The Heartbeat of a Cell Church

By Michael Sove

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)  Jesus had a single-minded focus and knew His purpose.   The church needs to have this same single-minded focus and purpose for existence.  Evangelism is at the heart of a cell church’s focus and purpose.

The short definition I use to define a cell church is as follows.  A cell church is “a church that has placed evangelistic small groups at the core of its ministry.”  Evangelism is the church’s answer to the marching orders given in the “Great Commission” to go make disciples.

One of my favorite definitions of a cell group is as follows:  “A cell is a group of four to fifteen people who meet weekly outside the church building, for the purpose of evangelism, community, and discipleship, with the goal of multiplication.”  Evangelism is the first purpose for which the cell exists.

The beauty of the cell church strategy is that it is a “Two-Winged” strategy.  Evangelism can take place both in the large group wing where all the cells gather together, as well as the small group wing, where cells penetrate the neighborhoods in which we live.

If we are to live out these definitions as a church as well as a cell group, then evangelism needs to be our heartbeat as well.   We need to ask the Lord daily to break our hearts for what breaks His.  What does your heart beat fast for?


2 thoughts on “The Heartbeat of a Cell Church

  • I would not characterize a healthy cell church as being comprised of evangelistic groups at its core nearly as much as I would characterize it as being filled with missional believers who value cell life. When the members are living out their mission, they see the benefit of community in a group and how they can be far more productive in making lordship-level disciples (not just converts through evangelism).

    Some might view this as semantics, but I do not. The reason so many western churches have failed at cell group transition is for this very reason. They attempt to launch groups of non-missional individuals and they tell them to be evangelistic, disciple the new believers, and set a goal for multiplication because “it’s the right thing to do and what we’re doing as a church now.”

    My heart beats fast for people coming to Christ through relational evangelism or net fishing. This requires a high level of commitment to Christ, other members of the group, and a level of personal lordship that turns the person away from self-centeredness toward missional values and missional living.

  • Thanks for the clarification and I agree with you. I assumed missional believers’ would comprise those healthy, holistic groups. That is the only way it works.

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