Jim Wall pastors a growing cell church in Chesapeake, VA (Jim is the one in the red shirt to the right). You can read more in-depth information about about Jim’s church, Western Branch Community Church, on my web site. Jim was sharing with me a few days ago about the victory they’ve had in integrating the Generation X crowd into their normal celebration services. Jim told me that Dale Sauls came to Western Branch in the mid 90s to start a Generation X Sunday celebration service along with cell groups. The church realized that they were effectively reaching baby boomers but not reaching their young adult children. Pastor Dale began to grow a â€œchurch within a churchâ€ to about 600 with two Sunday morning celebration services and two dozen cells.
Pastor Dale eventually left to become senior pastor of a church in North Carolina. With Dale’s departure, Western Branch opted to leave the cells in place, but phase those celebration services out. The church simply invited the Generation X people into the â€œgeneral adult services.â€
Pastor Jim Walls writes, “To my knowledge, the only people we lost in the transition were those who attended the Generation X celebrations but were not in a cell! Today, three years later, that age group is the fastest growing segment of our church â€“ without a celebration service of their own. They are happy to celebrate with their parents and grandparents because they have their cells which still tend to form around common age groups.”
What an exciting testimony of the connecitng power of cell groups–and how young people love to celebrate intergenerationally.