By Joel Comiskey
I believe we need to allow children to begin experiencing cell life at a young age. I like what Daphne Kirk said, “The children in your cell need discipleship for the same reasons as the adult. Each child is a unique, profoundly precious individual in the eyes of God and their parents. For that individuality to be recognized early in life, they need someone who knows where they are in their relationship with Jesus and the problems they face.”
Here are a few suggestions on how to make it work:
- Allow the children to stay in the adult cell for the icebreaker and worship time. During the Word time, the children can leave the adult cell and receive a personalized Bible lesson directed by one of the cell members (if necessary, the members can rotate in teaching this time).
- When the group consistently has children attending, pray that God provides an adult or teenager who desires to lead a children’s cell group. This might be someone from your own adult cell group, or from your church. The children can then meet with their cell leader in a different room of the same house for the entire cell meeting (or at least for the lesson part). This is a normal, permanent children’s cell group that promotes a similar cell order—icebreaker, worship, lesson, prayer and outreach. The church should provide material for the children’s cell leader and all the support necessary.
Another option is to hold small groups for children in various neighborhoods around the city. An adult would lead this small group. These afternoon cells are a lot like the small groups of Child Evangelism Fellowship (http://www.cefonline.com/)
The ideal situation is to have a pastor or committed leader over children’s cell groups and children’s Sunday ministry to combine the teaching the children receive on Sunday with the cell lessons during the week. Lorna Jenkin’s book, Shouting from the Temple, is an excellent book that explains the children’s ministry connection between the two wings (cell and celebration) of the cell church.