by Michael Sove
This week I would like to speak to those who are just starting out with cells or transitioning toward a base of “holistic” cells.
When I first arrived at Allen three years ago, I came into a situation where there were some cells in place. The problem was that these cells were not “holistic” as we have been describing in our blogs this month. There was no leadership training or coaching in place. There was not a common vision or approach toward what happened as these cells gathered.
So the first thing we did was introduce training to help the existing leaders begin to understand cell life and the dimensions that make a cell holistic. A few weeks ago I introduced these dimensions and the questions to ask to determine if your cell is â€œholisticâ€ in nature.
#1 (Upward) Are the people being directed into the presence of God?
#2 (Inward) Are the people experiencing community and serving one another.
#3 (Outward) Is the cell actively praying for and reaching out to the lost?
#4 (Forward) Are people being discipled and leaders being raised toward the next multiplication?
Next we made sure every cell leader was coached. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of a cell system. Everyone needs to be cared for, especially your cell leaders. Beyond this, one of the best decisions we made during this initial phase was to make our mixed (family) cells to be the “bread and butter” type cells we focused on starting. We didn’t want to start specialized cells until we had the basic systems in place. So we said no to many requests about starting specialized cells and directed people to first participate in a mixed cell.
Now with 25 cells we are open to planting specialized cells, like recovery cells, women’s cells, college cells, single mom’s cells as well as forming networks. We now have a men’s network. The key is train your leaders well and build a base of “bread and butter” type cells then God will begin to call different people to plant more specialized cells. But the common denominator is that all these cells are holistic in nature, there is a common training system and coaching structure in place.
This approach was very helpful in our startup phase and the first few years of our transition.
Comments? Questions? What has been your experience as far as types of cells in your system?