I, Joel Comiskey, want to take this opportunity to introduce an incredible cell champion. His name is Daljit Gill (left photo). Daljit is part of the senior leadership team at CityLife church in Melbourne, Australia. He’s also a very good friend (we had a lot of fun together in 2000 when I visited the church).Mark Conner, the lead pastor, is the chief visionary for cell ministry, but Mark depends heavily on Daljit to make it work. And it certainly works. CityLife now has over 500 cells!
I asked Daljit to share some key principles behind their cell success. Please take diligent notes because Daljit touches on key principles:
How many cells does CityLife Church have?
503 Life Groups at this very present moment.
When you first came, how many were there?
At that time there were 42 groups.
What has been your position at CityLife Church?
I am the small groups champion (we call them Life Groups), but my official title is Associate Minister – Pastoral.
Does your church consider itself a cell church?
Yes, we embrace the majority of values of a cell-based church. In other words, nothing competes with cells (life groups). We are a two winged church, consisting of cells & celebration.
How does the top leadership (lead pastor Mark) promote/stay in touch with the cell vision?
Mark is always in the ‘know’ and takes a personal interest in small groups and is totally convinced that life groups is the very heart of the church. He has never for once deviated from this and has always been totally supportive to any suggestions I have to make. He is the driver from the platform and the vision caster –though I am the one that make things happen. His support to me is 110%!!!
Share some secrets/principles of how your church has grown so many cell groups?
1) Ensuring that cell remains a priority and not an option.
2) Constantly reminding people of the cell vision, values and purpose.
3) Making sure cell (life) groups are given precious air time during the celebration meetings.
4). Setting clear numerical and qualitative goals for the year and regularly monitoring the success.
5). Guard the nights and church calendar in the sense that we want to ensure that people attend 1 celebration service (not 2) and 1 life group meeting and that people are not pulled in all different directions.
6) Emphasis on life groups and their value in our Equipping Track.
7). Highly effective visitors & new Christian’s pastoral follow-up and to connect them to a Life group immediately (I monitor this very closely and ensure the highest level of assimilation)
8). Regular leaders summits where we affirm all our leaders, build a team spirit, vision cast, challenge, inspire and equip them.
9). Monitor the health of all our leaders.
10). Provide resources to all our leaders.
11). We even set goals on the number of leaders that each Network Pastor should raise in a year because we believe the notion that everyone is a â€œpotentialâ€ leader.
12). Eldership holds us accountable on the growth and progress of our life groups.
13) Celebrate BIG WINS and major milestones in celebration meetings (eg. when we hit 400 groups I got my head shaved).
14) Keep pushing the bar upwards on Life group involvement (i.e., % of people involved in life group ).
15) To be a partner of the church you will need to be in a life group.
16). Our Team Spirit as a church and that the heroes of CityLife are our volunteers!!
What are some struggles that you face with your cell system?
1. Raising leaders & co-leaders
2. Getting those not in group to join one – there are some in this category who feel that their world is already too busy.
3. Keeping the LG leaders fresh and motivated and keeping a low turnover of leaders year in year out.
4. Getting more groups to be evangelistic (though we are gaining some good ground here now).
What are some things youâ€™ve done really well at CityLife that the rest of the cell church world can benefit from?
1. I can honestly say that I am proud of our statistics, our one-page reports, report keeping, vital signs, and accuracy of our database. Our Life groups reports are ‘smart’.
2. We focus on our ministry goals and regularly review and fine-tune them
3. Our leaders are well cared for.
4. My outstanding team of Network Pastors are all very focused.
5. Thorough and prompt assimilation of new people.
PLEASE COMMENT. . . .