by Steve Cordle
Joel’s post yesterday about releasing leaders and the core value of multiplication is so vital for us to hear.
A while ago a pastor of a large, growing church said to me “Here’s why I don’t go for the cell idea: why should I create a system in which constantly breaks up groups? The people are just starting to gel together and then they have to split.”
This pastor was correct in that multiplication is a core value of cell minsitry. There are several reasons why this is so.
First, each group has a shelf-life. As marvelous as fellowship is, and as exciting as it can be to experience God together, that sense of spiritual community won’t last unless it is given away. Groups have a “shelf-life”After about 2 years, groups which have not had new people join will spoil and begin to die (even if they still meet, the flame wil have gone out and they just won’t realize it.)
Just as God fed the people of Israel with manna but told them not to try to store it, so the Jesus feeds us with community, but tells us not to try to horde it. We must extend it to others.
Some say, “We’re going to close our group so we can really focus on discipleship together”. I would have to ask what kind of disciples are we making when we create an environment which mitigates against the outreach? In Luke 15 Jesus taught that the heart of the Father is for those far from him. Groups need to foster that in their goals and structure.
As Joel mentioned, it is easy to get comfortable among those we know and love. But we are commissioned not to comfort, but to extend the life we receive from the Lord.