Worship and Cell Ministry

joelWhile I strongly believe that small-group ministry is a powerful tool to reach the lost, we must first give our attention to the Almighty. While techniques to lasso non-Christians are great, they’re not at the core of small-group ministry. God must be at the core. Worship is the atmosphere in which God lives, and His Word expresses who He is. When a group is God-sensitive, it highlights worship and the Word. In this atmosphere, the gifts flow and unbelievers are naturally drawn to Jesus. worship

Jesus said, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matthew 4:10). Worship first; service second. This order is repeated later on in Matthew when Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (22:37–39). The gifts of the Spirit flow when God is exalted and given the place He deserves. In a God-centered atmosphere, unbelievers are also converted.

The normal cell group, like a good diet, includes certain staple ingredients. I recommend the following ingredients in all small groups:
• Upward Focus: Knowing God through worship and prayer
• Inward Focus: Knowing each other through fellowship
• Outward Focus: Reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus through small-group evangelism
• Forward Focus: Raising up new leaders through training and discipleship

No two small groups are exactly alike, but each should include these four ingredients. UIOF (upward, inward, outward, forward) is a great way to view the progress of a small group. While the UIOF focus provides a general direction, I recommend specifying a more precise order. My own small group, for example, use the four Ws as a general guideline: welcome, worship, the Word and witness (or works).



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