Making Disciples through the Cell:  A Way of Life Rather Than A Program

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by Bill Mellinger

Our blog this month has had some excellent information on the Biblical approach to discipleship. A disciple is a learner and we have been seeing how the best learning takes place when people are involved in ministry, not just listening to a lecture. Jesus was constantly modeling, involving and discussing ministry with his disciples. His approach was so incredible that within just a few months of his training, the disciples were off in groups of two to preach the gospel.

Matthew 10:7-8 NIV – “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

How did they know how to do these things? They had seen Jesus do them. They had experienced his prayer support. They had already participated in similar ministry experiences. But this did not happen just with the “Twelve.” Luke 10 tells us that the seventy-two also had a successful and powerful ministry experience when they were sent out a few months later.

When I look at our present cell, I see the lady who was very uncomfortable with prayer. As she participated in the group, she learned to pray. Today she freely prays with and for people at work and with her family. I see the young man who was growing frustrated at his work, now praising God and openly loving his coworkers into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I see the two ladies who are ministering with children and God has given them a boldness and joy in serving. I see the wife of an addict comforting and encouraging the wife of a man who committed suicide.

None of these attended a “ministry” class; they learned how to minister by participation in the cell. How many classes or workshops would we have had to run to get these people prepared for ministry? Even at the end of the classroom training, how many of them would have gone out on their own to do ministry? My suspicion is that very few–if any of them–would have felt qualified and confident to serve as they are.

Don’t you marvel at the fact that the Twelve Disciples never questioned how they were going to preach, heal the sick, or cast out demons when they were sent out the first time? How did the seventy-two know what they were doing? They were not as close to Jesus as the Twelve yet they also went out in confidence. Today, it seems like too many believers in the American church are afraid to even witness to their peers because they don’t know what to say.

I have seen the changed lives and the increased confidence in ministry in our cell. What do you think? Are these examples of discipleship taking place in your cell?

Comments?

Bill

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Haciendo discpulos a través de la célula: una forma de vida más que un programa

Por Bill Mellinger

Nuestro blog en este mes ha tenido excelente información sobre el enfoque bblico del discipulado. Un discpulo es un aprendiz y hemos estado viendo como se logra el mejor aprendizaje, cuando las personas están involucradas en el ministerio, no solo escuchando una conferencia. Jesús estaba constantemente modelando, participando y discutiendo el ministerio con sus discpulos. Su enfoque era tan increble que con tan sólo unos pocos meses de su entrenamiento, los discpulos se iban en grupos de dos a predicar el evangelio.

Mateo 10:7-8 RV – “Y yendo, predicad, diciendo: El reino de los cielos se ha acercado”.

Sanad enfermos, limpiad leprosos, resucitad muertos, echad fuera demonios; de gracia recibisteis, dad de gracia”

¿Cómo ellos saban el cómo hacer estas cosas? Haban visto a Jesús hacerlas. Haban experimentado su apoyo en la oración. Ellos ya haban participado en similares experiencias ministeriales. Pero ésto no ocurrió sólo con los “Doce”. Lucas 10 nos dice que los setenta y dos también tuvieron una poderosa y exitosa experiencia, cuando se enviaron unos meses más tarde.

Cuando miro a la célula actual, veo a la señora que estaba muy incómoda con la oración y al participar en el grupo aprendió a orar. Hoy ella libremente ora con y para las personas de su trabajo y con su familia. Veo al hombre joven que estaba creciendo frustado en su trabajo, alabando a Dios y amando abiertamente a sus compañeros en una relación con Jesucristo. Veo las dos señoras que están ministrando a los niños y Dios les ha dado una audacia y alegra en el servicio. Veo a la esposa de un adicto consolando y alentando a la esposa de un hombre que se suicidó.

Ninguno de ellos asistieron a una clase de “ministerio”, ellos aprendieron participando en la célula. ¿Cuántas clases o talleres hemos tenido que impartir para llegar a preparar a estas personas para el ministerio? Incluso al final de la formación en el aula, ¿cuántos de ellos se han ido por su cuenta para hacer el ministerio? Mi sospecha es que muy pocos – si alguno de ellos – se habra sentido cualificado y con confianza para servir como son.

¿No te maravilla el hecho que nunca los Doce Discpulos preguntaron cómo iban a predicar, sanar a los enfermos, o echar fuera demonios, cuando fueron enviados la primera vez? ¿Cómo los setenta y dos saban lo que estaban haciendo? No estaban tan cerca de Jesús como los Doce, sin embargo, también salieron con confianza. Hoy en da, parece que demasiados creyentes en la iglesia americana tienen miedo de testificar incluso a sus compañeros porque no saben qué decir.

He visto las vidas cambiadas y su confianza incrementada en el ministerio celular. ¿Qué te parece? ¿Están estos ejemplos de discipulado tomando lugar en tu célula?

Bill Mellinger

2 thoughts on “Making Disciples through the Cell:  A Way of Life Rather Than A Program

  • Praise the Lord, Bill! Jesus has commanded us not only to make disciples, but actually to make “disciple-makers.” I have meditated on our Lord’s commission asking “how to make disciples or disciple-makers.” There are three supporting participles in Matthew 28:19-20 – going, baptizing, and teaching. Jesus’ “cell” was always “going.” This comes before baptizing and teaching. I have always focused on “teaching.” However, I am trying more and more to take those who are called to journey with me when I “go somewhere” to minister to the sick, teaching somewhere, or visiting people. Disciples learn by “observation” before they learn simply by “instruction” or “exhortation.” I am nowhere close to Jesus. I prefer the weekly meeting where we like to come and do some more “sitting.” I have a sense that the Lord is calling me to more “going.” What do you think?

  • I think you get it Philip. Go for it! Do more “going” and do more “sending.” I have to think the disciples had lots of questions and were ready to learn a lot more when they came back. That is tremendous that you are taking people with you in ministry. Before they could “go” the disciples observed Jesus and then The Teacher sent them with enough information to do some exciting things. Maybe we need to send sooner too. God Bless you Brother!

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