The Dangers of Following One Model

joel

by Joel Comiskey

The cell church world has been rocked negatively with those promoting their own models. An example is the International Charismatic Mission in Bogota, Columbia, which exploded with growth in the 1990s and became a worldwide sensation. I wrote about their church in my book entitled Groups of Twelve: A New Way to Mobilize Leaders and Multiply Groups in Your Church.

This church became effective by following certain principles, rather than a particular number. Sadly, ICM fell into the trap of asking everyone to follow their entire model, rather than principles that could be adapted and adjusted according to context. They began to promote their particular model as being the only anointed one. They asked people to adopt their model in its entirety instead of adapting. Many pastors tried to adopt the model entirely, but very few succeeded. I know several churches that turned off entirely to the cell church movement after “the model” didn’t work.

The cell church movement has learned through experience that we need to work together, sharing principles, and not allowing one model to dominate. We’ve learned to adapt principles rather than adopting a particular model. We’ve realized the importance of moving together on biblical values and time-tested principles with a healthy dose of humility and generosity.

Comments?

Joel

Korean translation: http://cafe.naver.com/ncdcell/1249

Portuguese translation: http://www.joelcomiskeygroup.com/portuguese/2011/joelSep11.html

Spanish translation:

Los peligros de seguir un modelo

por Joel Comiskey

El mundo de la iglesia celular se ha visto sacudido negativamente con los que promueven sus propios modelos. Un ejemplo es la Misión Carismática Internacional en Bogotá, Colombia, que explotó con un crecimiento en la década de 1990 y se convirtió en una sensación mundial. Escrib acerca de su iglesia en mi libro Grupos de Doce: Una nueva forma de movilizar a los lderes y multiplicar grupos de la Iglesia.

Esta iglesia se hizo efectiva, siguiendo ciertos principios, en lugar de un número determinado. Lamentablemente, ICM cayó en la trampa de pedir a todos a seguir su modelo completo, en lugar de seguir principios que podran ser adaptados y ajustados de acuerdo al contexto. Comenzaron a promover su modelo en particular y de cómo ser el único ungido. Se le pidió a la gente que se adoptaran este modelo en su totalidad en lugar de adaptarse. Muchos pastores trataron de adoptar el modelo completo, pero lograron muy poco. Sé que varias iglesias se apagaron por completo al movimiento de la iglesia celular después de que este “modelo” no funciono.

El movimiento de la iglesia celular ha aprendido por la experiencia que tenemos de trabajar juntos, compartiendo principios, y no permitir que haya un modelo de dominación. Hemos aprendido a adaptar los principios en lugar de adoptar un modelo en particular. Nos hemos dado cuenta de la importancia de avanzar juntos en los valores y principios bblicos, el tiempo probara estos principios con una buena dosis de humildad y generosidad.

¿Comentarios?

Joel

5 thoughts on “The Dangers of Following One Model

  • I am relatively new to the blog, and I am guessing that this will be addressed specifically, and shortly…

    I agree with what you write above about the success of cell ministry being the effective application of principles, not a specific model. So, while things are likely to look similar, they probably should not look the same, certainly from nation to nation, but even from say, Atlanta to Pittsburgh.

    So, this begs the question, as many of the posts regarding “model”, what are the principles that make a cell group the place where someone is most likely to allow Jesus to transform their life?

    Sincerely,
    joseph

  • Totalmente de acuerdo, querido Joel.
    Los grandes hombres de Dios, como Dr. Cho o Mario Vega, tiene una característica en común a parte de un mismo modelo, esa característica es que no han hecho negocio con lo que Dios les ha dado, sino que lo han entregado al mundo gratuitamente. “Los que quieren dar al mundo lo que les ha sido dado, entregan principios y valores, pero los que quieren hacer negocio con lo que se les ha dado, entregan modelos”.

  • Thanks, Angel, for pointing out the key characteristic of the great cell church leaders: generosity and a sense of serving others!! (rather than controlling). Joseph, we’ll be covering the main principles in our next blog. The big five principles, I noticed were:
    1. Prayer
    2. Senior pastor giving the vision and direction to cell ministry (and personal involvement)
    3. Cells as the base of the church
    4. Clear definition of a cell (the cell as the church)

  • Great write-up Joel. I think a key word here is “relevance.” If you take any ministry model as a cookie-cutter for your church it won’t be as relevant as it needs to be for YOUR church. Taking principles and praying for wisdom on how to adapt them to your own church will make the ministry program “relevant” to your people.

  • En efecto,los principios son universales,los modelos son mas locales.Esto es una gran verdad.La exigencia de imponer un modelo y presentarlo como ungido es un error tanto teológico como estratégico,que acarrea mas problemas que los que soluciona.Es cierto,el asunto no es “adoptar”sino “adaptar” como bien dice Joel Comiskey.

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