by Joel Comiskey
According to the dictionary, a FAD is: “something that is embraced very enthusiastically for a short time, especially by many people.”
Since Cho initiated the modern day cell church movement in 1965, the cell church has passed through many fads. Those who start a fad are often motivated with a pure desire to jump-start the cell system to produce more rapid growth. The motivation might be good and right, but the problem occurs when the promoter starts declaring that the “jump-start” is now God’s new revelation (the only right way) for doing cell ministry.
Homogenous cells suffered this fate when a famous church in Latin America began promoting them as the “right way” to do cell ministry. Granted, the church grew more rapidly when they divided their cells into the categories of men, women, youth, and children. This famous church asked all their worldwide network churches to follow these strict homogeneous categories.
I remember speaking in several cell churches who had adopted this new homogeneous way of doing cells. They tried to convince me of the superiority of doing away with family cells and focusing only on cells of men, women, youth, and children.
“Shouldn’t the cell be reaching the family unit, rather than just the individual parts?” I asked. “What about intergenerational cells that have children involved.? Didn’t the early church meeting together as families from house to house?”
They replied, “But breaking up into these homogeneous categories causes rapid church growth. The men will share more intimately, and you won’t have to worry about children in the cells.”
I reminded them that both Cho’s church and the Elim Church primarily have family cells, and many believe that these two churches are the number one and two largest churches in the world.They obviously were doing quite well without the new categories.
Well, those conversations took place seven years ago. Like all fads, the hype has now died down and the fad has faded. I rarely hear anyone talking about the superiority of strict homogeneous cells.
I’m not against homogenous cells. My wife leads a women’s cell and I’m just about to open a men’s cell group. I simply believe that homogeneity should flow naturally from a clear definition of a cell group. I also believe that since the family is the foundation of society (or should be), cell churches should always emphasize family cells, along with other diverse types of cell groups.
Again, my counsel is to start with a clear definition and then allow homogeneity to flow naturally as the need arises.
What are your thoughts?