It is my recommendation that pastors and/or cell champions make the extra effort necessary to contact a cell leader when they become aware of important events in a cell memberâ€™s life. This may be a birthday or anniversary event, business opening, family celebration or a distress call.
For example, due to a cell memberâ€™s emergency hospital visit, the church office may receive notification from the hospital staff or chaplain. Immediate contact with a cell leader may be difficult due to their other responsibilities (work, school, etc) but the effort must be made to allow this leader to shepherd their cell member in distress. If the leader is unavailable to respond, then we must encourage them to contact another cell member who CAN respond to the need right away. These efforts are often bypassed due to a mindset prevalent from a previous program-driven paradigm that assumes the pastoral staff is paid to be available for these needs.
Letâ€™s be honest; as long as paid staff are assumed to be the first responder to all needs, the cells will not learn to bear one anotherâ€™s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. This does not prevent staff from responding along with the cell leader or cell member, it simply moves the shepherding care to the cell. Bonding will be deep when cell members share traumatic moments as well as joyful events together while building community that endures.