by Joel Comiskey
What would Jesus do? This was the question raised by Charles Sheldon in his famous book, In His Steps. What would Jesus do today, if he were living in your neighborhood? In your city? Attending your church?
First, I believe he would do most of his ministry where people live, in their homes. He would not wait for people to come to him in a religious settings. Jesus would not sit in his office for forty hours every week, running the church business. He would be out with the people.
Second, he would not be looking for ways to establish the church as a power structure. Jesus came to proclaim God’s rule here on earth. While the disciples were longing for an overthrow of the existing rulers, Christ came to transform people with the goal of changing society. Although Jesus healed and performed many miracles as a sign of his kingdom power, his main goal was to form a new family, the Church.
Jesus concentrated on developing a small group of future leaders instead of trying to rally the masses to attain power. If he were leading the church today, he would be mentoring and developing a core small group and teaching them how to live as a part of God’s family.
Jesus utilized the existing homes, both as a base for his own ministry and as an evangelistic penetration strategy. Christ focused on the home because he knew that when the families were restored into a right relationship with God, his gospel message would have a lasting impact. Jesus didn’t invite people to join a large crowd. He asked them to become disciples and part of his new family.
Jesus also instructed his disciples how to penetrate the homes (Luke 9:1-6; 10: 1-12). He taught them how to reach an entire region through the establishment of a house church. He asked them to look for divine appointments (persons of peace) and to fully penetrate one home, rather than going door to door. From the home base, the disciples could then penetrate the rest of the town or city.
What might this mean for you and your leadership? Let me offer some positive and negative advice. On a positive note: Establish key cell groups where Christ’s peace reigns supreme. Don’t quickly move from house to house untilstrong home bases are established where God has called you to minister.
On a negative note, avoid depending upon buildings or outward structures, especially when it requires that you go into massive debt. Instead, focus on Christ’s rule in the lives of those in your congregation and base your growth on the cell infrastructure, which should then build the quality and quantity of your celebration gathering. Just like Christ used the homes in his day as his primary base of ministry, we need to establish family-like cell groups that will bring new health and life to the family of God, his church.