By Joel Comiskey
I’ve written about the need for the lead pastor to be totally committed to the cell vision and that without this commitment, the cell driven strategy would become irrelevant. To guard the cell vision as the main thing, the lead pastor must be personally involved in practical ways.
Personal involvement (such as leading a cell,attending a cell, or rotating among cells) allows the pastor to freely add cell examples to sermons. When a pastor who is personally involved in a cell talks about the need for community, body-life evangelism, leadership development, and the use of the gifts of the Spirit, that pastor can tie in personal involvement in cell life, drawing on a variety of illustrations and testimonies from real life.
A lead pastor who is involved in cell ministry will be more committed to assure that cell ministry is central in the Sunday service. Those attending the Sunday celebration need to realize that the primary pastoral services of the church are offered through the cell system. If they need ministry and help, they can find it in a loving cell group.Here are some ideas to make sure this happens:
- asking a cell member who has been transformed through relational ministry—new friendships, special ministry times—to share what God has done
- hearing the testimony of someone who has received healing within the cell group
- presenting a new multiplication leader to the entire church
- leading the monthly or bimonthly coaching meetings in which all the cell leaders are present
- making sure cell ministry is first on the agenda during staff meetings
- presiding over an annual appreciation dinner for cell leaders
I think it’s a great idea for the lead pastor to facilitate a cell group or be part of a cell team. Most of the lead pastors I coach also lead their own cell groups. At the church I founded, Wellspring, both Eric, the lead pastor, and I lead a cell group. We want to exemplify what we want others to follow. For some pastors, like Mario Vega, leading a cell group just isn’t practical. Others, like Bill Warren, rotate among the cell groups. The key issue is involvement and leading by example. When the lead pastor is involved in cell ministry, he exemplifies to others the priority and importance of cell driven ministry.