by Steve Cordle
Michael Sove’s list of ways to connect the cell to celebration was outstanding and comprehensive. (If you didn’t see it yet, be sure to check it out)
One other way to connect cell and celebration is to make the weekend sermon the basis for the group curriculum.
Each week we distribute (via email and paper copies available at the worship services) a group guide that includes the “5 W’s” of welcome, worship, witness, word and works. The “Word” section consists of questions based on the text and content of the sermon. There are two major benefits to this approach.
1. The cell and celebration are clearly connected. In our experience, it is not hard for those who did not attend the worship service to participate meaningfully in the group discussion. (We always read the text in group and write the questions to assure that) At the same time, it provides a subtle nudge to get involved in the celebration component of the church.
2. The group material emphasizes application of the sermon’s main points, which promotes true life-change and a culture of acting on the Word.
In case you are wondering, for years I wrote the group guide myself. It didn’t take long, since I had just written the sermon the and it created an opportunity to use some material which couldn’t fit in the sermon. Today I send my sermon to a staff person who writes the group guide.