In the Trenches

by Jeff Tunnell
If you have been following this blog for a while you’ll recognize Rob Hastings as our transitioning Pastor for Big Bear Christian Center.  Rob has been with us now for over a year and is preparing to take the Lead Pastor/Senior Pastor role in 2012.  He is my guest blogger today, sharing some recent insights gained through reading, experience and coaching.  Welcome Rob Hastings:

I am writing as one in the trenches with all of you who are leading a cell, trying to wrap our hands, mind, and heart around cell ministry.  Recently, I have been trying to understand what community is, and how we can experience it in our cells.  As I look around our church family, I see that there are numerous close relationships forged; however, they are not all in the same cell group.  Even though we are all close in our cell, some of us have closer relationships with people outside of our cell, in others groups.  Am I trying to “force” something to happen in my cell that is already happening naturally within the larger community of believers who attend Big Bear Christian Center?  I am beginning to see that perhaps I am not supposed to make community happen only in my group, but make sure that everyone in my group is living with other believer’s  in close relationship.  I have come to realize that I cannot “facilitate” community within our hour and a half meeting.  I pray that people would begin to meet together outside the meeting, encourage it, attempt to create community during our Lighthouse meeting, yet I keep coming up short.  Is it that I am misusing our weekly time together?

A few years ago, I had a good friend who was a doctor.  We both played music and had many things to talk about, but when I went to see him in his clinic, he got down to business.  It wasn’t time to “fellowship” it was time to assess my health, he had to push past my desire to chat, and ask the pertinent questions.  Why are you here today Rob?  What seems to be ailing you today?  He would focus his questions until he could help me attain better health.  Conversations about guitar playing would be held at another time in the week, not during my appointment time.  Should our cell meeting be more like this, more structured and focused?  Should we be getting “down to business” more regularly?  Helping, challenging those in our groups to grow and to be focused on the mandates of Christ, which is to preach the gospel and make disciples?  Should our group times be more focused and directed?  What are your thoughts and insights?

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