1 Thess 5:11 â€œTherefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doingâ€.
From the beginning I have called the tool I give the cell leaders to use their weekly gatherings, the cell edification sheet. Iâ€™ve done that in part to remind the leader that the purpose of the gathering is to experience Christ in the midst and to encourage one another ministry to flow as each member becomes a conduit of gifts of the Spirit. I also prefer this term because the purpose of the Word time in the gathering is not Bible study but application of the Bible.
When I came to the church the pastor was excited about the fact that I was going to write all the edification sheets based on his weekly message themes. This would provide continuity between what we were hearing on Sunday and what we were discussing and applying during the week. We did this for my first year and really liked it. The only challenge of this was getting the message topic early enough in the week so I could have adequate time to pray through and prepare good application questions.
The second year we took all our cells through our equipping track during the Word time in cell. This got many people through our five book equipping series at the time. I wrote edification sheets to apply what we were learning from the chapters each week. Although this was a great way to introduce many people to our equipping track books, it quickly became a problem as new people came in and we were now in later books.
This past year we chose Books of the Bible like Ephesians, James and Philippians and I wrote the edifications sheets based on passages from these Books with an application focus. This has been a good experience as people are in the Word and are going through it in a systematic way. The benefit here was that I could work ahead and not have to wait for message topics and could get ahead so that I could hand out a month worth of edification sheets at our monthly cell leader meetings.
So during my three years here all our groups have used the same edification sheets in their cell gatherings regardless of the topic. We have now come full circle and plan to start matching the message topics again in September. This is our favorite approach because of the continuity of Sunday message to weekday application. We donâ€™t want to be â€œhearers onlyâ€ but â€œdoers of the Wordâ€ as well.
Comments? Questions? Do your cell groups use a common tool or do they all use something different?