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


10 thoughts on “Associate Cell Leaders

  • I don’t think it’s too idealistic. If a church can’t do this, it shows they have yet to develop a healthy DNA among members of groups. The disciples went out two by two for support, collaboration, synergy, and to keep satan at bay so as not to tempt a sole man in ministry.

    My home church sends out teams of 4 or more persons to start new groups. A new group cannot be launched unless it has a leader, an assistant leader, a worship leader, a host or hostess. Together, they plan and execute their plans for group meetings and out-of-group-time activities to connect with unchurched friends.

    I have observed that the younger 20 somethings in our church take to leaving home to start a new group far easier than the 40+ crowd. Probably has a lot to do with attention spans, lack of children, willingness to risk, etc. Hopefully, when they’re 50 they will feel the same way considering they’ve been “raised” to go and create new groups throughout their lives.

    Going out by yourself to start a group isn’t something I would want to do… much like planting a church without a team. It just sounds exhausting!

  • When you talk about the G-12 principle that is exactly what is happening when done properly. We have been doing G-12 for about 5 years and just me alone underneath me I have 30 cell groups and thats with raising 3 kids, working full time and supporting my church. The associate cell leader is critical because as I am mentoring my ladies, I am always actively getting them (future cell leaders) involed in participating in the cell group as well as leading it when it is getting closer for them to open up their own cell group. The process of G-12 allows you to be mentored and to mentor. Our belief is that every christians destiny is leadership, so the principle is me imparting what I am getting into my women and them in return reproducing the character of christ also and the spirit of discipleship. We have about 500 cell groups in our church right now but they are constantly multiplying because we are constantling training and mentoring until they can in turn to the same thing. Thanks for all of your wisdom on cell groups. i really enjoy your books

  • I was so blessed by Pastor Mario’s comments on the Elim cell planning meeting … I would think this was an excellent way to not only train an associate leader but mentor others into this responsibility.

  • David, Elim’s system is absolutely amazing and that’s why I promote it so much. The planning meeting keeps the core members in touch with what’s happening each week and they are ready for the cell. It’s also a time to prepare the next person for multiplication.

  • No Sir,
    We are in Sacramento California at Calvary Christian Center. We are believing God for 1000 cell groups by the end of the year. But from a membership of about 11,000 this is a small percentage of people that are actually participating in G-12, but we keep it before their eyes just like in Genesis 30. G-12 is very agressive, but I dont mind God being agressive in my life. We are a great commission church, so we are always looking at ways to wake up the people that are still asleep in the church. Be blessed

  • Wow, Charlene, your church is in my backyard (I live in the Riverside, CA area). We’ll have to stay in touch. GREAT JOB! I love the vision you have to see each person as a leader.

  • Praise God!,
    My husband and have been over the cell groups for about 2.5 years now. So when we first took the assignment we bought a lot of your books on cell group etc. One in particular that we are currently chewing on is Cell Church Solutions. We are interested in helping our Man of God transition our church into a complete Cell Chuch in its fullness. God has graced my husband and I with a passion to assist in waking a sleeping church. The cell group is a great place where we can move out side the four walls and start flowing in the gifts of the spirit as Jesus did throughout his ministry. I am an Assistant nurse manager and I actually have another cell group at work also. I have chosen the name empowered womens breakfast support group and all i did was place a flyer up and 20 registered nurses showed up at 8am on a saturday morning, some of them coming directly from work( over one of my associate cell leaders house) to participate and partake of this support group.( i prayed the prayer of salavation with all of them) It is amazing–it is even crossing denominational, and cultural barriers. So I thank God that once we say Yes to his will he comes to make a withdrawal of what he has placed on the inside of us. Well you be blessed and I will talk to you soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *