Avoiding Cell Church Legalism

April 2019

By Joel Comiskey, check out, Groups that Thrive

Did you know that those who reach the magic number “12” will have a special divine anointing? Wrong. 

Or didn’t you realize that unless you multiply after six months, something is wrong with your cell group? Not true. And that unless you multiply in at least one year, you will need to close your group entirely? Another error. 

Or what about the churches that promote their model as the truly anointed one?  Actually, I feel sorry for churches who network around one truly “anointed” model because they’ve probably already lost their creativity, having to follow what was handed down from the model’s creator. 

One church in North American placed an iron-clad rule over all the groups that unless the group won three people to Jesus within the group, they couldn’t multiply. 

Legalism in general is very subtle and cell church legalism is equally dangerous. And it’s easy to fall into.  I remember being quite dogmatic about the need for all pastors to lead a normal cell group. I still thing this is a good idea, but it’s easy to fall into legalism in this area. Over the years I’ve had to back down because I was becoming legalistic. Lead pastors might lead an open cell for a time and then decide to concentrate on coaching pastors, while staying intimately involved in a cell.  

I wrote a book that exposes many of these legalistic traps called “Myths and Truths of the Cell Church.” The subtitle is even more revealing: Key Principles that Make or Break Cell Ministry. Principles, especially the biblical ones, must guide cell ministry.