The Real “Cell Pastor”

by Michael Sove

I’m am in my fourth year serving as cell pastor at Allen Memorial.  I was hired to help our church transition to become a cell church that impacts the world for Christ.  From the very first interview I had many questions.  You see, I had been a church planter and lead pastor for eighteen years.  I knew that my title as cell pastor was really a misnomer.  A better description of my role would be “Cell Champion.”

Sure, I could be a great help assisting the Senior Pastor by focusing on leadership development, coaching, equipping, writing cell materials, helping cells to focus on evangelism and missions.  But I understood from the day I was hired who the real cell pastor was.

The Senior Pastor can never give away his role as cell pastor or visionary if a church is to transition to be a cell church and not just a church with groups.  He must be involved and model himself cell church values like community, personal evangelism, and the importance of making disciples.

Even more important than that, he must be a man of prayer, seeking to be “filled with the Spirit” day by day, meeting God to hear from Him and to receive power, vision and direction to lead the charge.

If you are a Senior Pastor, having someone to function as “Cell Champion” can really make a difference.  They can put all their effort and focus into the cell system and people development, but never forget who the real “Cell Pastor” is.  You are so important to the fulfillment of the vision.  We will stand by your side, pray for you, encourage you and run with you but we need you to lead the charge.  Your example speaks more than your words.  Show us the way!



2 thoughts on “The Real “Cell Pastor”

  • Although Saddleback is not a cell-based church by my definition, I must say that Rick Warren exudes everything you’re blogging about today and lead pastors would do well to follow his example of showing people the way to live in community.

    He doesn’t just say, “you need to join a small group!” from the pulpit as part of his normal spiel. The man is simply unable to refrain from talking about his personal and recent experiences in his small group praying for people, being prayed for by members, sharing Christ with a friend of a member, and serving the community with other group members. Every time he’s on mic he’s weaving his current, transformational, and personal story into his messages.

    This is a principle that transcends a church’s structure (small group driven, cell-based, etc). If the pastor is living a missional life embedded in biblical community, he can’t help but speak out of the abundance of the fruit from it and others will be drawn into it and follow him.

  • I’ve seen what happens when the Lead pastor doesn’t take on the role of cell pastor, but tries to push it on to another leader. Everyone can see that the cell business isn’t that important, and any cellular vision dies. Praise God for the Lead Pastors who realize that they have to change the way they do things and do so, therefore enabling the church to move towards a more effective way of doing church.

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