by Joel Comiskey, 2017
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” There are very few new ideas. Most are old ideas that have been recycled. Someone said that innovation is creative copying. The great American writer, William Faulkner, once said, “Immature artists copy, great artists steal.” What Faulkner meant is that immature artists don’t do their homework. They simply copy an idea instead of reinventing it and making it their own.
We in the cell church movement are debtors to the ideas and practices of others, whether those ideas come from Jethro in Exodus 18, the apostle Paul, St. Patrick, Peter Waldo, Count Zinzendorf, John Wesley, David Cho, or Ralph Neighbour. We depend on the past and gain confidence in the future from those who have gone before us.
Some wrongly assume that David Cho, founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church, invented the modern day cell church movement. In reality, Cho stands on the shoulders of John Wesley and the Methodist movement, who were helped by the Moravians, who in turn were heavily influenced by the Pietists. And all of them stand on the New Testament’s emphasis of house to house ministry and celebration worship (Acts 2:42-46).
I just returned from a Foursquare denominational conference in Brazil. The Foursquare is undertaking the audacious task of transitioning their 20,000 churches to cell-based ministry. To do so, they are gleaning from churches outside of Brazil like Elim, Yoido Full Gospel Church, and a large Foursquare church in Honduras called “la Cosecha” (harvest). They are also learning from pastors inside Brazil like Abe Huber, Paulo Mazonni, and Aluizio Silva. They are reading books from Bill Beckham, Ralph Neighbour, and many others. Their goal is to resource their people to help them in the transition process.
Every time I read Neighbour’s Where Do We Go From Here, I learn something new. I also have other favorite cell-based authors that you can check out here. I learn a lot from cell churches around the world. For example, Celyce and I were inspired by the prayer ministry at Ministerio Sabaoth in Milan Italy during our recent conference there.
Who are your learning from and networking with?