Children Cells

mario

by Mario Vega

When we first started our cell work, we really weren’t focused on ministry to children. We simply needed someone to take of the children, while the adult cell gathered together. The children were normally taken to another area of the host house where somebody entertained the children. Usually, the responsibility was delegated to another child barely older than the rest of the children present. We basically just hoped that the person responsible would “make it happen.” We left the children “at the mercy” of this untrained volunteer.

Years later I started to reflect on this serious lapse in our cell system. I realized that children were people with real needs, and it was not possible to continue just entertaining them for an hour. Without knowing that other cell churches practiced cells for children, I dedicated myself to design a more effective cell model for children. I did not know I was re-inventing the wheel.

Once God gave me an initial plan, I gathered the leaders together in a training conference on children’s cells that lasted a couple weeks. I defined the content we wanted to see in each children’s cell group as well as the requirements for leaders. I then taught the first week’s training.

We laid down the following components:

  • Children’s cell leaders must be called.
  • Children’s cell leaders need to receive training. We proceeded to lay out the specific training steps.
  • Children’s cell leaders should receive the cell lessons. We then wrote out the cell lessons for children’s cells which correspond to the social reality of our Salvadoran culture.

We started the children’s work with these components and saw amazing fruit. Today, thanks to the support of the brothers and sisters, we are seeing a noticeable difference in our children’s ministry.

At Elim we take our children’s work seriously and, in fact, it takes three times longer to train a children’s cell leader than to train an adult cell leader!

As I look back years later, I realize that other cell churches have also developed wonderful ministry for children through the cell system. I am grateful that God is stirring his worldwide church to take seriously the needs of children, prioritize their evangelism, and to make clear steps to disciple them through the cell structure.

Comments?

Mario

Korean blog (click here)

Spanish blog:

Las células infantiles

Cuando iniciamos nuestro trabajo celular la atención de los niños surgió como algo marginal: haba necesidad de cuidarlos mientras los adultos asistan a la célula. Se les llevaba a otra sección de la casa anfitriona y alguien entretena a los niños. Normalmente, la responsabilidad se delegaba a otro niño apenas un poco mayor que los demás niños y se le dejaba “a la gracia de Dios”.

Años después me puse a reflexionar que ese era un grave error de nuestro sistema. Los niños eran personas con necesidades reales y no era posible que continuáramos tan solo distrayéndolos por una hora. Sin saber que otras iglesias celulares tenan ya el modelo de células infantiles me dediqué a diseñar una forma de atención más efectiva para nuestros niños. No saba que estaba inventando la rueda.

Al tener una base inicial convoqué a una conferencia de varias semanas de capacitación de lderes de células infantiles. Defin el perfil que deseábamos de un lder y de manera personal impart el primer curso de capacitación.

Los componente básicos eran: tener lderes con una verdadera vocación, crear un entrenamiento especfico para lderes de células infantiles, escribir una gua de lecciones especfica para niños, responder a la realidad social que viven los niños salvadoreños.

De esa manera comenzamos el trabajo y sus frutos rápidamente se comenzaron a cosechar. En la actualidad y gracias al apoyo de otros hermanos y hermanas el trabajo con los niños es notablemente diferente. De hecho, para ser un lder de célula infantil en Elim toma tres veces más tiempo de entrenamiento que ser lder de célula de adultos.

Años después, comencé a enterarme que lo que yo crea era una particularidad nuestra, era un camino ya bastante andado por otras iglesias celulares. Pero, es interesante como la necesidad de presentar el evangelio de manera responsable a los niños nos llevó a resultados bastante parecidos a los esfuerzos de otros cristianos en el planeta.

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