Models versus Principles


by Mario Vega

There are several working models of cell ministry. Sometimes people try to present one model as THE best and then look down on everything else. Some pastors are moved by a feelling that by jumping into a model they will find the growth they’ve been longing for. The fact is that switching from one model to the next often negatively affects the cell work and ends up disconcerting the church members.

It is important to underline that the key is not the model but the need to persevere in cell principles. There is no magical model that will lead to guaranteed success. Only perseverance and hard work can bring the desired fruit that will glorify Christ.

It is not bad to inquire and know about the existing models. However, to switch from one model to another must be avoided. Rather, cell church principles must be understood and applied to every church’s particular culture and context. The next step is to persevere and be faithful to those principles.

Do you have any comments on this topic?


Translation into Spanish:

Modelos y principios.

Existen diversos modelos de trabajo con células. Algunas veces un modelo se ha tratado de presentar en oposición a los demás como mejor. Tal actitud, mueve a algunos pastores a saltar de un modelo a otro pensando que de esa manera obtendrán el ansiado crecimiento. Esos cambios de modelo a veces afectan profundamente el trabajo y terminan desconcertando a los miembros de la iglesia.

Es importante resaltar que la clave no es el modelo sino la perseverancia en los principios del trabajo con células. No hay un modelo mágico que por s mismo lleve el éxito garantizado. Solo la perseverancia y el trabajo pueden dar como resultado el avance de la causa de Cristo.

No es malo informarse y conocer los modelos que existen, pero hay que evitar cambiar de un modelo a otro con facilidad. Se deben comprender los principios de este trabajo y aplicarlos a las condiciones particulares de cada iglesia. Luego, la clave será la perseverancia y la fidelidad a esos principios.

¿Tiene algún comentario sobre este tema?


coach-tunnellby Jeff Tunnell (with a little help from some friends)

David Early tells us, “After 25 years of leading cell groups and coaching small group leaders, I have come to one clear conviction: prayer is the most important activity of the small group leader.”

 Joel Comiskey gives us this same end result from his work: “My Ph.D. study of 700 cell leaders in eight countries revealed that one of the chief factors behind fruitful cell groups that multiply was the cell leader’s intercessory prayers for group members. The survey revealed that prayer for group members was the leader’s most important work to unify and strengthen the group in preparation for multiplication. Those small group leaders who prayed daily for group members were twice as likely to multiply their small groups than those who only prayed occasionally.”

 Right now, don’t hesitate, really NOW, stop and simply name the Cell members for whom you are responsible.  If you are a coach or supervisor, name the cell leaders.  Write them down in a simple list.  Look at this list and estimate that you add 1-2 minutes of intercession for each one starting today, just how much time is required of you to begin, or expand, this area of effective leadership in your life?  Wouldn’t this be a valuable exchange of time?  John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” You are surrendering your life for others when you deny yourself the personal benefits that could have been gained during your prayer time for others!

Evaluating the Health of a Cell Church (Part Three)

by Rob Campbell

Check out my last two postings concerning the “Evaluating the Health of a Cell Church.”

Here’s Part Three:

How does a Network become a Healthy Cell Incubator?

• Measurements change from numbers and percentages to observation of behavior/activity.
• Leaders are so well cared for that they experience personal growth.
• Cell members are impassioned by their leaders continued growth and constant modeling.
• Collaboration among leaders expands skill and creativity within the leadership.
• Collaboration among cells brings diversity and creativity to the cell experience which stirs life.
• The community is impacted by the overflow of cell members intentionally getting outside of themselves and serving others.


Cell-house Church Seminar with Kreider

 joelYesterday, I taught a cell/house church network seminar with Larry Kreider in Longview, Washington. About 100 pastors and leaders were present. IKREIDER spoke 20 minutes on one aspect of cell church, and then Larry took 20 minutes on the same topic—but from the house church persective. We covered: house church/cell church definitions, community, evangelism, multiplication, leadership training, and the nuts and bolts of both movements. We flowed very well together.

How did we come together in the first place? In my book Planting Churches that Reproduce I tackle the need to simplify church planting and make it more reproducible. Kreider had already come to the same conclusion. Dove Christian Fellowship, the network Kreider founded, has some 150 churches. Many of Kreider’s new church plants are simple house church networks, in which the house churches meet weekly but come together once per month for celebration (this is the most common scenario). I asked Kreider to review early copies of Planting Churches that Reproduce, and we realized that we had a lot in common, thus spawning the idea of doing seminars together. Our next one will be in PA in September.

It’s my conviction that most cell churches have not done a very good job of planting new churches. Many have fallen into the trap of magnifying mega cell churches and have even contracted the disease called “Yonggi Cho Envy.” They are constantly comparing themselves with Cho’s church and fail to plant new churches in the process.

It seems to me that we in the cell church world have done fairly well at multiplying cell leaders but not the best job of multiplying pastors. Both are necessary.

Do you agree or disagree? What’s your opinion?


Joel Comiskey

Additional Cell Goals


by Mario Vega

Besides the growth targets, other types of goals should be set for cell leaders. I know that not everyone agrees about taking offerings in cell meetings, but we have done this from the beginning– following Pastor Cho’s model.

As a church with almost no wealthy people in it, we have no choice but to work, sometimes, with economic goals for leaders. Our strength lies not in having some people with great economic resources but in having a lot of people with few economical resources.

When we needed to buy a new property for the construction of a larger church building, we needed to collect one and a half million dollars in twelve months. That seemed like an impossible amount to collect. So we took around 50,000 of our brethren to the property we wanted to buy. There we prayed and asked God for the miracle of providing the money.

We determined that every leader could find 20 people to give a ten dollar contribution within a 12 months period. Since the church’s attendance of brethren involved in the cell work is 70,000, it was enough if each one of them could find two people within twelve months to give a ten dollars contribution.

And God completed this miracle. Within twelve months, the money was gathered. A year later we went back to meet again on the property, but this time we met to give thanks to the Lord for having made the miracle come true. This happened between 2007 and 2008.



Translation into Spanish:

Otras metas.

Además de la metas de crecimiento también se pueden establecer para los lderes de células otro tipo de metas. Sé que no todos están de acuerdo en recoger ofrendas en las reuniones de células. Pero, siguiendo el modelo del Pastor Cho nosotros s lo hacemos desde el principio de nuestro trabajo.

Siendo una iglesia con casi ninguna persona adinerada no nos queda más remedio que trabajar, algunas veces, con metas económicas para los lderes. Nuestra fortaleza no reside en tener algunas personas con grandes posibilidades económicas sino en tener muchas personas con pocos recursos.

Cuando tuvimos la necesidad de comprar un nuevo terreno para la construcción de un auditorio más grande necesitábamos reunir un millón y medio de dólares en doce meses. Tal cantidad era un imposible. As que llevamos a unas 50,000 hermanos al terreno que pretendamos comprar, oramos y le pedimos a Dios que hiciera el milagro de darnos ese dinero.

Además, establecimos que cada lder lograra encontrar 20 personas que diesen una donación de diez dólares en un plazo de 12 meses. Teniendo en cuenta que la asistencia de hermanos comprometidos en el trabajo celular es de 70,000 en nuestra iglesia, bastaba con que cada uno de ellos encontrara a dos personas en doce meses que dieran cada una la aportación de diez dólares.

Era una auténtica meta: un objetivo, comprar el terreno; en un tiempo, los siguientes doce meses. Al pasar ese tiempo. El dinero se haba reunido y el milagro se completó. Un año después volvimos a reunirnos de nuevo en el terreno solamente que esta vez para darle gracias a Dios por haber hecho el milagro realidad. Esto sucedió entre 2007 y 2008.