by Joel Comiskey
If the church is going to succeed in getting people from celebration to cell and vice-versa, they will need to see the passionate examples of the lead pastor and leadership team. We can’t expect people to do something their pastor and leaders are not willing to do. Actions speak louder than words, and if the lead pastor and leadership team are not passionately involved in cell ministry, the new people will sense that cell ministry is just another program, rather than the church’s backbone. Personal involvement in cell ministry also allows the key leaders to experience cell evangelism, pastoral care, and whether or not the cell lesson meets people’s needs.
I recently consulted a church that was booming in Sunday attendance but lagging far behind in cell attendance. The pastor asked for my help because he was very passionate about cell ministry and wanted more people involved. I commended him for his personal involvement but as I probed into his church situation, I discovered that his pastoral team was not focused. Some staff prioritized church ministries; others cell groups. The church talked about cells being the backbone of the church but the leadership team’s example told another story. I encouraged the pastor to mobilize the entire pastoral team around cell ministry (while not neglecting ministries in his church). I told him that the pattern in worldwide cell churches was to develop members of the leadership team from within the church. That is, no one is asked to serve on the pastoral team unless he or she has been involved in a cell, led a cell, multiplied a cell, and coached cell groups. I reminded him that organizing his leadership team around cell ministry would not only help the church to properly care for the cell groups, but it would also give a clear signal to the church that cell ministry is the priority. And if someone wanted to be pastored or ministered to in the church, he or she would need to be involved in a cell.
Pastor, lead by example and your people will respond. Make sure that those guiding your church are totally committed to cell ministry. Remember that the writers of the New Testament use the terms overseer, pastor, and elder to refer to house church leaders or overseers of various house churches ( Acts 20:17, 28;1 Pet 5:1-5). . As you develop leaders in your church who are committed to cell ministry, the sheep will recognize your values and will follow your vision.