No Vision, No Future


by Jeff Tunnell

In my limited experience of direct involvement in the North American cell church, children’s cells have not become important.  Western independence and individualism has such a stronghold on our culture that even those who call on Jesus as Savior struggle to overcome the pervading indoctrination toward self-fulfillment.  As a result, parents who want to follow their heart in equipping their children to follow Christ, find little infrastructure in the local church to compliment their efforts at home.

When a local body of Christ faces the biblical mandate to train their children in the ways of the Lord, the struggle begins.  Attempts to recruit leaders for children’s cells fails without providing a vision for reaching the youngest for Christ.  Training the few volunteers that respond is difficult and attrition is high.  We fail backward (not fall) and begin to arrange a children’s program that can amount to childcare led by the few and the brave.

Shifting to inter-generational cells leaves much to be desired because it is awkward for the self-centered who cannot arrest their indoctrination long enough to grasp why they should suffer disruption and childlikeness in order to entertain the youngest among them.  The result is that we quickly push the children into a separate room to accommodate the adults so that we don’t lose them!!

NO VISION, no heart, no thought and certainly no attempt toward spiritual formation in the children OR the adults involved will leave us unprepared in the next generation.  On the other hand, vision with heart, thought and sincere attempts to integrate families within cells will build strong children (and adults) for the task ahead!

Have I been too harsh today?


Korean blog (click here)

Portuguese blog (click here)

Spanish blog:

Sin visión, no hay futuro

Por Jeff Tunnell

En mi limitada experiencia de la participación directa en la iglesia celular en América del Norte, las células de los niños no han llegado a ser importante. La independencia y el individualismo occidental tiene una fortaleza en nuestra cultura que incluso los que invocan a Jesús como Salvador luchan para superar el adoctrinamiento que se penetra hacia la auto-realización. Como resultado, los padres que quieren seguir a su corazón en el equipamiento de sus hijos para seguir a Cristo, encuentran poca infraestructura en la iglesia local para complementar sus esfuerzos en el hogar.

Cuando un cuerpo local de Cristo se enfrenta el mandato bblico para entrenar a sus hijos en los caminos del Señor, la lucha comienza. Los intentos de reclutar a los lderes de las células de los niños sin proporcionar una visión para alcanzar a los más jóvenes para Cristo. El entrenamiento de los pocos voluntarios que responden es difcil y la deserción es alta. Fallamos retrocediendo (no cayendo) y comenzamos a organizar un programa para niños que puede llegar a la guardera dirigida por unos pocos valientes.

El cambio a las células intergeneracionales deja mucho que desear, ya que es incómodo para el auto-centrado que no pueda detener su adoctrinamiento por un tiempo suficiente para comprender por qué debe sufrir interrupciones y filialidad con el fin de entretener a los más jóvenes entre ellos. El resultado es querápidamente empujamos a los niños en un cuarto separado para dar cabida a los adultos ¡para que no los pierdan!

No hay visión, no hay corazón, ni pensamiento y, ciertamente, no hay ningún intento hacia la formación espiritual de los niños o los adultos involucrados que no nos dejará preparados para la próxima generación. Por otro lado, la visión con el corazón, el pensamiento y el esfuerzo sincero para integrar a las familiasdentro de las células construirá niños fuertes (y adultos) ¡para la tarea que nos espera!

¿He sido demasiado duro hoy?


4 thoughts on “No Vision, No Future

  • I think you are right on brother Jeff. This is one of the hardest thing in our North American setting too, specially for us Baby Boomers.
    This is why we loose between 70-80% of our young people to the world. May God give us revival in this regard .

  • Richard, thank you for taking the moment to comment. The exodus from the church of older teenagers should be very unsettling to the body of Christ! I recall a title by Winkey Pratney “Devil Take the Youngest” discussing the issues of dealing with youth while the opportunity is still in front of us. Blessings to you.

  • Marie-France writes:

    I agree with with what you wrote. It is not uplifting but true. Unless we first recognize where we are it is difficult to make progress towards the desired state. I trust the Lord will give us the strength and the understanding to really grasp the vision and that the upcoming blogs give us insight and encouragement.


  • Marie, Thank you for your candor. I too hope to gain additional insight and encouragement from the other bloggers!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *