Associate Cell Leaders

joelHow valuable is it to have an associate leader in the cell group? I’m referring to starting a group with someone who is committed to start the next group when the time TEAMcomes. In the heyday of the G12 movement there was a lot of talk about planting new cells. The leader would go out by himself or herself and plant a new cell from scratch. Most of us in the cell movement were impressed with how many new cells were started through the G12 process of cell planting. But is this a healthy practice?

I was coaching a pastor recently who was ready to officially transition to the cell church strategy. He had practiced prototyping principles for about a year, and he was ready to start several new cells. He wanted to start ten cells, but as we talked, we both agreed that it was wiser to start five groups that each had an associate leader to assure multiplication in the future.

I’ve noticed more and more how easy it is to talk about cell multiplication and never actually do it. Often the problem is that no one is willing to lead the new group. Many cell groups languish for years without giving birth because there is simply no one to take the new group. Stagnation can easily settle in over time and koinonia eventually turns into koinonitus.

The Elim Church (senior pastor Mario Vega) does a great job of establishing a team in each cell group which helps prepare the next cell for multiplication. Most cell churches, however, don’t measure up to Elim’s standard.

What about you? Do you wait until you have a leader and an associate leader to multiply a new group? Is this too idealistic? Share your experience in this area.

Joel Comiskey


Something More than Mere Numbers

marioby Mario Vega

An important factor to help avoid cell work from getting entangled in numbers is to be able to maintain achievable goals.GOALS

When goals are too ambitious, your concern can drag you into focusing on numerical aspects only. Pressure to reach a certain number can lead to neglect important aspects of the cell work or even to lose ethical elements such as honesty.

Exaggerating on that subject a few jokes came out from the cell work environment of our church. One joked of a leader who, in order to achieve the goal, began to add attendance “by faith” reporting what his eyes couldn’t see but his heart could believe. Another one tells that there was a leader that reported even the people that passed by in the street at the moment he was attending the cell meeting.

There was another leader of whom everybody said that when a pregnant woman came to his meeting he would count her as for two: the baby and her. Another one even more creative counted his attendance by weight. An obese person could count for three or four, depending on how many pounds he could weigh.

Of course, all of this was nothing more than jokes. But those jokes talk about the danger that surrounds when you focus too much on numbers neglecting other essential components of the work in houses.


Translation into Spanish:

Algo más que simples números.

Un factor importante para que el trabajo celular no se quede enzarzado en cuestión de números es el poder mantener las metas alcanzables.

Cuando las metas son demasiado ambiciosas puede mover a que la preocupación se centre en aspectos numéricos solamente. La presión por llegar a cierta cantidad puede llevar al descuido de aspectos importantes del trabajo celular o hasta a perder elementos éticos como la honestidad.

Exagerando ese tema es que en el ambiente de trabajo celular de nuestra iglesia surgieron algunas bromas. Como aquella que habla de un lder que, con tal de alcanzar la meta, comenzó a poner asistencia ‘por fe’ reportando lo que sus ojos no vean pero su corazón crea. De otro se dice que contaba incluso las personas que pasaban por la calle al momento de realizar la reunión de célula.

Haba otro lder del cual se deca que cuando una mujer embarazada llegaba a la reunión la contaba por dos: el bebé y ella. Otro más creativo contaba la asistencia por peso. Una persona obesa poda valer por tres o cuatro, dependiendo cuántas libras pudiera pesar.

Claro que todo ello no era más que bromas. Pero esas bromas hablan del peligro que envuelve el enfocarse demasiado en los números descuidando otros componentes esenciales del trabajo en casas.

When a group leader falls

by Steve Cordle

I will follow Rob Campbell’s excellent example today and ask a question so that we might learn from one another. It’s a question no pastor likes to think on, but most likely we will all face it at some point:

Q: When a group leader falls morally, how do you go about removing that leader? If the leader will not own their action nor agree to the removal, what is said to the group and what is not? What is the role of the pastor/coach?

Obviously we don’t want you to identify specifics, but specific action steps and why.

Leadership Lessons

by Rob Campbell

John Maxwell is well known for the following quote:  “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”  It’s true, isn’t it?

I’m wondering– what leadership lessons are near and true to your heart?

Further, would you be willing to share those lessons with this blog community?  You need not be wordy (as you may note this blog post is quite brief).

Let me share two of my favorite leadership lessons.

First, everyone will not be like you.

Next, everyone will not like you.

Post a comment.  Be brief.  One or two lines is just fine.


Jesus and the Multitudes

joelI’m writing here from the Kansas City, MO airport, and I’m tired–but happy. I’ve had a whirlwind speaking ministry here. It started at a Southern Baptist church on Friday night. Kevin Wood is the pastor. I first met Kevin in Prague when I did a cell seminar among the southern Baptist missionaries. Then we were together again in Greece and later in Slovakia (where Kevin was a SB missionary). And now we met again in the “new world” of Kansas City. Kevin, who believes strongly in cell ministry, asked me to speak on transitioning the church to the cell strategy.

On Saturday I spoke to sixty Southern Baptist church planters. They wanted me to speak on simple cell church planting–going from the core to the crowd. So many church planters begin with a Sunday worship service. I challenged them to begin with a cell (the church) and multiply from the core to the crowd. Many church planters will eventually have weekly celebration services while others will choose to gather the cells together less frequently.

Then on Sunday morning I was back at Kevin’s church and spoke to 250 people in attendance about penetrating their cities through multiplying cell groups. So many won’t darken the door of a church building. They need a church “next door” that will reach out to them and invite them to the group. As I walked around the neighborhood before preaching, I noticed a young “hippie” looking dad taking his young daughter out for a motorcycle ride. He lived near the church, but I doubted he’d just “show up” at one of the celebration services. Who would befriend him? Who would reach him? I thought. I preached that morning from Matthew 9:35-10:1:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35-10:1).

Jesus is still broken as He sees lost people–like the hippie dad. And He’s still asking us to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest field. Cells are a great way to send forth laborers who lead “the church next door” and have compassion on the hurting–just like Jesus.