Pastors may find this aspect of cell ministry quite pressing on their minds maybe even to the point of awkwardness or condemnation. We rarely have relationships outside the context of the church family. As a matter of course the majority of our waking moments are spent between maintaining relationship with God and the people we are leading. Where can we find additional time to develop a relationship with someone outside the church?
We reason that it may be possible to multi-task this assignment while doing something else; Golf course? A bus stop? Passerby? Even during a funeral or memorial service there might be a connection, right?
OIKOS is the key here. Look inside the circle of influence ALREADY in place. Not the wide body of congregation members, but the narrow field of individuals with whom we presently interact on a weekly basis. Re-read Acts 10:24 and see how Cornelius gathered his family and close friends to hear Peter. Who would you be inviting, personally, to hear Peter? Go ahead, list their names on a paper or file on your computer screen and ask yourself â€œAre any of these people unsaved?â€ â€œDo I have enough primary relationship to move to another level?â€ Pinpoint one to begin praying for and then watch for God to open the moment into which you can take the next step of friendship. See them as a person, not something to be conquered or a number for a goal sheet. Learn how to do this and model it for those in your cell group.
Cell members have the advantage here. Their work relationships and neighborhood exchanges provide a larger group of pre-saved people to choose from, so always work through the cell membersâ€™ oikos to reach your community. After all, it is a part of the cell strategy.