by Steve Cordle
One sure-fire way to drain the life out of your cell group ministry is to make it one of dozens of ministry options. To be central, cells cannot have lots of competition. That said, at our church we still need other ministries to function: childrenâ€™s ministry during worship, worship teams, missions activity, etc. We have sought to keep groups at the center in a few ways:
a) The slogan â€œif ever in doubt, group always winsâ€ That is, we tell people that if they have conflicting time demands from the church, always choose group.
b) Avoid competition: we do our equipping on Sunday mornings so we donâ€™t take people away from groups. We donâ€™t schedule much in the mid-week so as to avoid distractions from the group.
c) Make other events feeders to group: our new members class is designed to bridge people to groups, as are many other events.
d) Other ministry leaders encourage group participation. For example, the worship pastor asks those auditioning which group they are part of, and helps them to connect if they are not. The same holds true for childrenâ€™s ministry and others. While thereâ€™s no rule, the expectations are clear.
If cells are the foundation of the church, those in leadership must be part of the foundation to be effective.