by Jeff Tunnell
Joel asked us to share our highlights on the Cell Symposium so I’ll follow up here. My time there was ENORMOUS and powerful. Seeing the “heads of state” for the cell movement in one place at one time was awe inspiring. Hearing from them each-in-turn was a privilege not to be squandered. Holy Spirit presence was granted in the gathering and I believe the Father was pleased to overseee everything said and done. Hats off to the servants at Antioch Community Church and Pastor Jimmy Siebert for their exceptional hosting of this historic event.
A personal sensitivity in my life presently is toward prayer. At the symposium I heard distinctly that the major weakness in the Western churh (as observed by our friends outside the USA) is that “it does not pray”. We teach about it, write books about it, preach on the subject , lead Bible studies and tell others to pray, but bottom line, we do not pray much. Little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power. That saying was coined by our far east brothers as I recall. Our dependency on self has left us with just that for our assistance. We are not able to accomplish much when we are depending on ourselves.
Dion Robert’s portrayal of a 15 year old cell leader, along with his cell group, raising someone from the dead was a poignant example of the Kingdom of God coming and the will of God being done, on earth as it is in heaven! This apostolic man pastors 194,000 people through his cell ministry in Ivory Coast,West Africa. His practical approach to God and His word led me to note “God-led and Bible-based, that’s all we need!” As a General in God’s army, Dion called us to die to self and come alive in Christ for the advance of His kingdom. He said the Lord needs more “dead men” to get the battles won! Whew!
Bill Beckham’s presentation still loops in my mind and heart. He compared the various “dimensions” of the church: Discipleship, Community, Task, Public, Network and Universal. With these components in hand he moved on to demonstrate the part of the church that accomplishes each: Simple church, House church, Para church, Traditional church, Historical denomination, Catholic church (respectively). I do hope this will be posted to the Symposium website for review as it was very full and complete, concluding with a comment that cell church embraces and accomplishes all dimensions when Jesus is at the center! (go to the FAQ tab for downloadable materials)
Another clear-cut message from our international friends is this; if the American church fails in this hour of testing, the world-wide Christian community will be severly weakened. They still look to us for leadership on the global scene, but fear that we will wash out in this hour. May God strengthen our spiritual spinal cord in this nation to rise to the challenge of repentance and sincere pursuit of God’s face instead of our preoccupation with His hand. (Him vs. His blessing)
The streams flowed together, may a mighty river be the result!
3 thoughts on “Symposium Two”
Jeff, I must say that one of the greatest highlights of the trip was meeting you in person and sitting next to you for most of the event. As I was driving back to Houston, I thought, “I would love to live close enough to Jeff to be his friend and ask him to be my pastor.”
Keep loving and leading for Christ in Big Bear!
Randall, you hit the nail on the head about Jeff Tunnell. I’m SOOO fortunate to have him on the JCG board and as a personal friend who I bounce lots of ideas and concerns off of. Jeff’s gift of helps/service is amazing. I also think this blog hits on some of the major highlights: prayer, Dion Robert’s army focus, Beckham’s outreach to the entire body, and the incredible example of Antioch on how cell church could look in the U.S.
I am an American foreigner inn the Kingdom of God & must say something with the full confidence.
1. Devil’s economy takes way too much of our time from building the Kingdom. That’s why we loose the disciples & members. If you will not hear me the results will be catastrophic to the Great Commission regardless how many books or manuals will be written
2.Therefore we must start building God’s economy of accountability without which Church can not exist. See movies Defiance(community) & Fireproof(family) as examples of this economy. By the same taoken:How come that the firefighter from Fireproof had not been told about Christ by any of his parents. If he did why he was not with Christ in the 1st place. The answer is: the eocnomy of the Devil did not allow parents to share. They were too busy.
3.How to build God’s economy. Brief educational cources about the truth on international politics, economics, finances. Without knowing the truth, people in the church will continue to live in fears effected by incomplete or deceptive news everywhere. Take last wek PBS report about Russian economy. Middle-age Russian family of 2 showed their empty refrigirator. Yet we may have a lot of families like this in the USA.Why nobody said about their expenses.
4.If the Church leader does not have the time to follow up & follow through with celleaders & cellleaders do not have the time to follow-up & follow through with group members on their lives, community of believers can not be built. If Church/cellgroup members do not have the time to care for each other & do business with each other, no books or manuals will help. No economy of God is created.
5.We really must determine if we are in business of building the Kingdom of God, which can not exist without the economy of God for very simple reason:
Devil’s economy of greed & fears destracts & destroy our efforts to build the Kingdom either we are in the System Crisis such as now or in the state of so-called prosperity, which we supposadly had until 3 years ago.
Conclcusion without sincere love in action of the Body of Christ we can not build the Kingdom of God, which we can not build without the Economy of God, which can be build within the Devil’s eocnomy if we want to. We may consider to look back to see how the revival started about 100yrs.ago & where the roots of this revival are coming from, if that will help.