At a recent lunch gathering a pastor friend of mine asked how he could coordinate all the various ministry groups in his church without endless meetings and many staff. As we spoke he realized that we didnâ€™t have committees for segmented ministries like evangelism, pastoral care, or fellowship because we incorporated all of those into the small group structure. With a wistful envy he said, â€You are training all of your people in all these areas.â€
Recently a lay leader of a good evangelical church invited me to breakfast to discuss how to stimulate evangelism in their congregation. He spoke of his passion and experience in relational evangelism, but now in his new position he was looking for ideas on how to stimulate evangelism in the whole church.
I told him that if the church had dozens more like him who were sharing Christ and winning people to Jesus, that would be his answer. As he shared that on a quarterly basis, he called together 16 people who shared his passion so that he could encourage and equip them. As he spoke it became clear that the simplest answer was to meet weekly instead of quarterly with those folks. That way he could help them with their spiritual fire, motivation, encouragement and more. Discipleship is not segmented, itâ€™s all part of the whole, and a holistic cell group is the best way to develop disciples.
With an effective cell ministry, the church is naturally structured for discipleship, evangelism, leadership development and simplicity.