Bloom Where You are Planted

joelby Joel Comiskey

I was honored to co-lead Saturday’s seminar with Larry Kreider. I spoke 20 minutes on cell church, and he followed with 20 minutes on house church networks. We tag-teamed throughout the day. I sensed a lot of unity between us. But the best part of the my time in Ephrata, PA was hanging out with Larry Kreider before and after the seminar. Larry is one of my heroes. One of the key phrases that comes to mind when describing Larry is: bloom where are you are planted.

God planted Dove Christian Fellowship in Lititz, Pennsylvania some 25+ years ago. Larry showed me the house where Dove started. Then he showed me where he currently lives, which is just down the road from where Dove started. His younger sister lives down the street from him, and his parents live within a couple miles.

From the one house church in Lititz, Dove grew in ten years to 2000 people. Leading a megachurch would be a dream come true for most pastors. Kreider, however, realized that a megachurch would not impact the nations like a church planting movement, so he and the leadership team decided to give it away. Kreider writes, “Giving our church away better suited our vision of a cell-based church planting movement intent on training a new generation of church planters and leaders.”

Dove has now grown into 200+ worldwide churches. Even within a 1.5 hour radius of the Lititz, there are 16 Dove churches. I spoke this morning at Westgate Dove in Ephrata, PA, a church of 500 people.

Dove is the real deal, and one of the reasons is that Larry Kreider has bloomed where God planted them.

It’s quite common for pastors to pack up and leave every 3-4 years. They get itchy feet, problems occur, and they go looking for greener pastures. The greener pasture, however, quickly turns brown, and then it’s time to pack up and move on again. Such ministry rarely has a lasting impact. Kreider, rather, has hung in the saddle, worked through failures and problems, and witnessed God’s power and faithfulness .

As I toured the Dove office structure after the seminar, witnessed their growing book ministry, TV ministry, etc. I was blown away. I was also keenly aware that God is more interested than we are in blessing us and His church. He wants all of us to be fruitful and multiply!

And one of the keys is to bloom where you are planted.



Supervisors and Supervision


By Mario Vega

The evangelization work in cells is a method that follows its own guidelines and values. It has its own mechanisms to measure effectiveness. As in any process, cell work should be constantly evaluated.

The evaluation is performed by people who have demonstrated ability in the work and have the grace to encourage others. Many churches call these people “coaches.” At Elim church we call them “supervisors.”

In Spanish there is no other word that has exactly the same meaning as the word “coach.” When we use the word “supervisor,” we are thinking of the functions of a coach. The supervisor ensures the work is done as planned and is empowered with authority to correct any deficiency.

Apparently, this is the same idea that Pastor Cho uses. In Cho’s model, the equivalent of “supervisor” or “coach” is called “Senior Leader.” That is a leader who has reached a higher level and, consequently, can look after and exercise authority over the cell leaders.

“’Coach” is best understood as a person who accompanies and encourages other leaders to do the cell work. Although this may only appear to be a matter of semantics, it is interesting because it exposes the different conceptions of the supervising function in different cell churches.

What is term or concept you use in your church?



La supervisión y los supervisores.

El trabajo de evangelización en células es un método que sigue sus propios lineamientos y valores. Establece sus mecanismos de operación y de efectividad. Como todo proceso, el trabajo celular también puede y debe ser evaluado constantemente.

La evaluación se realiza por medio de personas que han demostrado capacidad para el trabajo y que, además, poseen gracia para animar a otras personas. Muchas iglesias llaman a éstas personas ‘coach’. En el caso de iglesia Elim les llamamos ‘supervisores’.

En español no existe una palabra que tenga exactamente el mismo significado que ‘coach’. Por su parte, ‘supervisor’, se entiende como una persona que vela porque el trabajo sea hecho tal como se ha planeado al mismo tiempo que está dotada de autoridad para corregir lo deficiente.

Aparentemente, esta misma idea es la que utiliza el Pastor Cho. Ya que el equivalente a ‘supervisor’ o ‘coach’, es llamado en su modelo ‘Senior Leader’. Es decir un lder que ha alcanzado un nivel superior y que, consecuentemente, puede velar y ejercer autoridad sobre los lderes de células.

‘Coach’ se entiende más bien como una persona que acompaña y anima a otros lderes a hacer la labor. Aunque esto parece ser solamente un asunto de semántica, es interesante porque expone las diversas concepciones de la función de supervisión en las distintas iglesias celulares.

¿Cuál es su concepto en su iglesia?

It’s Not Too Early

coach-tunnellJeff Tunnell

It’s not too early to start making plans to be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the “Day with Joel & Mario” in February 2010. This time of year my thoughts lean toward spending this special day with committed cell church leaders to hear from the JCG team. I enjoy the dialogue and discussion that happens over the lunch break,  and dinner out afterwards has some very fond memories for me. I’m marking my calendar for the last week of February so I don’t let anything get in the way. How about you?

Passion and Leadership


by Rob Campbell

Check out Steve’s blog posted yesterday.  It’s excellent!  The motivation he writes about reminded me of a necessary ingredient for every leader.  It is PASSION.

Those with passion have a servant’s heart and a burning desire to pursue God.  Jesus was a passionate person.  Watch his passion and zeal displayed in the following scenario.

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.   So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!’” (John 2:13-16).

Jesus was passionate about the temple which he wanted to protect as a house of prayer.

Passion is our personal motivation that overflows into the lives of others.  Yes, passion is contagious.  The passion of Paul and Silas is evident as they are accused of “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) for the gospel of Christ.  You will know passion when the pain is greater than the reward.

Antoine de Saint Exupery is noted for saying, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”  We are looking for men and women who have a passion for the sea of the harvest.



Values-driven Leadership


by Steve Cordle (substituting for Joel Comiskey who hasn’t been feeling well)

I remember once as a young boy, standing at the top of our driveway on a fall day with a broom in my hands and gloom in my heart. My parents had asked me to sweep the driveway, which was covered with leaves from our oak tree. To me, the driveway appeared 2 miles long, and it seemed like I would be prisoner to that job for at least 3 days.

Last night I not only swept my driveway, but also our sidewalks. I also cut the grass. No one asked me to do it, and I did not mind doing it. What’s the difference? Motivation.

As a child, I did not care in the least what the driveway looked like. But now as an adult, it’s my driveway and yard, and I value seeing it look decent. Values drive actions. We do what we think is important.

We do what we value, which is why two churches can have the same cell training but see very different results.

We can teach people how to lead groups which multiply, but unless they personally value evangelism, discipleship and community, our instruction and coaching will seem like nagging.

The secret to cell ministry is not in finding the perfect Equipping Track or group material. It is instilling New Testament values of relational evangelism, discipleship, prayer and community. That’s our job as leaders: teach, model, and fan the flame of the values.

How do you assure that these values get driven deep into the fabric of your church?