by Joel Comiskey
A lot of my writing on cell ministry has focused on cell evangelism, multiplication, leadership development, and growing cell churches. When talking about cell community, I’ve often referred to it as a byproduct of cell outreach and multiplication. When a cell is evangelizing, I’ve taught, the group will experience community. I’ve often warned others about the dangers of cell stagnation that comes from over-emphasizing cell community and fellowship.
God has been changing my thinking over the past year. I now see community as an essential part of cell ministry. I’ve been marveling lately in God’s triune nature, and how often Scripture talks about one-another ministry. Jesus even said that the way non-Christians will know we are His disciples is by our love and unity.
I now understand why so many cell voices have promoted relational ministry over the years. Ralph Neighbour and Bill Beckham have always seen community as an essential reason for cell ministry–maybe even the basis. Others have echoed this same sentiment. I’m a late bloomer. Yet, now I’m on board.
I realize now that it’s important to prioritize and enjoy relational ministry in the cell group–not just as a means to win people for Jesus and multiply a group, but as an essential part of cell life. There’s something beautiful about God’s people openly sharing, confessing sins and struggles, applying God’s Word, and asking for prayer. God is pleased when koinonia takes place because He’s a community-oriented God, dwelling in perfect unity with the other members of the Trinity. And He wants us to act like Him.
P.S.: My new book, The Relational Disciple, explores this topic in much more detail. . .