by Joel Comiskey
When Jesus told His disciples to make new disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, he envisioned that they would follow the process he had already modeled to them. After all, he had lived with these men in a small group. In the process, the twelve discovered that community can be a difficult place to mask limitations, egotism, ignorance, and jealousies. Slowly, very slowly, these men recognized they must abandon their competitive lifestyles. The greatest among them would be the one who would become the servant of all.
Christ’s ministry mainly operated out of homes, not formal buildings (Mark 2:1; 7:14-27; 9:33; 10:2-12; Matthew 13:36). We see Him in the homes of Peter, Matthew, a ruler, Simon the leper, Simon and Andrew, Levi, a Pharisee, Jairus, Zacchaeus, and Martha. He referred to the owner of a home in Jerusalem who would consider his upper room Jesus’ “guest room” (Mark 14:14).
The home atmosphere, group interaction, and applicable teaching were the three ingredients that prepared Christ’s disciples to transform the world and lead the early church. The disciples continued the process house to house and in the temple courts (Acts 2:42-46; 5:42).
God continues to use the cell based church to make new disciples today. The cell is the womb where disciples develop. Celebration enhances the process. Cell training prepares the new disciple for battle.
What does the discipleship process look like in your church?