Jeff Tunnell here, pinch hitting for Steve Cordle. Not long ago a couple joined us coming from another church. She is outgoing, an extraordinary gatherer, and people love her. Having caught the vision of Cell ministry she is highly driven to multiply a new Cell out of the one in which she currently participates. As far as readiness goes, she wants to get moving THIS WEEK.
This situation is not uncommon as unsatisfied program church people discover the avenue of ministry and relationship their hearts have searched for in the cell-driven environment.
Here is the proverbial â€œhoweverâ€; in our training track we include the step of membership prior to becoming a cell leader. (For clarity, this step is #5 in our training track) This couple has many years of serving Christ, plenty of experience and excellence therein, even to the point of shepherding others and administering Christian Schools. Even though she is working on it, they have not yet progressed through all the steps required for leadership in our body. Her husband takes a position that membership is not necessary to be a part of the local church body. I think he has some reservations about control issues from prior church and leadership experiences. Will this become a deal breaker?
The temptation is to fast-track them (or at least her) in order to capitalize on the new cell, get closer to our goals for the year and work out the bugs later. Hmmmâ€¦..?
For me the question is not simply one of membership. Itâ€™s about Covenant relationship, being committed to one another and being united in mission that is duplicateable (not short-cut-able).
Amos 3:3 provides the rhetorical question, â€œDo two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?â€ What principles should be held to in this case and others like it?