Rob Campbell asked me to share once again about my experience here in Texas at the cell symposium. The word “symposium” means “a formal meeting held for the discussion of a particular subject and during which individuals may make presentations.” The symposium, facilitated by Ralph Neighbour, was sponsored by the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary, and took place at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. Immediately following the symposium was the Golden Gate Seminary’s D.Min course on cell church that Ralph Neighbour is in charge of. Ralph asked me to teach two full days (I just finished yesterday). I wondered beforehand how I’d feel with Ralph Neighbour and Bill Beckham in the classroom while I taught. It actually worked out very well. Both of them positively contributed to the teaching and all eleven of us were enriched.
I was amazed to hear how extensively Ralph has visited cell churches around the world. He spoke from such a deep reservoir of experience. I was also impressed by Bill Beckham. Bill always has something uplifting to say and truly has a heart for Christ’s church. I didn’t know that in 1983 Bill Beckham felt God call him to link himself with Ralph Neighbour. Those two have been inseparable ever since. They live near each other and talk daily. Their wives also spend lots of daily time with each other.
Ralph is now 80 years old. He’s passing on his years of experience of cell church ministry to a new generation. No one knows the exact future of the cell church around the world. We do know that Christ is the head of the church, and we’re in good hands with Christ in control. As I ate breakfast with Ralph Neighbour and his first born son this morning (his son is also named Ralph and was part of the D.Min course), my heart filled with joy for the life of a pioneer who has blessed Christ’s body with penetrating truths. Will we continue to carry the torch? Comments?