By Joel Comiskey
“Cell church is very simple,” I often tell pastors. “It involves four things: 1. Cell 2. Celebration 3. Equipping 4. Coaching.” The simplicity, however, is also profound. Cell church does involve cell, celebration, equipping, and coaching. Many overlook or under-emphasize equipping and coaching.
Cell church ministry is like an army that has a goal of conquering another region. An army might have a chance to succeed at conquest if it has a strong supply line that can provide for the army over the long haul. Think of coaching and equipping as the supply lines. Perhaps you have the goal of planting new cells in your city. You want to extend God’s rule over your city and the biblical way to do it is through new cell groups. Remember that you can only effectively invade Satan’s territory and fulfill your goal if the new cells are equipped and properly coached.
Cell leaders, like soldiers, need training. Boot camp prepares soldiers to feel confident in battle. Chuch-wide equipping has the same purpose: to give confidence and knowledge to disciple-makers as they invade the enemy’s territory. It’s relatively easy to start groups for seven weeks and “hope” they will continue. Most do not. The same is true with leaderless groups who simply put a DVD in the recorder. They rarely have a long-term impact. Cell churches have a different way to conquer Satan’s territory. They equip future disciple-makers who are prepared to stay in the battle.
Yet, even equipped cell leaders won’t stay for long unless they are nourished with spiritual supplies. This is where effective coaching comes in. The coach comes alongside the leader to serve, ask questions, listen, encourage, and strategize for future conquests.
As you set goals to penetrate new areas of Satan’s domain with multiplying cell groups, are you also strengthening your equipping and coaching? Do you have an equipping path? Are you coaching your leaders?
Here are some resources that might help:
- How to be a Great Cell Group Coach
- Coach: Empower Others to Effectively Lead a Small Group
- Leadership Explosion: Multiplying Small Group Leaders to Reap the Harvest
- Five-book equipping series