About Prayer

marioRandall Neighbor is right about his remark concerning the importance of prayer. I have noticed that many people have lost their perception on the prayerpossibilities prayer can bring.

These people seek counseling to find a solution to their personal difficulties. Many of these difficulties cannot be solved by any kind of advice or suggestion. The only valid advice is prayer.

Despite that Christians confess their faith in prayer, in practice, it seems like they trust more in human advice to solve their problems rather than prayer itself. The best recommendation is to go and commit to prayer every day until receiving an answer from God. I also suggest to people that they fast once per week as well.

Perhaps people would like to be handed with a special formula to solve their conflicts, but I repeat, most of the time there is no formula but prayer. It is important to return prayer to the rightful place: to the center and the beginning.

What do you think?


Translation in Spanish:

Sobre la oración.

Es correcto el comentario de sobre la importancia de la oración. He notado que muchas personas han perdido la percepción de las posibilidades de la oración.
Esas personas buscan una consejera para encontrar una solución a sus dificultades personales. Muchas de esas dificultades son de tal naturaleza que evidentemente no pueden ser solucionadas por ningún tipo de consejo o sugerencia. El único consejo válido es el de la oración.
A pesar que los cristianos confiesan su fe en la oración, en la práctica, parece que confan más en que un consejo resuelva sus problemas antes que la oración misma. La mejor recomendación es la de ir y dedicarse a la oración cada da hasta obtener una respuesta de Dios. También sugiero a las personas ofrecer, al menos, un ayuno cada semana por esas peticiones.
Tal vez las personas desearan que se les de una fórmula especial para solucionar sus conflictos; pero, repito, muchas veces no hay ninguna fórmula mas que la de la oración. Es importante volver a la oración al lugar que le corresponde: al centro y al principio.


Changing Seas, Steady Rudders

Jeff Tunnellby Jeff Tunnell


I am appreciating the recent blogs that address underlying reasons for cell ministry approaches to our communities and the world. The comments are lively and we certainly expect the “give and take” from our blog readers and ministry leaders from around the world.  Much can be gained from our conversations.rough sea sailing ship.jpg

We need a steady rudder to help us hold course in times of change.  Rob Campbell recommended “Transitions” to us last week (I’m almost finished Rob!).  Conditions change, circumstances change, people change, approaches to ministry change, even leadership qualifications are altered to “fit” new times.  Church planting, reorganizing existing cell structures and how to accomplish the celebration of cells within a geographic or political confine are part of our discussion.

Decentrailization of leadership for multiplication of ministry is a strong rudder.  Close supervision of cell leaders must be maintained to keep the purity of our mission and message.  Bringing guidance and correction is one way of staying on course.  Not everyone can be the captain of the ship.  Planting new churches, and organinzing a community of believers must consider the quality of leaders and their loyalty to the Captain of the ship!

HOLD the rudder steady!  Keep to biblical standards for leaders while keeping the goal of evangelism and growth of His Kingdom on your horizon.  Set your course and stay with it, don’t just chase a better wind OR let the wind blow you off course.  Sail through to your God-given destination with confidence.

How are you holding to your course?  What are some of your rudders in seasonal changes?

“Come and Join Us?”

by Rob Campbell


Before reading this post, let me encourage you to read Joel’s most recent post AND the comments.  It will be worth your time and get you thinking about the balance between cell and celebration.  Thanks to those who posted comments!

I trust this quote from Alan Hirsch’s The Forgotten Ways will be helpful/insightful.  I believe it connects well with the discussion that ensued from Joel’s last post.

“Attractional church demands that in order to hear the gospel, people come to us, on our turf, and in our cultural zone.  In effect, they must become one of us if they want to follow Christ.  I can’t emphasize how deeply alienating this is for most non-Christian people who are generally happy to explore Jesus but don’t particularly want to be ‘churched’ in the process.  The biblical mode, on the other hand, is not so much to bring people to church but to take Jesus (and the church) to the people.”

Hirsch continues by writing, “Christology determines missiology, and missiology determines ecclesiology.”




Gathering the Cells to Celebrate

joelWe at Wellspring have been meeting in weekly celebrations for the past couple weeks. Meeting in weekly cells and weekly celebrations have many TWObenefits, such as more ways to reach people and regularity in seeing the rest of the church. There are also weaknesses, such as depending too much on the “preacher” to draw in the people and more overhead cost in paying for a place to meet (we’re meeting in a junior high school).

Rob Campbell, Jeff Tunnell, and Mario Vega also have weekly celebrations. Yet, I’m convinced that some church planters will never meet weekly. I’m coaching one church planter who never wants to go back to weekly celebrations–yet his church is growing and fruitful! In my new book Planting Churches that Reproduce I have a section on this topic. I included it here:


The cells of a cell church should meet together in a large group gathering. Not all cell churches, however, meet weekly in corperate gatherings. Cell churches, in other words, do not need to gather together weekly in corperate worship to be called a cell church. Weekly celebration services will not be the norm for every church.

I don’t think that the definition of a cell church requires a weekly celebration meeting. Rather, I believe that the cells do need to gather together in corporate worship to be called a cell church. The frequency of that meeting is what’s in question. The great benefit of the weekly celebration is that the cell church can reach out more frequently through the celebration wing. Yet, the cell must drive the church. The main priority is for the cells to meet weekly. Those cells should be networked together through pastoral care, coaching, training, and coming together. And these are the things that define a cell church—not whether the celebration meets weekly or not. I asked Bill Beckham about this, and he wrote back saying:

It seems to me that large group celebration can be very flexible in terms of frequency, place, number of people involved and even format of the meeting. Celebration was certainly flexible in the New Testament. Of course we must answer a question about the reference in the New Testament to “the fi rst day of the week.” What were they doing on the “First Day of the Week?” Were they meeting every “First Day” of the week in a large group expression? Or, were they meeting weekly in small group expression and from time to time in large group expression. I am inclined to believe that it is the second suggestion. I believe that we must operate from the large group celebration principle and not from the historical precedent of a large group meeting. The Body of Christ needs to experience God in a large group expression along with the small group and house church expression. I believe the 21st Century Church is fi nding innovative ways to live out the principle.

The cell church movement needs to develop new models of how the church will function in its large group expression. And we must remember that the large group expression is not just the time of public worship. In addition to public worship, the large group expression could be used for training, for showing a public face in the city, for fellowship, for coordina tion, and for evangelism.

The cells of a cell church should meet together in a large group gathering. Not all cell churches, however, meet weekly in corperate gatherings. The focus should remain on the weekly cells, and the celebration should develop as the cells build strength. Those cells might celebrate all together on a weekly basis or a monthly basis. Or they might meet together more than once per week, like in the case of Elim.They might even meet once a quarter.


What do you think?

Joel Comiskey

Who is a Guest?

marioby Mario Vega

A guest is not a person you approach only to attend the next cell meeting. Rather, a guest is a person that should be loved and served.

Once you have selected the person you want to invite, the next step is prayer. We must never forget that cell work is a deeply spiritual task. This is not about some ingenious human idea-while neglecting to pray. This is about a battle where only the Spirit of God can make a difference.

Prayer must be sincere, daily, and specific, mentioning the person by name. As we pursue the person each day in prayer, the Lord will give us the opportunities to start a friendship with that person. In fact, we should be attentive and looking for occasions to initiate the first contact with this person.

Friendship can start as a result of an apparently casual encounter, but deep down in your heart, you’ll know that everything was God’s answer to prayer. Accompanying prayer, Christians should initiate the first contact. We will talk about this next week.



¿Qué es un invitado?

Un invitado no es una persona a quien se le aborda solamente para animarle a que asista a la próxima reunión de célula, un invitado es una persona a la cual se le ama y se le sirve.

Una vez seleccionada la persona a quien se desea ‘hacer un invitado’, el siguiente paso es la oración. Nunca se debe olvidar que el trabajo celular es una tarea profundamente espiritual. No se trata de poner en práctica algunas ideas ingeniosas mientras se deja de lado la oración. Se trata de una batalla donde sólo el Espritu de Dios puede marcar la diferencia.

La oración debe ser sincera, diaria y especfica, mencionando por nombre a la persona. En la medida que se persevere cada da en oración, el Señor dará las oportunidades para iniciar una amistad con esa persona. Por ello, se debe estar atento y en busca de las ocasiones para entablar el primer contacto.

La amistad puede iniciar como resultado de un encuentro aparentemente casual; pero, en el fondo, se sabrá que todo fue una respuesta de Dios a la oración. Algunas veces, acompañando a su oración, el cristiano debe provocar ese primer contacto. Sobre esto hablaremos la próxima semana.