coach-tunnellby Jeff Tunnell

Aprill 22, 1984, (Easter Sunday 25 years ago), was my first service as Pastor of Big Bear Christian Center.  Two weeks before that, on the day we announced my appointment to the congregation, the Lord sent an out-of-town minister who spoke to me prophetically:  “I have made you a dreamer.”  As the words entered my mind, I formed a picture of my dream for the church that I had been part of since 1971.  In my mind’s eye I saw a local elementary school that I was “dreaming” for as a ministry center.  In fact, I had been driving through its parking lot regularly to reinforce my dream.  As my hopes rose to meet this prophetic moment in faith, I believed that God was about to confirm that my dream would become a reality.  What a foundation for my new pastorate!  But…

Then the prophet added, “But, I am going to do something even bigger than what you have dreamed!”  At those words, my mental image of the school vaporized.  I could not imagine anything bigger than me leading this congregation into a building that was outlandish and impossible for such a small group of pe0ple.  So I asked HIM to establish HIS dream in me.

These many years later I have come to understand more clearly.  God can reach my community exponentially through cell-structured evangelism and multiplicaiton!  The buildings exist; homes, offices and yes, even schools.  But God is not restricted by needing buildings BEFORE reaching people.  HE has been gracious to me in reshaping my “dream” to embrace one that includes healthy cells that multiply.

As I quietly celebrate 25 years as Pastor of one church, I am amazed at HIS faithfulness!  Onward to the next 25!

Evaluating the Health of the Cell Church (Part Two)

by Rob Campbell


This is part two of a three part posting on “Evaluating the Health of the Cell Church.”   Please see last week’s blog post and make sure to read the excellent comments.

Here’s part two:

We do not deny that these are valuable pieces of growth  (see last week’s post). 

We do see the need for keeping these kind of statistics, but we choose to look at a different set of qualities to measure health.

What a Healthy Cell really looks like:

• Atmosphere of edification and encouragement.
Is this group consistently edifying and encouraging each other? How?
• Accountability brought on by transparency and vulnerability.
Is this group regularly transparent and vulnerable?  Does that transparency lead to increased accountability?
• Growing relationships among members and deepening relationship with Jesus evident by increased personal growth. 
Has the majority of this group experienced personal growth over the last six months? What does that look like?
• Willingness on the part of cell members to teach each other from personal life experience and a willingness to be taught by others
Is this group teachable?  Do they regularly learn from each other? How?
• Everyone feels welcomed.
How is this group welcoming people?
• Mindset of serving the community among members.
What specific way is this group serving the community?
• Leaders who are active listeners, careful facilitators, and true lovers of people. 
Do you see this leader talking less than the group, asking probing questions, loving people unconditionally? How is this love demonstrated?


House of Praise in Lorain, Ohio

joelPeter Wagner used to say that longevity in the pastorate is one of the most important characteristics of healthy, growing churches. I certainly saw this truth house of praiseplayed out in Lorain, Ohio this weekend, where I conducted a cell seminar at House of Praise. This church was born out of the charismatic renewal movement in 1976. Spanish speaking Catholics (mainly from Puerto Rico) were born again and began meeting together. As they read the Bible, they became uncomfortable with Catholic doctrine and eventually started a church under the leadership of Iluminado and Luisa Marrero. Gilbert Silva, a second generation hispanic, was born again in the church in 1979, married Eileen, the pastor’s daughter, and in 1991, Gilbert became the lead pastor of the church. The church is now 80% English speaking–a great example of the second generation gracefully taking over the church. There is still a Spanish service, but the majority now are more comfortable in the English language. In 1999, the church began their cell transition (highly influenced from Bethany), and they now have 60+ cells.

I love this church! You can feel the health. The cell church vision has made a solid church even better. Even though Lorain county is depressed economically, the church is growing rapidly (1000 people in three services) and recently planted a daughter church in Cleveland. The new growth has mainly come from whites, blacks, and other ethnic groups. The church asked me to do this cell seminar because they need to add 50+ cells to keep up with the celebration growth.

The state of the church in North America is not good, and thus, it’s so exciting to witness such a great example of health and church growth. Thank you, Jesus!




Key Components of Goals


by Mario Vega

One characteristic of cell churches is that they work with goals to achieve the multiplication and growth. But it is important to know the two components of a goal.

The first component is the target. This element answers the question “What?” What is pursued? What is wanted? This is where the pastor should set the target that wants to achieve.

The second component is regarding time, which answers the question “When?” This has got to do with the deadline date for when you want to achieve the target. Just as with the first component the pastor is one who should set the final date.

A true goal is the one that combines both elements. A great goal establishes not only what you want to achieve but also states when it will be reached. If one of these two elements is missing, it isn’t a true goal anymore. If you want to achieve a goal, but you don’t say when, you could be waiting until the next century. If you set a date, but you don’t know what you want on that date, you won’t achieve anything except to grow old.

Does your goals have these two components?


Translation into Spanish:

Componentes de las metas.

Una caracterstica de las iglesias celulares es que trabajan con metas para la multiplicación y el crecimiento. Pero es importante conocer los dos componentes de una meta.

El primero es el componente del objetivo. Este elemento responde a la pregunta ‘¿Qué?’. ¿Qué es lo que se persigue? ¿Qué se quiere? Aqu es donde el Pastor debe fijar el objetivo que desea alcanzar.

El segundo componente es de tiempo. Responde a la pregunta ‘¿Cuándo?’. Esto tiene que ver con la fecha lmite cuando se desea alcanzar el objetivo. De igual manera que con el primer componente, es el Pastor quien debe establecer la fecha final.

Una meta real es la que combina ambos elementos. Establece no solamente lo que se desea alcanzar sino que también dice cuándo se alcanzará. Si uno de estos dos elementos hacen falta ya no es una verdadera meta. Si se quiere llegar a un punto pero no se dice cuándo eso podra ser el próximo año o el próximo siglo. Si se dice una fecha, pero no se sabe qué se quiere para esa fecha no se logrará más que envejecer.

¿Tienen sus metas estos dos componentes?


Habits Are Supervisors

coach-tunnellby Jeff Tunnell

“Habits are like supervisors that you don’t notice.”  Hannes Messemer

During the Skins game in 1987 professional golfer, Lee Trevino, hit a 6 iron 167 yards on the 17th for a hole-in-one worth $175,000 USD! (see it here) He commented that the shot “just happened”.  Not quite; I believe he had used the same iron and practiced the stroke more than 1,000 times during the week leading up to the match! He trained his entire body to perform by habit.


Dave Earley’s book, The 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders, is a well established part of our training track materials. His capture of the subject is excellent and his dispensing of the information can be transformational.  Dream, Pray, Invite, Contact, Prepare, Mentor, Fellowship & Grow are the listed habits and each one is detailed very well.  These are the habits of a leader who is relationally engaged with his/her cell group BETWEEN meetings. While it is necessary to have great cell meetings, I appreciate the guidance and coaching Dave gives us for the activities that occur during the rest of the week.  This book, along with Joel’s How to Lead a Great Cell Group Meeting, are two essentials for every cell leader.


Develop these habits and you will see great improvement in your ministry and fruitfulness. (easier than a hole-in-one!)