I’ve been talking about seeing the leaders around us and using them. Does that mean only male leadership? What about females? In my own church, the most effective cell leader is female. She has successfully invited person after person to both cells and celebration. Have you discovered similar results at your church? In my book Leadership Explosion I wrote the following four paragraphs:
When I visited Yoido Full Gospel Church in 1997, I desired to know how this church succeeds in raising up so many cell leaders. One clear answer is that Cho trusts his lay people. He believes in the priesthood of all believersâ€”whether they are men or women.
Today, David Choâ€™s church is the prime example of a cell ministry that was launched by women and that uses women as the vast majority of cell leaders. For years, Cho tried doing everything himself. One night he tried to baptize 300 people, and he had a physical breakdown that required ten years to overcome. His doctor prescribed strict bed rest. In desperation, he asked his board of elders to help him pastor the church. They refused–even considered finding another pastor. With few alternatives, he gathered all the women leadership in his church, saying, â€œI need you to help me to pastor this church.â€ They said, â€œYes, pastor, weâ€™ll help you. They began to pastor and care for the church through the cell ministry. When Cho had his physical breakdown, there were some 3,000 people in his church. When he finally recovered in 1978, there were 15,000 people in his church.
In Choâ€™s church today over 19,000 of the 25,000 cell groups are led by women. The women who lead cell groups in Choâ€™s church are not considered authoritative Bible teachers. Rather, their authority is derived from their submission to Pastor Choâ€™s leadership. These women leaders are seen as facilitators ministering under Pastor Cho. Their job is to encourage the spiritual life of the group by visiting, praying, and ministering to each member. New Hope Community Church in Portland Oregon views their women leaders in the same way. At NHCC an equal number of men and women are Lay Pastors.
Most of the rapidly growing cell churches make extensive use of women in ministry. This is not a new phenomenon. Back in the days when Wesley turned England upside down through a powerful small-group ministry, the majority of his cell lay leaders were women. The proliferation of cell groups creates a need for more leaders and it becomes especially critical that a church not eliminate 50 percent of its potential small-group leaders on the basis of gender.