Children in the Cell


by Mario Vega

Today’s subject is based on the conditions of counries in Central America. Those conditions have two important components: families have an average of three kids and houses are very small.

These two components combine at the moment of celebrating the cell meeting in the houses. There are always more children than adults in an insufficient space. It was decided, under these conditions, almost since the beginning of the work with cells that children should be attended in a different area than the adults. While the adults were celebrating the cell meeting, the children were taken to another part of the house to receive a Bible teaching.

In the future this would be a measure that we would like to modify, but for several years it was the resource that allowed the adults to focus on the cell meeting, knowing that their children were being attended, most of the times, by young people that were willing to help.

Next week I will share with you about the changes that were introduced.

In the mean time, could you share with us how you have been working with children in the cell meetings?


Translation in Spanish:

¿Cómo atender a los niños?
El tema de hoy se basa en las condiciones de los pases centroamericanas. Esas condiciones tienen dos componentes principales: las familias tienen un promedio de tres hijos y las casas son muy pequeñas.

Esos dos elementos se combinan al momento de realizar la reunión de célula en las casas. Siempre hay más niños que adultos en un espacio insuficiente. Bajo esas condiciones, se decidió casi desde que comenzamos a trabajar con células que los niños deban ser atendidos en un área diferente a la de los adultos. Mientras los adultos realizaban la reunión de células, los niños eran llevados a otro sector de la casa para impartirles una enseñanza bblica.

En el futuro ésta sera una medida que habramos de modificar, pero, por varios años fue el recurso que permitió a los adultos centrarse en la reunión de célula sabiendo que sus hijos eran atendidos, normalmente, por jóvenes dispuestos a ayudar.

La próxima semana compartiré sobre los cambios que luego se introdujeron. Mientras tanto, ¿podra usted compartir cuál ha sido su manera de trabajar con los niños en las reuniones en las casas?

A Reminder

coaches_jeff-150x1501by Jeff Tunnell

“We don’t need more instruction, or new information, but we could sure use a good reminder!”  This comment was shared last week at a financial seminar we hosted for people looking for help in our troubled financial times.  It came at an appropriate time as I was preparing to deliver “Mission 2009”, a message for the direction of our congregation.  Prayer, Cells, Missions are the focus. We call our Cells “Lighthouses”.

Prayer: the first work:  Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done  (Jesus taught us to pray Matthew 6:5-15)

  1. We will teach, practice, example and gather for prayer in 2009
  2. We will declare our dependency on God and place hope in no other source of help
  3. We will see our community prayed over in multiple methods (walks, strategic targets, meetings)

Cells: our local Mission is to “provide a witness for Jesus, in every home and every business, every day”

  1. We provide equipping and training, a place to belong and to begin growing and serving simultaneously. (salvation, baptism, Lighthouse Family Member connections, pastoral care, ministry to others, service to community, etc)
  2. We will disciple ourselves, and others in the Lighthouses, and equip each one to influence their “oikos” and beyond
  3. We will multiply Lighthouse Keepers into every strata of our community

Missions:  our trans-local missions  “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

  1. We will cooperate in the Great Commission by giving, sending & praying for those with whom we partner (Romans 10:14-15)
  2. We will give a minimum of 10% of our general income (tithes & offerings) to missions which are involved in accomplishing Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:18-20
  3. We will equip each believer to become a “mission-ary”*, locally and/or trans-locally

* “ary”, suffix meaning “of, or related to”, “person belonging to, connected with, or engaged in”

How do you keep the Cell vision in front of your congregation?  Is it random or planned, sporatic or regular?  What methods or avenues are implemented?  Share your creativity with us on the blog.


by Rob Campbell

Years ago, I heard a speaker at a Promise Keeper’s gathering declare, “Diversity is not the enemy of unity.”  I think it’s a brilliant quote actually.  I believe it to be true.

Are the cells in your church diverse?  Certainly, there are some commonalities in format, vision, and more.  But, there’s diversity, right?  Because every individual is unique, there are some unique aspects to each and every cell.  I would suggest that this is a beautiful thing in the local church.

When I was a kid, I watched my father begin a new hobby.  He got interested in stain glass.  I remember looking at his workbench adorned with a myriad of stain glass pieces that he had cut with his own hands.  There were various colors and unique sizes.  They were all different.  Eventually, the carefully crafted and cut pieces were placed together displaying a nice piece of art.

To me, this is like the church.  We are formed by our Creator in many different ways and His Spirit fashions together a cell or church family.  It’s a piece of art, isn’t it?  Yet, the pieces are quite diverse– sometimes completely different in color, size, and more.

To the point, it’s a good thing when a church has diverse cells.  A “one size fits all” type of Christianity in expression and spiritual formation is not reality.  I would encourage you to celebrate the diversity– it is a thing of beauty.


Cell Church in Quebec


I’m on the plane flying home from my ministry trip to Quebec, Canada in a city called Granby, about 1.5 hours outside of Montreal. A few cultural experiences from my trip: first, it’s cold in Quebec in January (an average of about 15f below while I was there). Second, I feel a new compassion and delight in the French people of Quebec. They’ve had a tumultuous history, are a wonderful people (passionate, funny, artsy). I also believe they are ripe for the harvest because of all the incredible struggles they’ve gone through.

My seminar was directed to a group of five Evangelical Baptist Churches  who were planted from the same mother church. The mother church, led by Richard Houle, became a cell church and then a cell church planting base. Now, Richard is one of the key coaches to the five churches, having identified another senior pastor for the mother church.  Here’s some key things I learned from Richard and their church planting movement:

  1. Develop a missionary team for church planting purposes. Rather than putting all the responsibility on the mother church for the daughter churches, it’s a good idea to develop a missionary church planting team to nurture and care for the new cell churches. In this way the coaching of the new church plants doesn’t just fall upon the lead pastor of the mother churches (if you have more questions about how they are doing this, contact Richard at:
  2. Fine tune the cell church vision. I loved the way this movement of churches connects to the worldwide cell church vision. Richard Houle and the team has read the cell church literature, held conferences in Quebec with some of the best cell church teachers (e.g., Ralph Neighbour, Bill Beckham, etc.), and are practicing cell church ministry (both having transitioned a traditional church to a cell church but also having planted five cell churches.
  3. Influence your denomination. This group of five Evangelical Baptist Churches have been a shining light to the rest of the French speaking Evangelical Baptist Church denomination in Quebec (80 churches all-together). They’ve maintained their place in the denomination and even offered to help other churches in the cell vision. These churches are now held up as an example of church planting multiplication and other churches are hungry to learn more. For example, we had approximately 200 pastors, leaders, and lay people at the seminar (in a region where only .5% is evangelical. ). 

When I do these seminars around the world, my goal is to pass on to you, the lessons I learned. I hope these principles will help you in your ministry,


A Return to House to House Ministry


by Mario Vega

At present we have become accustomed to divide our lives between spiritual and secular aspects–a totally unknown division from the teachings of the Scripture.

Within this logic, we build buildings to worship Jesus while we go on to live in our houses. In this way, we set the separation between what we now call the secular and spiritual life. Spiritual life becomes the visits made to the worship center while the secular life is everything else that is done outside that building.

The first century churches were not like that. The church of ACTS owned no personal property. Rather they used houses of Christians. In this way, the church was vitally linked to what was considered the center of life: home.

Returning the church to the houses is an important step to the understanding of the truth that Jesus should be at the center of our lives on a permanent basis. He must be the Lord of our entire lives–not just a few hours per week.

Has working with cells helped you to live out this truth?


In Spanish:

De regreso a las casas.

En la actualidad nos hemos acostumbrado a dividir nuestra vida entre aspectos espirituales y seculares. Una división totalmente ajena a las enseñanzas de las Escrituras.

Dentro de esa lógica, construimos edificios de culto para Jesús en tanto que nos vamos a vivir a nuestras casas. De esa manera establecemos la separación entre lo que ahora llamamos la vida espiritual y la secular. La vida espiritual son las visitas que se hacen al edificio de culto en tanto que la vida secular es todo lo demás que se hace fuera de ese edificio.

En la iglesia de los primeros siglos no era as. La iglesia no tena edificios para el culto sino que utilizaba las casas de los cristianos. As, la iglesia estaba unida vitalmente con lo que se consideraba el centro de la vida: el hogar.

El regresar la iglesia a las casas es un importante paso en la comprensión de la verdad que Jesús debe estar en el centro de nuestras vidas de manera permanente. No podemos escabullirnos de él ni hacer nada que escape a su incumbencia. Él es el Señor de nuestra vida y no de un par de horas a la semana.

¿Le ha ayudado el trabajar con células a vivir esa verdad?