I’ve done it both ways! I planted a church with cells (called “Little Platoons”) and I’m currently Cell Pastor in a church of cells. I prefer the church of cells. Here are some of the benefits I’ve found in our cell-based system.
#1 Celebration and cell are considered equally important and feed each other. People get a sense of the transcendence and immanence of God through large group and cell group participation.
#2 Everyone ministers to someone and no one ministers to more than ten. Appropriate spans of care allow all to be ministered to well.
#3 All our cells throw monthly outreach events and practice body life evangelism. You have as many evangelism nets as you have cells.
#4 All our cells apply the same passage or message topic each week and this allows continuity and brings great unity. We’re on a common path together.
#5 Many more mentor’s available as discipleship is carried out through cell relationships.
#6 It allows for more people to use their gifts in both celebration and cell. Many times we mobilize cells to serve at all church events.
#7 The cells expand the mission base of the church. All our cells have adopted an International pastor as well as have a local mission focus.
After twenty one years in pastoral ministry I believe the cell-based system is the best delivery system for living out my job description found in Eph. 4:11-12 (NCV) “And Christ gave gifts to peopleâ€”he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.”