by Steve Cordle
â€œWe tried cell ministry for a while, but it didnâ€™t work, so we gave that up.â€
Iâ€™ve heard those words from pastors who once were pursuing a cell-based vision but are no longer. Sometimes their venture into cell ministry lasted less than a year. That indicates to me that the pastor did not think through the underlying values and commitments of cell ministry.
Call me strange, but to me, â€œtrying cell ministryâ€ for a brief time is like â€œtrying marriageâ€ for a little while. Before taking the plunge it is wise to measure oneâ€™s commitment level! Since cell ministry is simply an expression of some fundamental theological and philosophical values, it is vital to study those values before adopting a ministry approach based on them. Cell ministry is not mechanical. It is not a â€œsystemâ€ that works if you follow the procedures. It is a way of ordering church life to equip all in the work of ministry, to reach the lost in a relational manner, to bring to the saints to maturity through obedience-based discipleship, to live in community, and more.
Are there other ways of pursuing these goals? Yes. But if you take the time to study the underlying values and become convinced that cell ministry is the best way to accomplish them, then it is unlikely you will â€œtry cellsâ€ for a few months and move on to something else. If you donâ€™t take that time, I would suggest you are not ready to adopt a cell-based ministry.
So, pastor, how deeply have you studied and prayed through the underlying philosophy of cell ministry?