Yesterday, I taught a cell/house church network seminar with Larry Kreider in Longview, Washington. About 100 pastors and leaders were present. I 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?