by Joel Comiskey
Most churches have a lot of things going on. Over time, most conventional churches have developed a myriad of programs and ministries. Often, the pastor will hear about cell church, get excited, and then add it as one of the many programs.
Or perhaps the church is doing well, but the pastor has heard of the amazing growth of cell churches around the world and wants to see if cell church strategy will help his church grow even more. So the church includes the cell church agenda on top of what the church is already doing.
When the cell church strategy fails to produce the desired growth, the pastor deletes it from the schedule as he would any other program that didn’t seem to work. The pastor might even become a critic of the cell model, saying it doesn’t work or it’s not right for their particular church culture.
The reality is that people will only do a few things well. If the pastor wants them to be involved in cell ministry, he can’t also expect the people to be involved in many other church activities.
Are programs bad? No. It’s simply a matter of choosing the focus. We all know how cluttered and busy our lives are. If the pastor expects his people to choose cell ministry, this means they will need time to visit neighbors, attend a cell group, prepare the cell lesson, go to the coaching meeting, and other related activities.
A few years ago, I held a seminar in Pastor Samuel Mejia’s church in Santa Ana, California. The church has one hundred forty cell leaders and planted five churches. Pastor Samuel realized he had to focus on cell ministry and make it his priority. Most of the churches in Samuel’s denomination are program driven. Samuel stands out from the crowd because of his “concentrated focus” on cell ministry. Because pastor Samuel has persisted for twenty-five years, many churches in his denomination are now following his example. Why? Because they’ve seen it worked out in his church. Pastor Samuel is a great example of concentrated focus.