The Temptation to Stray from the Vision

mario

by Mario Vega, http://www.elim.org.sv/

Elim’s cell model has always been attractive to both Christian and commercial institutions. We had just began to grow rapidly in cell ministry when various commercial enterprises that use “pyramid” or “multi-level” marketing showed up. These marketing strategies wanted to piggy-back on Elim’s cell system. In this way they wouldn’t have to build their own infrastructure but could use the cell system at Elim. They would often say things like, “Your leaders will have a money-making job that will leave them with plenty of time for the church.” In this way the cell leaders and supervisors will live comfortably, the zone pastors will be rich, and you can become a millionaire.” They were surprised and very upset when I answered that we were not interested in selling soap or vitamins and that I also had no interest in being a millionaire. I told them that our cell model had the sole purpose of making disciples, living out the church as Christ’s family, and fulfilling God’s mission for a perishing world–it was in no way a machine to produce catalog sales.

It is true that some “Christian” institutions use small groups to sell Bibles, books and other printed materials and they see a great opportunity in the Elim cell model to sell their products on a massive scale. Many of these products are very good and I would even recommend them. These materials could even help a church develop and even start small groups. But for a mature and well established cell system that all ready has materials and a leader’s equipping path, it would be a turnoff to modify our system because some sincere brothers want to sell their materials.

There are also institutions that don’t sell their small group materials. Rather, they want to give away their materials free of charge to our cells. However, they have a difficulty: these are short programs that only last a few weeks. The cell model, on the other hand, lasts a lifetime. A pastor has to be very wise in determining whether adopting these short term materials will benefit the small groups or actually deter them from the target. In our case, we have chosen to continue with our regular cell studies and the result have been much better than if we were continually adopting the materials and programs of others–even if the material was free. The key is having a well-defined vision and then allowing the methods to follow the vision, rather than the other way around. . It is vital to say NO to anything that keeps us from that purpose.

Comments?

Mario

Korean blog (click here)

La Tentación de Desviarse de la Visión

por Mario Vega

El modelo celular de Elim siempre ha sido un atractivo para instituciones tanto cristianas como comerciales. Apenas habamos comenzado a ser conocidos por nuestro trabajo celular cuando aparecieron las empresas comerciales que utilizan el sistema de ventas llamado “piramidal” o el “multiniveles”. Para ellos, ya no era necesario construir una estructura, la iglesia ya la tena. Lo único que se debera hacer era implementar las ventas a través del modelo. Sus palabras fueron más o menos: “Sus lderes tendrán un trabajo que les dejará mucho tiempo libre para la iglesia, los supervisores vivirán holgadamente, los pastores de zona serán ricos y usted será millonario.” Ellos se sorprendieron y se molestaron mucho cuando les respond que no estábamos interesados en vender jabón ni vitaminas y que yo tampoco tena interés en ser millonario. El modelo celular es el ser de la iglesia con el propósito de cumplir la misión de Dios para un mundo que perece y no una maquinaria de ventas por catálogo.

Otras instituciones de inspiración cristiana que utilizan los grupos pequeños para colocar Biblias, libros y otros materiales impresos ven en Elim la gran oportunidad para colocar masivamente sus productos. Muchos de ellos son muy buenos, incluso los recomendara… para aquellas iglesias que no tienen células. Sera una buena manera de comenzar. Pero, para un sistema maduro y bien establecido, con nuestros propios materiales y nuestra Ruta del Lder, sera un desvo el adoptar una modificación de ese tipo solamente por no saber decir NO a los amables hermanos encargados de distribuir esos programas.

Finalmente, están las instituciones que tienen tan nobles motivaciones que no pretenden vender sus materiales para grupos pequeños, los regalan y proveen lo necesario para la iglesia. No obstante, tienen una dificultad: son programas cortos de solo unas semanas. En cambio el modelo celular demanda programas que deben durar toda la vida. Es muy importante que el pastor sepa valorar si el adoptar algunos de esos materiales le beneficiará o si, por el contrario, le desviará de su objetivo. En nuestro caso, hemos preferido continuar con nuestros estudios ya programados y el resultado ha sido mucho mejor si hubiésemos adoptado un programa diferente por gratuito que sea. La clave de todo, es tener bien definida la visión y los métodos que se seguirán para alcanzarla. Es vital decir NO a todo aquello que nos aleje de ese propósito.

Comentarios?

Mario

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