the meeting.

However, I have found that only a small percentage of unreached people will be immediately open to an invitation to COME. That is why we also need to encourage our members to GO. That is, to “go” get involved in the lives of unreached folks. (Long-time Christians sometimes find all the people they know are already Christians).

Instead of immediately inviting that new neighbor to the cell meeting, instead, invite that person to dinner. Then help him to remulch his flower bed, and go to the art exhibit his daughter entered. In other words, go get involved in his life. Along the way there will be opportunities to share faith, and eventually, to invite him to the group. He will be more open to the invitation after that relationship is built.

Instead of making cell outreach only invitational (though that’s still good!), also make it incarnational! Jesus said “GO into all the world…”


Evangelism and Multiplication is a Group Effort

In the last few blogs I’ve been focusing on how cells and missions stimulate each other and can provide a one-two punch. But we also must remember that the missionary vision starts next door! Some churches are great at focusing on overseas misisons, but they do very litttle to reach out around them.

Cells and cell churches should have an outward focus to reach people wherever they are. And effective cell leaders excel in stimulating their entire group to reach out, rather than doing it all themselves. One way to become extremely burdened as a cell leader is to think that evangelism solely depends on the leader’s effort.

One of the questions on my survey of 700 cell leaders was how often the cell leader asked group members to get involved in the evangelism process of inviting friends and contacts to the cell. On this particular quesiton, I gave the cell leader several choices, ranging from weekly exhortation to invite friends to never asking them. The survey showed that cell leaders who weekly encourage members to invite visitors double their capacity to multiply their groups—as opposed to those leaders who do so only occasionally or not at all.

The good news about evangelism and cell ministy is that it’s a group effort. It doesn’t depend on one person. Let’s remember to include everyone in the evangelism process.


P.S.: If you’re interested in seeing the 29-question handout that was given to 700 cell leaders (as well as the general summaries), click here. If you’d like to see all the statistical details,click here

What I Learned About Missions at a Korean Hospital

by Rob Campbell

Joel’s posts have been highlighting the powerful connection between the cell and missions.  In simple terms, the ministry initiatives of a cell church flow through the cells.  This is true for missions as well. 

Today, I experienced something I’ve never experienced before.  Let me explain.  In July 2003, my church family sent six individuals to begin a cell church in Suji, South Korea (a suburb of Seoul with about 600,000 people).  We were asked by a ministry in Korea to begin an English speaking church and so Cypress Creek Church, Korea was birthed ( 

Back to my first time experience.  My family and I waited with Pastor Donnie Tyson (Pastor of CCCK) while his wife, Shannon, was having brain surgery.  This is her second brain surgery in less than two months.  She has also had back surgery whilel here in Korea.  Thankfully, today’s surgery was successful and she is in recovery.  We are praying and hoping for complete healing.

Have you ever heard the phrase “God uses ordinary people for his extraordinary purposes?”  Of course you have.  Let me tell you– the Tyson’s are a beautiful picture of this reality.  When I invited individuals to consider going to Korea to start a church, God definitely “called” the Tyson’s.  I will not soon forget watching them sell everything…and I mean everything at a garage sale at their house.  They left their nice, cozy life in Wimberley Texas and came to Korea with just a few suitcases.

As I sat with Donnie today, my wife spent some time with Shannon post-surgery.  While Shannon was in ICU, she was receiving visitors from their church family.  She was asking them specific questions about how they were doing…if life was going well for them…yes, ministering to THEM.  She had just gone through brain surgery!  My wife stated, “The attending nurses were warmly greeted by Shannon and she smiled and talked with them as they were helping.”

I am most captivated by the Tyson’s bravery, courage and determination to make a difference for Christ in this country.  The top two reasons that people leave foreign ministry fields and return home are family problems and health concerns.  This couple has persevered through these trevails in an incredible manner.  I have watched them being carried by the hand of God.

In closing, let me mention three things that I learned about missions at the Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang, South Korea.

First, I was reminded of the value of relationships.  My family and I “connect” with the Tyson’s.  Our love for each other is mutual.  We have great respect for each other and believe in each other.

Next, I so appreciate sacrifice that you can see with your own eyes.  The Tyson’s don’t have to be here.  They could choose to go home!  One lady from the Tyson’s church family was present for many hours today attending to Shannon and Donnie.  She said to me, “I must be here.  Shannon is my spiritual mother.  Now, it’s my time to give back to her.”  You see, others have seen their unselfish sacrifice.

Finally, their life in South Korea began in a cell in Wimberley, Texas.  Once, they were simply two members in a really good cell group.  They heard stories of God’s activity around the world.  They became curious about what life might be like a different country.  Eventually, they began to lead a cell and were exposed to more and more life changing stories from around the world.  The time came for them to leave it “all” behind and come to South Korea.  Their multiplication did not, however, occur within city limits.  It was an international multiplication.

Your prayers are appreciated for Shannon and Donnie during her recovery. 

Remember, the launching pad for missions around the world begins in the cell.




Tips to Connect Cell and Mission

During the cell/missions conference in Argentina, I was reminded about different ways to connect cell and mission. One cell church, for example, took up missionary offerings in the cell group. That is, the sole purpose for the cell offering was to give to missions. This particular church had 300+ cell groups, so the money raised through the cell groups for missions was significant.

Other cell churches reflect on missions during the WITNESS time in the cell. When I visited a cell group at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, Louisiana in 1996, the cell leader passsed out a pamphlet on a particular unreached people group during the WITNESS time. We prayed for that particular group, asking God to raise up missionaries among them. This is a great way to remind cell members that Christ is concerned for all peoples of the earth.

Some of the cell groups at York Alliance Church in York, PA, go on short-term mission trips. I heard exciting testimonies of cell groups ministering in El Salvador, Macedonia, and Germany. The cell groups plan the trip and go as a group. They then report back to the church what God has done.

I know that I was encouraged from my recent trip to Argentina to remember the intimate link between cells and missions. I hope you are as well!