By Joel Comiskey, Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church, 2022
People are busy. They have work, family, personal goals, and many other responsibilities. These responsibilities are important and necessary.
Cell churches ask believers to commit to two main activities: cell and celebration. Both are weekly and require a commitment.
I’ve noticed a tendency in some churches to lower the cell “frequency” bar to convince people to attend. But the solution of monthly or every-other-week cells quickly becomes the problem.
Since the cell is the foundation of the cell church, it needs to be a priority. Holding it monthly or bimonthly tends to weaken the quality, dilute the community, and dim the vision for outreach. It’s even hard to remember what happened from meeting to meeting. Other aspects of the cell system can meet less frequently (coaching, training, etc.), but the cell is the crown jewel of the cell church and must be a priority.
Weekly cell groups enhance the quality of discipleship. Practicing the one-anothers weekly keeps believers sharp and helps them to evangelize more effectively. Remember, the goal is to make disciples who make disciples.
The writer of Hebrews gives us helpful advice here:
- “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)
- “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
We don’t meet “daily,” as the writer of Hebrew suggests, but weekly is an excellent place to start. And let’s face it, not all members will attend each week (for cell or celebration). But let’s allow them to do so!
Frequency is so vital I included it in the working definition of a cell group: 3-15 people that meet weekly outside the church building for evangelism, community, and spiritual growth with the goal of multiplication.
Some members won’t come each week, but when the group only meets once per month or every other week, missing the group widens the frequency gap and lowers the discipleship quality.