Cell Ministry in India–Michael Sove’s Trip

INDIAMichael Sove is not a stranger to Joel Comiskey Group. You’ve read his comments on these blogs. I’ve also asked him to be a guest blogger and have often commented on what he’s doing as the cell champion at Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Maryland. Michael recently conducted  cell seminars in India. I asked him to share what happened:

Michael, share with us what God did while in India?

I just spent the most amazing two weeks ministering alongside some Indian pastors. I was able to speak 22 times in two weeks including 4 cell seminars where I taught basic cell principles. I had opportunities to share in evangelistic gatherings as well, where up to 100 people responded to the offer of salvation. We were in the State of Andhra Pradesh and were able to experience both the rural tribal regions in the mountain villages as well as the capital city of Hyderabad with 7 million people.

What was the purpose of your trip?

The purpose of this trip was to see what God was doing and to learn first hand how I could partner with these pastors. They asked me to come and teach basic cell principles as well as minister through the Word and prayer. We ministered from early morning to late evening each day and were overwhelmed by the needs we saw. There are so many sick people in need of physical and spiritual healing.

What is God doing over there?

God is working through these ministries even though the circumstances are difficult. In India less than 3% are Christian. But I saw how many are coming to Christ over the years through these ministries. The one pastor has been at it for 25 years and started with one person and now has 500-600 people connected to his church. By the way, the people walk 2 miles to attend worship each Sunday. This pastor also has a believer in over 40 villages which means great opportunity for influence. They have cities they have targeted for planting churches but lack the pastors and the means to support those pastors. INDIA

How is God using cell church?

One of the pastors found information on the web about cell ministry and has been influencing other pastors and his satellite churches in that direction. They are asking for training and encouragement to become more effective at cell ministry. The opportunities to partner with them are unlimited. I gave them vision for the two-winged church and taught at a very basic level. The one pastor had someone prophecy over him three months ago and told him foreigners would come and help him to expand his ministry. Then we showed up speaking of the power of the two-winged church! They are very open to growing and learning cell church principles. The main challenge I see is training and coaching across this wide region. In the last few months God has given me contact with four other Indian pastors who are using cells in their ministry strategy. I hope to meet these pastors in the future. It is very obvious to me God is really moving in India and the people are very hungry for effective ministry.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The Indian believers are so passionate in their worship. They understand the power of the Holy Spirit. They are a great example of total dependence on God and many of these pastors work without a salary, depending on God to meet their daily needs.

While I was in the rural setting travelling among the villages around Giddalur, I was told over and over again that we were the first foreigners to come to them in their lifetime. In one tribal village we were mobbed by people who wanted us to lay hands on them and pray a blessing over them. The problem was they rushed us and all wanted to be the first and we had to be taken out of there because they were out of control. We went back the next night and gave an evangelistic message and about 40 people raised their hands expressing desire to be saved.

The people really understand hospitality and desired to serve us wherever we went. Even in the slums they demonstrated hospitality and servanthood. We learned much from these gracious servants of God.

How did JCG help in this process?

This whole adventure began as Pastor Suresh was doing a web search on cell church and was directed to the JCG website. While browsing the site he saw an article that I wrote about Joel coming to our church. He e-mailed me and said that it appeared I had the same heart and passion as he had and asked if I could mentor him in cell church principles. That was seven months ago and now standing on Indian soil with him we are both convinced that this was a divine encounter that God has orchestrated. We are excited about working together for the Glory of God, learning mutually from each other.

I also left all of Joel’s books, including his equipping track booklets with this pastor who has very little access to resources. I am sure those books will be used for the expansion of the kingdom and God’s Glory!

If you would like to see my photo journey, I posted 1347 photos at the following link. I hope you’ll check it out and see what God is doing in India! If you wonder what the purple hippo is about in the photos, here is the story behind it. My wife could not accompany me on this trip so she sent her “Happy Hippo” with me. All throughout the trip I had people pose with “Happy Hippo” who brought a smile to their face.


If you would like more information about my experience or would like to find out how you can help these Indian pastors, feel free to contact me at msove@allenmemorial.org and I’d love to communicate with you.




Germany and Spain Cell Ministry


If you’ve been following my Twitter updates, you’ll know that we as a family just got back from ministry in Germany and Spain (and a first-class vacation sprinkled througout!). Steve Mack, the host of the Berlin seminar, is doing an excellent job leading Berlin International Church–a true light house in a very dark place. Yet, the seminar itself was difficult. Germany is very post-modern and post-Christian, and many of the participants seemed apathetic to cell membership and especially cell leadership. One bright spot was a group from Croatia who were very excited about cell ministry. Roger, the leader of his team was a missionary from Christ Fellowship Church in Texas. At CFC he began as a member of a cell, then became a leader, multiplied his cell five times, and the CFC sent him to Croatia. They had many incredible testimonies to share with the rest of us.

The Spain seminar in March was well attended (75 to 100). Believers in Spain face lots of challenges, so they were refreshed with cell principles that can apply cross-culturally. The seminar was mainly attended by immigrants from Latin America. I believe that God will use the Latino influence to stir growth in Spain.

God was good to give me a bonding time with my family. We as a family are aware that this might be our last major trip together. Sarah will turn 18 this September and has plans to go to BIOLA in the fall. I’m keenly aware that my greatest priority is to do everything possible to assure that my kids are on-fire for Jesus!


Changing the Society through Children’s Cells


by Mario Vega

As we completed the elements for our work with children’s cells, we got the plan under way. The idea was enthusiastically received by the church from the very beginning. As the leaders were being trained for the children’s cells, we began to make the transition from the groups in which children attended to actual children’s cells.

At this moment we take care of approximately 27,000 children in our cells. Our next goal is to take care of 100,000 in order to change the social situation of San Salvador. We believe that if we manage to plant the seed of the gospel into thousands of children, the Word of God will be enough to keep that future youth away from violence, drugs and delinquency. That will produce a very positive impact and, in this way, the church will fulfill its role of being light and salt of the earth.



Translation into Spanish:

Cambiando la sociedad a través de los niños.

Cuando completamos los elementos para nuestro trabajo con células infantiles echamos a andar el plan. Desde un principio la idea fue recibida con entusiasmo por la iglesia. En la medida que se fueron capacitando lderes para las células infantiles, comenzamos a hacer una transición de los grupos de niños que se atendan en casas para convertirlos en células infantiles.

En la actualidad atendemos un aproximado de 27,000 niños en nuestras células. Nuestra meta siguiente es atender a 100,000 con el fin de cambiar la situación social que se vive en la ciudad. Creemos que si logramos colocar la semilla del evangelio en miles de niños y niñas, la Palabra de Dios será eficiente para apartar a esos futuros jóvenes de la violencia, las drogas y la delincuencia. Eso producirá un impacto muy positivo y, as, la iglesia cumplirá su papel de ser sal y luz de la tierra.

Grateful Heart

coaches_jeff-150x1501By Jeff Tunnell

 Today my expression of gratitude to the Father is for those who are resourcing the worldwide cell church.  They have traversed many paths, pressing ahead with a vision that comes directly from the Father’s heart for an exponentially growing population that still does not know HIM.

 I have a sketchy memory of the story in which a missionary had discovered a remote village which had not received a witness of Jesus and His salvation.  He sent word to his sending agency requesting assistance in reaching these people, stating that there were no roads to the village yet.  The response; “As soon as there are roads, we will supply vehicles.”  His reply to them was simple, “I don’t need vehicles, just send men whose hearts are on fire for God and full of vision, then supply them with machetes!”

 Pioneers are still needed!  Mario Vega is such a pioneer (he blogs on Thursdays).  I used the link on the JCG home page to check out his church and see the expansion of Elim to reach the entire nation of El Salvador.  As I write, music is steaming from their FM radio station online.  I could be watching the TV station or listening to Pastor Mario teaching on the AM station as well. (En español of course)

Tune in, be resourced, BE GRATEFUL!

The Antidote to Burnout

by Rob Campbell


Let me share a few thoughts that should mesh well with Steve’s post yesterday.  We all know lazy pastors/ministers.  It’s also true that we know plenty of pastors/ministers who are close to burnout.  The antidote to burnout is honoring the sabbath (“cease to exist, to stop, to bring things to a halt, A DAY of REST”).  The command to observe the sabbath is one of the Big Ten, isn’t it?

Here are some things to consider in light of the sabbath:

The sabbath is set aside for creational purposes, not cultural.

The sabbath is matter of rest, not ritual.

One’s principle behind the sabbath will determine the priority of the sabbath.

The sabbath is a matter of good, not greed.

The sabbath is a matter of Lordship over legalism.

Now, consider the following three questions.  First, what day each week is your sabbath?  How do you refresh your Spirit?  What do you need to change in your schedule?

Before you move on to something else right now, please read Isaiah 58:12-14.

Jesus:  “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). 

Allow your soul to catch up with your mind and body!