Sincerity and Perseverance


by Mario Vega

We recently completed our last year’s evaluation of cell ministry. We had positive results in all aspects, but we didn’t reach all the goals we had set.

The whole church knows that the goals were not reached, especially those involved in the cell work. To disclose that some goals were not met, serves to reflect on what was not done or on what was done poorly.

Evaluations allow us to make mid-course corrections, to focus more, and to set new goals. But there has never been even the slightest indication that we should abandon the cell work or adopt a new strategy. On the contrary, each time we evaluate our cell ministry we are encouraged to press ahead. We resolve among ourselves to do an even better job –even in the midst of difficulties.

We can share limitations and tough evaluations without losing the inspiration to keep on persevering. There’s no reason to hide those areas that are less than deal. At the same time, we must never lose the model of the New Testament church.



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Sinceridad y perseverancia

by Mario Vega

Recientemente terminamos nuestra evaluación del trabajo celular del año pasado. Tuvimos resultados positivos en todos los aspectos, pero no alcanzamos todas las metas que nos habamos propuesto.

El no haber alcanzado las metas es algo conocido por toda la iglesia, sobre todo, por aquellos involucrados en el trabajo celular. El dar a conocer que algunas metas no fueron alcanzadas, sirve para reflexionar sobre lo que no se hizo o sobre lo que se hizo mal.

Las evaluaciones nos permiten corregir el rumbo, enfocarnos más y proponernos metas nuevas. Pero, nunca ha existido ni la mnima mención de que debamos abandonar el trabajo con células. Por el contrario, cada vez se reafirma mucho más la visión celular. En los peores momentos lo que existe es una resolución por hacer todava un mejor trabajo.

As, se comparten las limitaciones pero no se pierde la inspiración para seguir perseverando. No hay porque ocultar que las cosas no siempre son ideales, pero nunca se debe perder el modelo de la iglesia del Nuevo Testamento.

5 thoughts on “Sincerity and Perseverance

  • Mario, are your goals numeric or maturity based? Just wondering. From your blog post, I would surmise they are numeric (x number of new groups, x number of new trained leaders, x number of new believers by Dec. 2011).

    I’m of the mindset that if maturity based goals are set (x numbers of members completing the first section of the discipleship growth pathway that gives a basic level of spiritual maturity, x numbers of members completing the second section that brings them into mentoring someone else and preparing them to become a group leader and beyond, and so forth) that the numbers of groups and leaders comes along naturally as this dog wags the tail, not the other way around.

    I do know that most pastors don’t think this way because they do not have a discipleship pathway in place for their members, thus, they cannot make goals for something they don’t have.


  • “The whole church knows that the goals were not reached”

    What were the goals that you set?
    Which ones were reached and which weren’t?

  • Mario can add something here, but for a long time Elim automatically set their goals based on 100% growth. If a church had 5,000 adult cells, the automatic goal for the year was 10,000 adult cells. Each district, zone, and sector had to double every year. The problem was that the church never expected to double. Rather, pastors and leaders were placed on a list in the order of how close they came to arriving at the goal of doubling. From the reports I read, those highest on the list would often only reach 22% or 24% of their goal to double. Thus, they now ask each district to give them goals for multiplication. But they also have goals for baptism, conversion, taking people through the training, and visitation. I have a lot more info in my book called Passion and Persistence.

  • “If a church had 5,000 adult cells, the automatic goal for the year was 10,000 adult cells”

    So, you’re saying that if we assume 10/cell, the expectation is that a church of 50,000 would grow to 100,000 in a year–and that that would be sustainable? (Do the math–that’s 25 million people, in 10 years, in one church) C’mon… That’s not a goal, it’s rainbows and unicorns.

    I’m also interested to know how you respond when this doesn’t happen. Regardless of where you set the bar, some groups will fail to meet it. How do you relate to those groups (and their leaders) who fail to grow or even decline; how do you combat the almost-inevitable legalism that grows in churches in which _accomplishment_ is paramount?

    It should be noted at this point that there are plenty of churches out there who don’t seem to care at all about accomplishing anything–I agree that that’s not what we want. But that’s not the audience we’re talking about. In my large and relatively famous cell-based church, for example, a culture has developed which tends to kick to the curb those leaders that don’t perform up to the standard du jour.

    Many of these folks are good people who have stepped up when there was no one else, but who don’t have either the gifting or experience of those who set the goals. Furthermore, at least in some circles, leaders will only invest in those people who are perceived to be “doers,” because they are perceived (perhaps correctly) as being most likely to contribute to the growth goals.

    It’s not hard to see where this leads. How do we hold on to the accomplishment vision, without turning the church into a corporation? What’s your vision for a better model?

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