When Fear Knocks

by Rob Campbell


At any point in life, we are moving in one of three directions:  Against people in anger; Away for people in fear; With people in love.  In this post, allow me to address FEAR.

Indeed, many people are filled with fear in this day and time.  Pastor/Speaker/Theologian John Claypool (now deceased) once resided at a lodge in England for an overnight stay.   An inscription etched on the fireplace mantle caught his eye.  It read:  “Fear knocked at the door.  Faith answered.  There was no one there.”

The very first injection of fear into the human mind and heart is cited in Genesis 3.   Adam:  “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  Notice that hiding and fear go together.  Fear knocked on the door and…fear answered.  Adam and Eve can be found hiding and crouching in the darkness because they thought something concerning God that was not true.  They bought an enormous lie.

May I pitch a thought your way?  I am never more self-centered than when I am filled with fear.  You see, fear seems like an emotion that we should cozy up to.  Fear suggests that we need “to protect ourselves from others.”  In reality, when we are entrenched in fear, we are living in a radical egocentricity.

What fears are close to your heart/mind?  Loss of a job?  Loss of a child?  Loss of a spouse?  In the context of cell life, do you fear bringing loving guidance/correction to a cell member?  Do you fear leading?  Do you fear others in your cell?  Do you fear trusting God with your cell members?  Do you fear not appearing competent as a cell leader/pastor? 

A final thought.  We serve a God of great love, don’t we?  Specifically, he says to us– “My perfect love casts out fear.”  Love unites, fear separates.

When fear knocks, may you be empowered by God’s Spirit to answer in faith!


Craving for Cell Church Books

 joelI’ve had an interesting craving lately. It’s a cell church book craving. I’ve had the desire to go back and skim through some of the foundational cell church books of bygone eras. Why? I’m not really sure. Perhaps, I was stirred last Wednesday after hearing that the G12 conference in Bogota, Colombia last January had 16-18,000 people present. A North American pastor who was present gave me a blow-by-blow account. I was encouraged by the fact that basic cell principles of multiplying disciples through cell multiplication is still a bedrock principle–whether in Bogota, San Salvador, or North America.

With G12 thoughts ringing in my head, I skimmed my own G12 book called Groups of Twelve. Then to chart my own progression in the G12 movement, I reread From Twelve to Three (yes, authors can forget from whence they came. . . ).

Then I devoured a truly revolutionary book called Where Do We Go From Here? Wow. Neighbour started a revolution in 1990 with this book. 1000s of people have been transformed through it, and the principles ring loud and clear today. I then meandered through Neighbour’s latest book Christ’s Basic Bodies to see how his philosophy has changed. Yet, there was another revolutionary author back in the early 90s named Carl George. His two books, Prepare Your Church for the Future and The Coming Church Revolution were catalysmic. While I don’t buy into George’s META MODEL, I was encouraged at how much I agreed with George on his vision to raise up leaders through small groups (which I believe is the essence of cell ministry).

I then skimmed through my books Reap the Harvest and The Church that Multiplies. Two books within two totally different environments. I wrote RTH at the height of my research on growing cell churches primarily in receptive cultures. CTM was written for a more resistant culture, that is, North America.

I wanted to continue my reading reflections but pressing tasks demanded that I stop. I’ll continue to satisfy this craving later. But what about you? What are some of those cell church books that you reread. What are the books that have impacted your life and are worth another glance? Why?

p.s.: if you want to establish a cell church reading plan and would like to know my recommendations, CLICK HERE.



Multiplication: sadness or joy?


When a cell reaches the multiplication point, it should be divided to make way for a new younger cell that will continue with the Gospel’s expansion process.

Sometimes, however, multiplication can be a source of sadness for the cell members. They know that they will all have to take different directions after sharing and fostering a relationship of mutual friendship. This sadness can even reach the extreme level of becoming a barrier for multiplication when the members wish to continue their comradeship for an indefinite time.

For the multiplication to be a joy and not sadness, it should be sown from the outset into the hearts of the cell members. They should know that multiplication is the goal of the cell. Fellowship is not the ultimate goal. When multiplication is positioned as the primary goal the people will expect to reach that moment.

The multiplication day must be a day of joy and mutual congratulations. Multiplication should be seen for what it is: the expansion of the message of salvation among the lost. Those who experience resistance to multiplication due to the fellowship that has being developed are the ones that do not have clarity on the true purposes of the cell model.

Want to add any comments?


Translation into Spanish:

La multiplicación: ¿tristeza o alegra?

Cuando una célula llega al punto de la multiplicación debe dividirse para dar paso a una nueva célula joven que continuará con el proceso de expansión del evangelio.

Sin embargo, algunas veces la multiplicación puede ser motivo de tristeza para los miembros de la célula. Ellos saben que deberán tomar rumbos diferentes personas que un por un tiempo convivieron fomentando una relación de amistad mutua. Esta tristeza puede incluso llegar al extremo de convertirse en una barrera para la multiplicación cuando los miembros desean continuar su compañerismos de manera indefinida.

Para que la multiplicación sea una alegra y no una tristeza, se debe sembrar en el corazón desde un principio que la meta de toda célula es la multiplicación. La comunión no es el fin último. Cuando la multiplicación se coloca como la meta principal las personas desarrollarán una expectativa por alcanzar ese momento.

El da de la multiplicación debe ser de alegra y de felicitaciones mutuas. La multiplicación debe ser vista por lo que es: la expansión del mensaje de salvación entre los perdidos. Aquellos que experimentan resistencia a la multiplicación por causa de la comunión desarrollada son los que no tienen una claridad de los fines reales del modelo celular.

¿Comentarios para añadir?

Making Disciples

coaches_jeff-150x1501by Jeff Tunnell

Discipleship, growth, change and maturity cannot occur apart from relational structures. It takes a teacher, trainer, mentor AND a learner, to make the efforts together in an accountable relationship.

But what does the “end product” look like, contain and demonstrate? Can you measure, qualify, or graduate it? How do you know when it is complete?

Is it necessary to answer these questions at all? What is your “thoughtful” response?

Time Out

by Rob Campbell


It’s March Madness time in the States!  Admittedly, I’m less enthused this past week as the University of Texas and Texas A&M were eliminated by Duke and U Conn respectively.  Nonetheless, the Madness continues with thrilling games, crazy fans, and the fine art of calling a “time out” at just the right time.  Again, it’s an art form!

Now, in the context of this JCG blog community, might I call a “time out?”  Here’s why.  One component of Joel’s initial vision in beginning JCG was as follows:  Joel would be sent to various portions of the world to share the gospel of Christ and extend the philosophy of cell church.  Joel’s latest post granted to us a brief summary of his time in Spain and Germany.  Since the conception of JCG, Joel has been used by God in many international arenas. 

Further, yesterday’s post which was an interview with Michael Sove by Joel dealt with Michael’s recent journey to India.  Take time to read the post.  It’s excellent.  Michael and the fellow team members from the church where he serves joined us recently at the “Day with Joel and Mario.”  You see, Michael has gleaned from Joel’s ministry over the years and now is sharing his knowledge and experience in India.

So, my called “time out” today is not about strategy, rest, or changing the momentum of the game.  Instead, my “time out” is simply to say “thank you God” for using men like Joel and Michael to share the gospel of Christ and spread the philosophy of cell church throughout the nations.  We should never take such a privilege for granted.