The School of Ministry


by Mario Vega

Cell Ministry allows Christians to function as actual ministers of the gospel.

For example, the leader develops the cell lesson, with a special emphasis on reaching the unconverted. To make this happen, it’s essential for him or her to receive training in how to evangelize.

The leader might also be called upon to function as a counselor. This requires sensitivity to those in the cell. Experience is the best teacher to grow in this discipline.

The leader also functions in the capacity of disciple-maker. When a person comes to Christ, the leader needs to assure that the new convert matures in the Christian life.

And of course, the leader must guide the dynamics of the group, making sure there’s a proper flow between prayer, worship, and Word.

All of these disciplines prepare the leader to influence others. What the leader is called upon to accomplish is exactly what pastors are asked to do. That’s why cell ministry provides such a wonderful environment to produce ministers for the harvest.



translation in Spanish:

La escuela del ministerio.

El trabajo celular permite a los cristianos relacionarse con las funciones de un ministro del evangelio.

El lder desarrolla la capacidad de impartir una enseñanza de la Biblia y notar cuáles son los aspectos que debe reforzar para asegurar el aprendizaje y la conversión de los invitados.

Eso permite que el lder pueda entrenarse en el trabajo de compartir las buenas nuevas de salvación.

Además, el lder ejerce cierta función de consejera.

Le permite trabajar con diversas personalidades y desarrolla la capacidad de la empata. La escuela de la experiencia le muestra las maneras más eficaces de ayudar a los demás.

El lder también ejerce una función de tutora. Cada vez que una persona llega a la conversión es cuidada por el lder quien le gua en sus primeros pasos hasta que llegue a convertirse en un cristiano maduro.

El lder aprende a desenvolverse frente a un grupo de personas. Dirige las dinámicas. Dirige alabanzas, oraciones y toma iniciativas. Todas estas cosas le enseñan la manera de ejercer una influencia sobre las personas.

Cada una de las cosas mencionadas son caractersticas que todo ministro del evangelio debe tener. El trabajo celular permite que cada lder adquiera estas caractersticas con lo cual, en la práctica, se dan pasos agigantados para el deseo de Dios de tener en cada creyente una persona que ejerza la obra del ministerio.

Win Them To You

coach-tunnellby Jeff Tunnell

Win them to YOU, win them to your cell family, win them to JESUS!

The relational component of INVITE is of the utmost importance.  Yes there are strategic moments in a person’s life that will foster greater openness to your invitation (stressed, loss of health, bad marriage, loss of job, recent move), but establishing a relationship touches the need of most people.

The statement “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” is powerful insight and guidance.

I think that men have more difficulty with building relationships than women and that we tend toward “conquering” more than serving, fixing more than caring, being right more than being present.  Those attitudes are like hurdles on the runners track that must be cleared in order to win (the other person’s heart)!

Need to go, I have a cell with 12 other local pastors to be at in a few minutes – now there’s a small group I love!

Less is More


by Rob Campbell

About six weeks ago prior to worship, I was quickly scanning our Sunday Celebration’s Opportunity Folder (“bulletin”). I felt overwhelmed. There were many opportunities– many great opportunities. Yet, my feeling of being overwhelmed was not a positive feeling. I longed to return to a more simple church, lifestyle and ministry. Yes, even a cell church can become complex, clunky, clanky, and— overwhelming. I’m on a journey to reclaim simplicity.

Al Ries writes in his book, Focal Point, that there are four things you can do to improve the quality of your life and work.

1. You can do more of certain things. You can do more of the things that are of greater value to you and bring you greater rewards and satisfaction.

2. You can do less of certain things. You can deliberately decide to reduce activities or behaviors that are not as helpful as other activities.

3. You can start to do things you are not doing at all today. You can make new choices, learn new skills, begin new projects and activities, or change the entire focus of your work or personal life.

4. You can stop doing certain things altogether. You can stand back and evaluate your life with new eyes. You can then decide to discontinue activities and behaviors that are no longer consistent with what you want and where you want to go.

Dave Browning in his book, Deliberate Simplicity (a great read, by the way!), comments on the four options above. He writes, “While the traditional church tends to choose doors 1 and 3, the Deliberately Simple church looks at what is behind doors 2 and 4. By doing less of certain things, and stopping other things altogether, energy and resources can be reinvested in the few things really worth doing.”

Pastor Wade Hodges once stated, “If becoming a part of a church places people in an environment that encourages them to live more frenetic lives than they were living before, then we are going about doing church the wrong way.”

Browning writes, “What is the simplest thing that could possibly work?” He suggests that we “jettison other elements even if they have traditionally been associated with progress.”

One more thought from Browning:  “One of the questions that takes the church back to basics is, how would we do church if we didn’t have electricity? Your answer will undoubtedly push you back to the essence of the church and away from the artificiality of modernity.”

A parallel thought. My wife and I are buying a house for our university age daughter. Indeed, the mortgage industry is the antithesis of simplicity. I wonder if church life feels more like enduring the complexity of buying a new home, retrieving historical data, and appeasing the mortgage broker for our people than….say….loving God and others?? Weren’t our politicos pushing a one or two page closing document for the acquisition of a new house?

Shouldn’t church leaders contemplate “less can really mean more?”

‘Tis a gift to be simple. ‘Tis a gift to be free. ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be. [Shaker Hymn]



Grace-driven Ministry

joelI just got back from a ministry trip in New Jersey to celebrate the 5th year anniversary of Grace Christian Church (pastor Jeff Barbieri). I met with the cell JEFFleaders on Saturday night and preached on Sunday. Jeff and I excitedly talked about his equipping track. He is passioante about helping his members understand who they are in Christ and is a student of the “exchanged life” (the modern day Keswick movement). Jeff has designed a first-class equipping course that takes all members through a deeper understanding of their identity and identification in Christ.

Jeff believes that effective cell ministry flows naturally from leaders and members who are set free in Christ. If a cell leader, for example, doesn’t know he or she is fully forgiven, it’s hard to be transparent with the members.

We both agreed that a lot of cell literature is very TO DO oriented: “you have to build relationships,” “you have to evangelize more.” The grace-filled life, however, recognizes that Christ accomplishes these things through us. As we’re filled with Jesus, the overflow is to build relationships, witness, etc. Do you agree?

I told Jeff that he needed to publish his training track (and other books on the subject), so the rest of the cell church can benefit from them. In fact, you might want to contact Jeff, asking him about his training track and his passion for teaching on God’s grace.



The Leader’s Spiritual Preparation


by Mario Vega

Adequate leadership preparation is the key behind a successful cell meeting. This preparation is not only about the cell message, but in the spiritual preparation required to minister to others.

Prayer is a key factor. Fervent prayer is critical for lasting fruit. Prayer should not be made in a mechanical, non-thinking manner. Rather, it’s all about presenting our requests to God in natural, everyday dialogue.

The reading of the Bible is another key factor. People are always asking questions about various topics. Therefore, the leader must be prepared to provide guidance and answers. At the same time, the leader should always be honest. If a leader doesn’t know the proper answer, he shouldn’t hesitate to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll talk to my coach or pastor.” .

In our twenty-first century, meditation is an exercise that is almost non-existent. Meditation is not prayer. Meditation more to do with personal introspection, asking questions such as: What does God want from me? What’s the next step? What I do maintain the proper motivations?

Questions like these will find their answers if we can set time aside to leave the daily routine and dive into meditation.



Translation into Spanish:

La preparación espiritual del lder.

Un aspecto básico para una reunión celular exitosa es que el lder se haya preparado adecuadamente. Esta preparación no solo consiste en familiarizarse con el tema del da sino en reunir las condiciones espirituales que requiere la labor de conducir personas a Jesús.

La oración es un factor clave. La profundidad en la oración garantiza los resultados que se pueden obtener. La oración no debe ser hecha de manera rutinaria sino presentando a Dios las situación del da a da en un diálogo cotidiano.

La lectura de la Biblia es otro factor clave. Las personas siempre formularán preguntas sobre diversos temas. Por ello, el lder debe estar preparado para brindad orientación y respuestas. Sin embargo, también se debe usar de mucha honestidad. Si un lder no sabe cuál es la respuesta apropiada a una situación, no debe dudar en transferir el caso al Pastor.

La meditación es un ejercicio casi desaparecido en nuestro siglo XXI. La meditación no es oración. La meditación tiene que ver más con una introspección personal y la búsqueda a preguntas tales como: ¿Qué es lo que Dios desea de mi? ¿Cuál es el siguiente paso?

¿Lo que hago obedece a las motivaciones correctas? Preguntas como éstas encontrarán las respuestas si podemos apartar un tiempo para salir de la rutina diaria y sumergirnos en la meditación.