By Joel Comiskey
Last night I ate with the staff of Camino Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The wife of one of the staff pastors told me that her circle transformed her marriage (At Camino Church they use “circles” instead of “cells” and “missionaries” instead of “leaders”). Most of her family was in Bolivia and her circle had become her family. She and her husband were on the verge of divorce before coming to Christ, and in fact, they were separated. Jesus saved them at Camino Church (pastor Rusty Price), and then God used the circle to grow and mature their marriage.
Community in cell ministry is so powerful because deep sharing takes place that leads to transformation.. In fact, the words “community,” “communion,” and “communication” all share common roots from the Latin words for with and one. They involve being with one another and being one with each other. Effective cell groups enable people to talk about their faith, share transparently, and then apply God’s Word to daily life, thus growing in community with God and others.
Looking at it this way, community is communication that leads to transformation. During the celebration time, communication is normally shallow and limited by time restrains. Nor does the atmosphere generate deep sharing. The cell atmosphere and agenda provides concentrated time for deeper communication which leads to true Koinonia. “Deeper communication” that leads to communication is honest, real, and transparent. Isn’t this what John the apostle meant when he said, “. . . if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship [koinonia] with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”