I’m alway encouraging people to write their dream book. And I’m especially thrilled when it involves cell church. Richard Houle, an experienced cell church pastor and key visionary, has a vision to write a book on cell church planting via the missionary team concept. And he has the experience to back up his writings.
I was with Richard and the network of cell church plants a few months ago in Gransby, Quebec. The darknes and unbelief in that region is great, but God is greater and is moving among a small movement of cell churches. Richard would like to complete his book in a couple years, so I was glad when he sent me the first chapter for review. I asked to refresh our readers with the concept of the missionary planting team:
â€œFrom a traditional Baptist Church in Quebec, Canada to a cell church planting movement.
In 1994, we started the process of transitioning the 250 people from the mother church in Granby. Quebec, into a cell church. It took us 7 years to transition. We lost 60 members. Tough for a pastorâ€™s heart! But from those heartbreaks, the Lord called many leaders through coaching in the G12 model. They began to make disciples, and train as elders, evangelists, etc.
Then the Lord called clearly the two oldest pastors in their fifties to form our first missionary team, myself included. We were reliving Acts 13 where the Spirit called Paul and Barnabas to plant churches. One of the younger pastor took the lead of the mother church, to free the missionary team overseeing cell church plants. We felt we needed to change our approach, not let the church plants depend on the mother church, but let it be overseen by the missionary team. This new structure has worked very well for us.
There are now 3 church planters. We are at our 4th church plant in five years, in a culture very closed to the gospel. They are yet little plants (between 20-55 people in each plant), but with growing eagerness. Already the oldest plant consider to plant an English church just along the French Church in the same city. The goal is to see 15 church plants in the next 10 years. The obstacles are very great, the battle is fierce, but the Lord is on our side.