by Joel Comiskey
When I wrote my book about the Elim Church called Passion and Persistence, I was very impressed by the goals setting at Elim. Souls count to God, and Elim believes they can do a better job at winning men and GOALSwomen to Jesus Christ if they plan for growth. Mario Vega works with each district to determine how many new cells can be established. A newer, more receptive district might produce more cells than an older, saturated one.
Multiplication goals are then updated weekly and posted to show which leaders are closest to reaching their goals.
By posting the goals, each leader knows where he or she stands in the process. The leaders encourage and stimulate each other for the Kingdom’s sake. Elim is passionate about conquering a city for Jesus and thus believes strongly in setting clear goals to accomplish it.
Elim, like other cell-driven churches, concentrates on developing new leaders through multiplying cell groups, and they will in turn reap the harvest and pastor the church. It’s the strategy that Christ gave to His disciples in Matthew 9:37–38: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” The goal of new cells is the goal of new leaders being equipped and sent out as harvest workers.
With this approach, a church can concentrate on multiplying the infrastructure—developing new leaders—and be assured of qualitative and quantitative growth. Outreach and evangelism are core values in this approach. Galloway wrote, “The concept is that first you build leaders. The leaders build groups. Out of these groups come more leaders and a multiplication into more groups.
I think it’s essential to set goals, although for those working in the WESTERN WORLD, those goals will have to be realistic. GOALSThere was a time in the cell movement that certain teachers insisted that a cell had to multiply in six months or it was unhealthy. Cells that didn’t multiply in 9-12 months were closed.
At one time I applauded such goals UNTIL I planted a cell church in the WEST. I then realized why so many cell churches were turned off by the six-month mandate. I found that the soil was far more hardened than my experience in Ecuador. It took a lot longer to get someone through the training track. I had to scale back on my goals.
I believe in setting goals. I simply believe that goal setting must be realistic. Mechanical goals that don’t take the soil into account–or how many are in the training track–often heap a load of guilt over leaders who can’t make it happen.