by Joel Comiskey
A pastor approached me in 2003 saying, “Joel, What is the essence of cell ministry? If you could boil down cell ministry to one major theme, what would it be?” I looked at him and said, “Leadership development.” Or put another way, the essence of cell ministry is making disciples who make disciples.
I will start a men’s LIFE group in a couple months. Today, I talked with Joe, a one-year old believer who received Christ in our church. He’s a FAT believer (Faithful Available and Teachable). I asked him to join me to start a men’s cell. I told Joe that I wanted to go through the training track with him to prepare him to be a disciple-maker and to lead the group in my absence.
It will be great to fellowship with Joe in the cell, but I believe God has a greater purpose for Joe. God wants Joe to be a disciple-maker. I plan to disciple Joe in the new cell, but apart from the cell, I’ll also take him through our 5-book equipping track.
Disciples need training. All cell churches have a specific way to take a person from point A (salvation) to point B (becoming a disciple-make). In my book, Leadership Explosion, I talk about this process, laying out the training principles that cell churches use to convert members into leaders.
The cell vision is based on the vision laid out in Matthew 9:36-38: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. ï»¿Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
The underlying cell vision is to fulfill Christ’s plea by raising up harvest workers to reach a lost world for Jesus. The cell church strategy does this by getting people involved in cells and then training them to make more disciples by leading cell groups and preparing new leaders.