Desertion of Leaders


by Mario Vega

The desertion of cell leaders is an unavoidable reality. As in any army at war where dropouts do occur, there are also those who fall-out in the battle of faith.

Desertions affect the multiplication of cells. Cell multiplication occurs only when leaders multiply. But if new leaders have to be continually used to replace those who dropout, much of the multiplying force will be lost.

Some desertions occur for unavoidable reasons. For example, change of address, death, and emigration. But another part of drop-outs occur for a common reason: lack of discipleship. Ideally, every leader should be also a disciple. However, this always the case. A disciple of Christ is someone who follows the example and footsteps of the Master, which includes obeying His Word and sacrificially serving Him.

Cell churches should extend their effort widely to make every believer a disciple. By doing this, the level of desertion will be greatly reduced and only those cases that are strictly unavoidable will remain. Yet, if new leaders are just trained and a cell is handed to them, desertions will continue. The goal is to shape them into disciples who will live consistent, godly lives for Jesus.



En Español

Deserción de lderes.

La deserción de lderes es una realidad inevitable en todo trabajo celular. Al igual que en un ejército en guerra, en el cual se producen deserciones, también en la batalla de la fe se dan deserciones.

Las deserciones afectan la multiplicación de las células. La multiplicación de las células sólo se produce cuando los lderes se multiplican. Pero si continuamente se deben colocar nuevos lderes en las vacantes de los desertores, parte de la fuerza multiplicadora se perderá.

Algunas deserciones se producen por causas inevitables. Por ejemplo, cambio de domicilio, muerte, emigración. Pero, otra parte de las deserciones se producen por una razón común: la falta de discipulado. No es lo mismo capacitar a una persona para que sea lder que hacer discpulo a una persona. Lo ideal sera que todo lder sea al mismo tiempo un discpulo.

Un discpulo de Cristo es alguien que sigue el ejemplo y las pisadas del Maestro. Obedece a su Palabra y le sirve de manera sacrificial. Las iglesias celulares deben extender un esfuerzo amplio por hacer discpulos a todos los creyentes. De esa manera, el nivel de deserción se verá grandemente reducido y solamente quedarán aquellos casos estrictamente inevitables. Si solamente se capacitan nuevos lderes y se les entrega una célula las deserciones continuarán; pero, si se les hace discpulos, su servicio al Señor será mucho más consistente.


2 thoughts on “Desertion of Leaders

  • The problem of leader burnout/dropout/abandonment has been an issue for the cell movement for many years. I believe it stems from the fact that too much responsibility is shouldered by the cell leader. For this reason, my church has moved to a core team-based approach for cell leadership, which effectively eliminates this issue completely.

    If the leader quits or is promoted into the role of a coach (what you call a supervisor), one of the core team members assumes the role of point person for the team. The responsibility for the group’s success and planning is amortized over 6 persons from the group, yet the leader still has a passionate vision for the group and remains ultimately responsible the way the traditional leader operates in the classic cell model.

    The core team meets monthly for an hour or two to make plans for upreach, inreach, outreach, and discuss the next steps for all the members of the group in their discipleship journey. They take time to intercede for the group and every member of the group, and create a “who will do what by when” plan of action for the next six weeks of group life. Meeting monthly and planning for six weeks create overlap for assessment and redirection if things are not going as planned.

    This works in America. And it will work in other countries as well. What I love about it is that it creates SIX or more interns or apprentices naturally (receiving on the job training without a title or leadership commitment) and ownership of the group is increased a hundredfold.

    There will always be a problem with leaders moving away, quitting, or needing a sabbatical from leadership. A core team leadership approach will keep this from crippling a cell group or a cell ministry.

  • I realized for the last few months that we need small groups that are real in the Spirit of God & in Love in action. Without tese 2 criterias we will never build the Kingdom, which we were commisioned to do.
    This is my defebition of Love in Action: follow up & follow through with those believers that have the highest zeal for the Kingdom & care for people.

    On one side they have to be connected with God through grace, faith & the Power of The Holly Spirit.

    On the other hand, they must be able to hear people other then themselves.

    Third, they must want to find the way to help those who want to be helped 1st.

    I think if all 3 of these ideas will be implemented we will have only natural losses of small group members for very simple reason:

    every personal development system on this earth came from the Bible yet most of them hardly mention it.

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