By Joel Comiskey
I believe in participation. I believe the best cell leaders facilitate the lesson, get others to talk, and apply the Bible to daily living. However, to make this happen, the members need to know what they’re applying. I’ve notice one error over and over. It goes like this:
The leader starts the lesson by reading the Bible passage or asking someone else to read it. Then after just a few comments, jumps right into the first question that has nothing to do with the biblical verses. What’s wrong with this scenario? The members don’t have a clue about what the Bible passage actually means. In other words, without an introduction about what the biblical author is talking about, to whom he’s talking, and the general context of the passage, the members don’t have a base for answering the questions.
Remember that some people attending the cell group weren’t in church on Sunday, are not believers, or have not arrived at the place of attending the larger gathering (the cell is their church at this point). Don’t assume they understand the context. You as the leader must explain it to them. Sometimes the problem is the cell lesson. The pastor or staff didn’t create initial questions that bring out the Bible passages. Many leaders simply follow the lesson–instead of making it their own–and start with the first question on the list. Here’s what I suggest for cell leaders to do:
- Give a brief introduction about the bible passage. This shouldn’t take a long time, but it needs to be long enough for the members to fully understand the biblical context. Remember that even though the members heard the sermon on Sunday, it doesn’t mean they truly understood the biblical meaning. The intimate atmosphere of the cell is designed to help each member to go deeper.
- Start with questions that will help the members grasp the verses. For example, last week’s cell lesson at Wellspring Church covered Luke 20:20-26. Pastor Eric Glover, lead pastor at Wellspring, preached on this passage on Sunday. Eric also prepared the lesson, and he did a great job of starting the lesson with the following questions:
Question #1: Take time to review this story:
- Who sent spies to question Jesus?
- What was their motive for sending these spies?
- How was their question an attempt to entrap Jesus?
The next questions were more application oriented, but pastor Eric understands that the cell leaders need to make sure people grasp the biblical passage before they can answer general questions about their own lives and how these biblical truths apply today.
Share how you make sure the cell members understand the biblical context before asking them to apply it. . .