by Joel Comiskey
I remember a conversation with a cell leader at a church I was coaching in southern California. He was wrestling with guilt over not being able to spend individual time with members of his cell group apart from the actual cell meeting and celebration time. This leader had a fulltime job and a young family. As we talked, I reminded him that he should not feel like he needs to develop all of the relationships in the group. I said to him, “Your cell members are equally responsible to develop relationships. In fact, perhaps more so, because they don’t have the additional job of leading, like you do.”
But how do you get members to share the relational load? One way is to encourage cell members to meet together during the week in gender specific sub groups for mutual encouragement, like Neil Cole teaches in his book, Cultivating a Life for God. Cole recommends that these relational sub-groups hold each other accountable by using questions patterned after John Wesley’s 18th Century bands:
- What is the condition of your soul?
- What sin do you need to confess?
- What have you held back from God that you need to surrender?
- Is there anything that has dampened your zeal for Christ?
- Who have you talked with about Christ this week? (For a complete list of Wesley’s questions, go here)
Other ideas to stimulate interaction among cell members include:
- Rotating from house to house to get to know each other better
- Developing a prayer chain among members
- Exchanging phone numbers, emails, facebook, etc.
- Hanging out together during the celebration service
- Encouraging gathering together for sports, picnics, etc.
Perhaps you have some additional ideas? The key is to share the relational load among cell members.