Integration in the Cell Church

joelby Joel Comiskey

Do cell churches have additional ministries, such as ushering, missions, worship, etc.? The Elim Church, for example, has a powerful radio and TV ministry that blankets the country. The same could be said of other cell churches around the world.

The difference between ministries in cell churches and conventional churches can be summed up by the word “integration.”

Integration means that the starting point for church involvement is participation in a cell group. And isn’t this the starting place of the New Testament, since all of the gift passages are written to house churches? In a cell church, a person is first encourged to discover his or her spiritual gift in the intimate atmosphere of the cell. The person who is exercising a gift of teaching in the cell, for example, might be encouraged to teach in the training track. A person who has a clear gift of helps or service might be encouraged to minister as an usher.

In other words, cell churches fill ministry spots with those who are already involved in cell groups. The Elim Church is even more radical in this regard. They ask that a person is first leading a cell group (or supervising cell groups) before involvement in a church ministry. Elim looks at ministry participation as a privilege and wants to make sure the person is first fully integrated in the cell vision.

In the conventional church, on the other hand, small groups are just one ministry among many. A person might be involved as an usher, another in the worship group. Some, on the other hand, might choose the small group ministry. In the conventional church, cells are always competing for attention among the various ministry options.

A cell church that is fully integrated doesn’t have to worry about competition among minsitries since active cell participation is a foundational prerequisite for all other ministry involvement. Again, the key word is integration.

What are your thoughts on integration? What has been your experience?


2 thoughts on “Integration in the Cell Church

  • We have seen the wisdom of integration. We have not always done that because we wanted to be fair with the members that were there before the transitioned to the cell model. So some of them have ministry (very few) that are not involved in cells, but they are quite rare.

  • Richard, INTEGRATION is the goal or the ideal, but it can break down in practice because it’s not wise for a church to POLICE others into integration. Integration mainly takes place via vision and promotion. And some people might STOP attending a cell for whatever reason. You also mentioned the TRANSITIONING question.

    I think the main thing we’re talking about here is official church ministries that require effort and time. If a person is willing to put time into an official church ministry but is not willing to put the same effort into attending a cell, the person has not yet caught the cell vision.

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