by Michael Sove (filling in this week for Rob Campbell)
Last year around this time God began to send me pastors from the nations who were seeking encouragement and even mentoring in cell church principles. In a very short period of time I had twelve pastors from nine nations who I was in constant communication with. I felt God prompting me to begin the International Cell Church Prayer Network. The idea here was to pray for each other across the nations and build friendships through prayer. I would send out a weekly update highlighting one of these pastors and their ministry needs and prayer requests. When you pray for people you have never met you really develop a heart for them. God used the following verse to capture my heart.
Isaiah 56:7 NCV â€œI will bring these people to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. The offerings and sacrifices they place on my altar will please me, because my Temple will be called a house for prayer for people from all nations.â€
After catching the vision for praying for the nations, I began to include our cell groups in this as well. I wanted the cell groups to have a heart for the nations and to think outside of their own needs and the needs of our church. Cell groups could adopt these pastors and their ministries for prayer and as God would lead, they could focus on a practical project as well. One common thing I found in the pastors from the nations is that they had many struggles when it came to basic needs and supplies such as Bibles for distribution in their language.
Some of our cells raised money for Pakistan and were able to provide 500 Bibles and 5 bikes for Pastors. Recently a few cells were able to contribute for Bibles for some Indian pastors as well. During the witness portion of our weekly cell gatherings, the cells pray for the pastor they have adopted as well as praying for those weâ€™re trying to reach locally.
When a cell experiences the blessing of getting involved directly in foreign missions, they will never be the same. Recently one of the pastors from India asked the cell group who was praying for him to help him come up with a name for his church and ministry. One of my dreams is for the cells not only to pray and contribute to these pastors on the front-lines, but also to take short term trips together to go and experience ministry face to face with those they have been praying for.
5 thoughts on “Helping Cells Develop a Heart for the Nations”
Hello. I am reading this website for the first time. I find the distribution of bibles to those who *want* to them admirable. However, I do not understand what type of religious doctrine you are advocating within the cell church movement. Obviously it’s Christian — is this movement associated with or similar to other Christian denominations or movements? Is it strictly Biblical-based teaching or is there additional doctrine? What is the cell church movement’s opinion of women in church leadership roles?
Thank you. I look forward to your explanation.
Great question about religious doctrine. Cell church is a strategy based on the New Testament (Acts 2:42-46; 20:20; 5:42, etc.). Many, many denominations and doctrinal positions use this strategy for church life. There’s also a wide variety of church polity/government that use cell church. I would encourage you to look in the left TAB (articles). Check out the articles I’ve placed there under church leadership. You’ll discover more about what I’m talking about. My book REAP THE HARVEST also touches your question. I would add, however, that the cell church movement is an evangelical, Bible-believing movement.
This is great story. I think US missionary for the last 150 years or so have much to do with the Global Chrsitainity & Economy we have today.
I would like to expend on the subject with the statement. Our comunicatiions with Foreign pastors;/believers may be more effective if you use Foreign believers in the United States(which most likely have more nationalities than any other Christian Nation on earth-yes we are Christian Nation) & bring different nations under 1 church in this country through variety of means.
I’d like to share this story with you, that does not even involve too many people.
In addition to Nigerian-based Charismatic church couple months ago I started to go to Russian Messianic Church(only Russian church of any kind on the East side of our region) on Saturday Pastor Igor Bagirov(50% Jew/50% Azi) is also very dedicated Evangelist. His worship leaders (mother & son) are from my city of Gomel(where I came from 18 yrs.ago) They accepted Christ at the Charismatic Church, which was set up by the Nigerian Pastor from Kiev & started to attend our Church nearby!!! Igor was the 1st person who told about Christ about 12 years ago & I paid no attention to his message then.
This is the example of International Christianity in action in our neck fo the woods. Only God knows what will come out of this.
Vladimir, Thank you so much for your input. I fell so strongly about ministering to each other across the Nations. It is so easy to focus on your own country and your own situation. God used a trip to Indonesia to break my heart for the Nations. I know there are many people on the front lines with the Gospel who need encouragement and someone to pray for them. I had the privilege of meeting a pastor from India online last year and we have become close friends and I have had the opportunity to go to minister in his setting. Now my cell group is devoted to praying for him and helping him anyway we can. The more we pray for these brothers and sisters the more we fall in l’ve with them. What I like about the prayer network that I lead is that it is cross-denominational. The common bond between us is Jesus and using cells as a strategy. Be encouraged!
Hello Kincsem1874, Thank you so much for looking at this web site. I see that Joel has answered you above but I will add a few insights as well. The best way to envision a cell church is to think of a bird with two wings. In the cell church the two main wings are cell (cells gathering in homes or community where we live) and celebration (cells gathering together for worship and teaching) When these two wings are operating together the church can fly and be all God called it to be.
Many of us talk about the dimensions of upward, inward, outward and forward when describing the cell group itself. As the groups gather they move people upward to God in worship and prayer, inward to each other as they learn to function in community, outward in evangelism and reaching the lost and forward by raising up more disciples who become leaders planting new cells to reach more people.
I have been walking in this movement since 1995 and have seen so much life change in myself and those I have had the privilege of ministering with. I hope you’ll keep investigating.