Equipping Believers to Become Leaders

marioby Mario Vega

Our training course for new leaders begins with the idea that every Christian can be a cell leader. Consequently, our equipping track leads new converts from new birth to leadership.

Since every day there are new converts, it is necessary to start a new training course each week. This means that every week there are at least twenty-six different levels of the course being offered simultaneously (e.g., one for each one of the 26 lessons that covers the entire course). To facilitate everything, the training course takes place on Sundays.

Since we don’t have sufficient classrooms in our church building, we implement the training in homes. In this way, the trainees don’t have to drive to church. Rather, they are trained in the neighborhoods in which they live.

Zone pastors teach the courses. As the training courses multiply, the zone pastors rely on the coaches (supervisors) to help in the task of training new leaders. Some of our Pastors combine courses that are at the same advanced level in order to give more uniformity to the training, but not everyone does it this way. Although the material is the same, each Pastor has the flexiblity to share it in a way that fits in with the particularities of the particular geographical area.



Translation in Spanish:

La Ruta del Lder en marcha.

Nuestro curso de entrenamiento para nuevos lderes parte del deseo de convertir a cada cristiano en un lder de célula. Consecuentemente, nuestra Ruta del Lder es un programa de formación que lleva a los nuevos conversos desde su nuevo nacimiento hasta el liderazgo.

Dado que cada da hay nuevas personas que creen, es necesario iniciar un nuevo curso de entrenamiento cada semana. Esto significa que cada semana existen no menos de 26 diferentes niveles del curso que se están impartiendo simultáneamente. Uno por cada una de las 26 lecciones que comprende el curso completo. A fin de facilitar las cosas, el curso de entrenamiento se imparte los das domingos.

Dado que en el local de nuestra iglesia no tenemos aulas para la enseñanza, el curso se imparte en casas de hermanos. Los candidatos no tienen que viajar hasta la iglesia. Se entrenan en su mismo vecindario.

El entrenamiento es impartido por los Pastores de Zona. Cuando los cursos se multiplican los Pastores también se apoyan en Supervisores que les ayudan en la tarea de entrenar los nuevos lderes. Algunos de nuestros Pastores deciden reunir los grupos que llevan el mismo nivel, ya avanzado, con el propósito de dar mayor uniformidad al entrenamiento. Pero, no todos lo hacen igual. Aunque el material es único, existe la flexibilidad para que cada Pastor pueda impartirlo de manera que llene las particularidades de su zona y de su gente.

Each One Teach One

Jeff Tunnell

I sat in a class of 7 people this morning covering “Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery”. Conducted by Loma Linda University and taught by Janelle Martin, MS RCEP, it is a one hour class, using PowerPoint presentations and the accompanying handouts. This is week Two of Twelve weeks and my interest level is peaked as I attend with my close friend Joe who is recovering from a recent Bypass surgery.

The class method is very effective for this group as they interact with laughter, questions and mutual affirmation of the information given.  All of those here, except me, have been through a heart surgery recently and are learning about what happened to them after the fact.  Attention levels are HIGH and camaraderie is obvious in the verbal support exchanged between attendees.

Thinking about training and equipping new cell leaders certainly comes to mind in this setting.  It reminds me that if I have a handful of people who are at the same level in equipping need, I can gather them in a class setting to teach the material associated with that step.  I, or another leader, can present the instructional component of information to everyone at the same time and foster a team spirit using dialogue among the learners.  These disciples have a direct relationship to the class content, and one another, which leads to overflowing encouragement.

However, I don’t always have enough for a class and often those in the equipping track are not at the same level.  If I wait for a batch to accumulate, many stall out and loose interest in leadership development.  Consequently, we conduct nearly our entire training track using a one-on-one method.  The cell leader bears the responsibility for each cell member’s progress through the training.  They may delegate the weekly process to a cell member and come alongside these two to monitor successful completion.  Flexibility in when to meet each week is extended to the ones engaged in the equipping while the cell leader holds them accountable to finish the equipping step in an acceptable time frame.

Desiring consistency in discipleship, we use only ONE training track until each disciple is equipped to lead their own cell, whether they do or not.  We will use different methods along the way, if necessary, to accomplish equipping, but never have more than one training series.  Presently we are utilizing Joel Comiskey’s 5-book series along with the new audio book components.  It brings resolve and clarity to our goal of training future leaders.

One Equipping Track; Many Ways to Teach It

JOELby Joel Comiskey

I remember when we first started using our training track (equipping series) in Ecuador. We tried to train the Ecuadorians one-on-one. We thought that was the “right way” to do it. We soon discovered that it wasn’t natural for a group-oriented culture like Ecuador to readily embrace the one-on-one training method. When we started training the Ecuadorians in a group settting, they came alive and were much more teachable.

Am I against one-on-one? No, I think it’s fabulous. What I am saying is that we need to be flexible with regard to how we train people. After all, didn’t Jesus train His disciples in a group setting? Yes, He did focus on Peter, James, and John, but for the most part he trained them together. Here’s what I believe:

Have One Training Track but Many Ways to Teach the One Training Track

I believe a church needs to determine the one equipping process that the entire church will follows, from the new believer (or non-Christian) to leading a cell and beyond. Yet, I also believe a church should exercise great flexibility on how to teach the equipping. Some examples are:

  • Sunday school hour. Some churches use the adult Sunday school to teach the different training manuals.
  • Before or after the cell group. One option is to ask trainees to come 45 minutes before the cell starts or to stay awhile after the cell to complete one or two lessons.
  • Retreat setting. It’s possible to teach one entire equipping book on a Saturday or during a special retreat.

I’ve trained people one-on-one, one-on-two/three/four, a small group setting, or in a large group setting, such as a retreat.

An importnat goal of the cell church is to make sure everyone enters and completes the training. To make this happen, we need to be flexible and offer lots of options to make sure everyone is trained.

What are your thoughts?


Training the Army

By Steve Cordle

When my boys turned 16, they each eagerly started the process of learning to drive. That meant they visited the Department of Motor Vehicles to take the written driver’s test. They had to demonstrate their knowledge of the manual of the rules of the road. They studied the book and each one passed on their first attempt at the test. They were happy, but they were not yet licensed. They were educated about driving, but they were not yet equipped to drive. To obtain their license, they had to demonstrate to the state trooper that they could translate their knowledge of the manual into control of the car.

In order to release world-changing disciples and group leaders, churches must do more than educate their members with biblical knowledge. Rather, they must equip them in translating that knowledge into obedience to Jesus and ministry to others. Yes, biblical knowledge is important, it is just not enough.

The Equipping Track of a cell church differs from a Sunday School class or a lecture Bible Study in that it is designed with an end in mind: a reproducing leader. Do you have a clear understanding of what knowledge and skills are required for a person to disciple others through leading a group? Do you have a way to develop people in those skills in a step-by-step manner? An Equipping Track should involve not only instruction from a book, but experience in ministry under the coaching of another practitioner. When people realize that your church is designed to equip and release them into ministry, they become excited partners in ministry; the audience becomes an army.



Trained for What?

By Michael Sove

Leading a cell is far more than opening your home or showing up at someone else’s and facilitating a lesson.  Leading a cell is first of all a calling and requires great intimacy with God.  This is not something learned in a classroom but in those day-to-day encounters with the living God.  This is where all training starts.  The most important factor in leadership training is a leader’s devotional life:  His or her time spent worshiping God, listening to God and seeking to be filled day by day by the Holy Spirit.  If a leader is doing this faithfully, they will be building a strong foundation from which all leadership skills will be built upon.

Beyond a close relationship with God, leading a cell utilizes many other skills as well.  People skills, administrative skills, leadership skills.  This requires specific training that will help the leader facilitate life within the cell as well as practice those habits outside the cell that will lead to growth and cell multiplication.

So a good place to begin as you seek to put cell leadership training together for your church is to identify the skills needed to facilitate movement within the cell in four dimensions.  Upward to God, inward toward one another, outward to those needing Christ and forward in making disciples and multiplying the cell.  We’ll talk more about the specifics in a later blog.

Then identify the habits and practices that the leader and their core team will do in between the gatherings and develop training around the skills that will help the cell to be a growing, healthy, and multiplying cell.  This includes habits like inviting new people weekly, contacting the regulars and praying for them daily, and how to develop a core team that shares the ministry of the cell.

So ask yourself, what skills are needed in these two realms, both in the cell and outside the cell?  Then focus your training on these skills including action steps to take to improve at each skill, and you will have a training process that prepares cell leaders for the specific tasks that cell leadership requires.

What does your training focus on?