By Joel Comiskey
In the early church, the house churches were a training ground for future leaders for church and mission .Most are amazed at how quickly Paul raised up leadership for the church. In Paul’s church plants, he raised up leaders quickly and without a lot of formality because the house church structure provided a steady stream of leadership. We don’t read about the official installation of church leaders because it really wasn’t necessary, since the homeowners opened their homes. Consequently, leaders emerged from below, out of the house church setting.
Cell ministry is the perfect training ground for future leaders in the church. Cells have correctly been called leader breeders. In the cell, people learn to labor. They are equipped for ministry. They are encouraged to exercise their gifts. They develop vision. Ultimately, they become leaders. I started my ministry in a small group. I learned to lead, teach, exhort, administer and above all, pastor, a small group of people. Cell churches value reproduction of disciples, leaders, and cell groups.
When considering someone for a staff position in the church or to lead a new church plant, the logical question is whether that person has first been proven in cell ministry. Has he or she led cell groups? Multiplied them? Supervised them? Someone said, “The best predictor for future behavior is past performance.” This is certainly true in cell ministry.