By Steve Cordle
This week’s conversation about team ministry is so vital because it is the heart of a successful cell movement.
When we think of a cell group, do we think of a leader teaching and performing ministry on/for the others in the group? If so, “group leader” will be a high-pressure, performance-oriented position. Reproduction will be strained and unnatural, and in most cases, the group will lack energy.
A healthier way to think of a cell group is as a spiritual community on a mission as a team, with each person contributing to the life and ministry of the group. In this image, the leader is handing off ministry and developing others to do it. It is especially important to be handing off ministry to an “apprentice” or “intern”.
On their cell report we ask leaders to answer the question: “What have you done to develop your apprentice?” By regularly asking this question we hope to instill in leaders a developmental mind set. That is, that they will not be content with a “good meeting”, but will be always thinking about what their apprentice needs next. It might mean that they ask the appentice to make phone calls to members that week, or to lead the worship time of the group, or to help organize a social activity. Of course, building into the apprentice’s spiritual life is vital, as well – and any 1 on 1 discipling is a great answer to the question. If there is no clear apprentice yet, the leader can be praying for God to call one forth, and giving away ministry to many group members to see who is rises to the challenge.
The old saying is true – it takes a lot more time and communication to travel somewhere with others than it does to go by yourself. Of course, the problem with traveling alone is that you arrive alone!
As a group leader, how would you respond to the question: “What have I done this week to develop an apprentice?”