by Joel Comiskey
The cell is the church. It’s not just an extension or program of the traditional Sunday gathering.When I do announcements at Wellspring, the church I started out here in Moreno Valley, I often say, “if you have to choose between attending the cell or the Sunday celebration, don’t miss the cell.” People still find it hard to remember that the cell is the church. They naturally see the Sunday gathering as the “true church,” and I want to remind them that both the cell and the celebration are the church. In fact, the celebration service is the gathering of those cells together.
Wellspring began as a single cell and eventually multiplied to the point of having monthly celebration services while the cells met weekly. We did this for four years and just just two years ago we started weekly celebration services while the cells continue to meet weekly. The cells have always been the life of the church. In my book, The Church that Multiplies, I introduced the concept of the cell driven church. Through the cells the church grows in both quality and quantity. The New Testament emphasizes meeting from house to house and gathering whenever possible to hear the apostle’s teaching (Acts 2:42-46; Acts 5:42; 20:20).
Because the cell is the church, cell churches define their cells with a quality definition. I don’t believe the name of the group is nearly as important as the definition. The cell churches I studied around the world defined their cells this way: “Groups of 3-15 meeting weekly outside the church building for the purpose of evangelism, community, and spiritual growth with the goal of multiplication.” I’m zealous when it comes to defining cells with a quality definition in mind. I tell people not to allow cells to be anything and everything (choir groups, board meetings, horseback riding clubs, etc.). Why? because of the need to guard the quality of the cell (if you’d like a fuller understanding of this topic, please read my article entitled, “what is a cell group?”).
What do you think? What’s your opinion?