Celebration and cells are the two wings that the cell church uses to soar as God intended it to soar. I like the quote by J.I. Packer who writes: â€œ. . . I go around telling people that if they’re not with the whole congregation on Sunday, and in the small group somewhere during the week, their Christian lives are unbalanced.â€
Because both the celebration and cell work together and are equally important we do all we can to make connection between the two. Everything you do at celebration should support the cell and everything you do at cell should support the celebration. People will flow in both directions as well. Some will come to cell and then flow toward celebration and others will come to celebration and flow toward cell. â€œItâ€™s a two way street.â€
Here are some of the ways we connect cell to celebration:
- Cell Spots â€“ We will often use video testimonies from people in our life groups during our celebration services. We want people to see that lives are being changed and exciting things are happening in our Life Groups.
- Cell Group Tags â€“ Everyone who is in a cell wears a tag, which says â€œAsk me about Neighborhood Life.â€ We have three services and we want people to be able to see potential people to connect with before and after services who are not in a cell.
- Invitation Before Final Prayer â€“ Before I close the service in prayer I invite people to our cells by drawing attention to the tag Iâ€™m wearing and invite them to connect to one of our cells by finding someone with a tag or coming out to our cell booth for further information.
- Cell Booth or Rack on Wall â€“ We have a rack on the wall, which is very visible as you move toward the worship center that holds cards for all our cell groups. These have the basic meeting information as well as a photo of the cell leaders. This is also the place where cell agendas and other information related to cells can be picked up.
- â€œMeetersâ€ â€“ We work real hard at connecting new guests to cell members. We have found that face to face contact is really important in trying to connect people to cells. If they just pick up a list or receive a phone call from a stranger they are less likely to go to cell quickly. So after our staff meeting on Tuesday we contact cell â€œmeetersâ€ who will be available after a service to meet new guests from previous weeks weâ€™ve potentially targeted for them. As cell pastor I play match maker here and it really works. No guarantee theyâ€™ll come to cell but it begins to build a potential relationship.
- Connection Week â€“ Every month the first Sunday through the following Saturday is called â€œConnection Week.â€ All our cells hold events or throw parties with the intention of inviting unconnected guests as well as unchurched friends. We are able to use that as another way to invite people to connect. I have stories of people who first came to a party and later got saved and are now leading cells. This monthly â€œConnection Weekâ€ is a big momentum builder. Before you ask, our cells meet three weeks for normal cell gatherings and one week for parties or events. Usually the parties or events are held on the weekend and not the normal cell night as guests are more likely to come to a weekend event.
- Sermon Illustrations â€“ If you are the one preaching on Sunday do all you can whenever you can to talk cell values and illustrate from your cell experiences. You have the chance every week to make a connection between your message topic and some aspect of cell life.
- Invite Cards â€“ Not only do we have good information in a very visible spot for people to pick up in relation to interest in cell groups and also attempt to match potential people, but all cell leaders have invite cards (business cards) that they pass out to their cell members so that their cell members can give invites both in the celebration and outside the building.
- Music & Message Applicationâ€“ This doesnâ€™t have to do with people but it is a powerful way to connect celebration and cell. We have provided acoustic versions of our celebration music to all our cell groups. This works both ways to enhance worship. The songs that people are familiar with during worship are now recognized in cell and helps with cell worship. Then when they come to celebration they are very familiar with the songs and are able to enter into worship. Obviously if you can apply in cell what you are hearing on Sunday, this goes a long way in connecting these two aspects. We donâ€™t always apply the Sunday messages but in certain series we do and it enhances connection between what is happening in celebration and cell.
These are just a few of the ways to make a connection between the two wings of the church. Do whatever you can to support the cell while at celebration services and whatever you can at celebration services to support cells. â€œItâ€™s a two way street.â€
What other ideas do you have and what have you tried to connect the two?