by Joel Comiskey
People ask me, Joel, why are you so interested in cell groups. I’m excited about their potential for making disciples that make other disciples. Cells are leader breeders as Eddie Gibbs used to say. They are the perfect environment to produce new leaders. Yet, it must move to the realm of church planting and beyond if cell ministry is going to see it’s full potential. Reproduction is at the heart of the cell church movement. This reproduction comes at the level of cell leader but it must also move into the realm of church planting.
A person who has led a cell, multiplied it, and coached the daughter-cell leader(s) has completed the core basics of cell church planting. Such a person is a prime candidate for future church plantingâ€”anywhere in the world.
Undoubtedly, this same person will seek out biblical education and grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Fruitfulness on the cell level builds confidence for future church planting and allows the candidate to then make it happen.
Cell churches don’t require a huge budget, a large plot of land, modern buildings, or super-talented pastors. The cell strategy uses the houses of people all over the city as the primary meeting locations. Instead of laboring to get people out of their houses once a week for an hour-long service, it seeks to utilize those same houses to penetrate an entire city and nation.
Last week I ministered at Bethel International Church in Newark New Jersey. This church started as a single cell in 2001 and has now planted approximately fifteen churches worldwide. As I spoke to the 800 cell leaders present at the conference, I challenged each one of them to consider the possibility of planting a church in North America or another country. I told them that if they could multiply their current cell group and then supervize the new leader, they could eventually become church planters in another context. “After all,” I told them, “church planters often begin with a single cell, multiply it, care for the leaders, and eventually start celebration services when enough cells exist.”
I believe that the Lord of the harvest is looking to raise up more church planting pastors and missionaries today. Cell church ministry not only offers an exciting platform to raise up cell leaders but also church planting pastors and missionaries.