By Joel Comiskey, Reap the Harvest, 2023
I’m a walker. I love walking in neighborhoods, especially ones with lovely yards and trees. Inevitably, some yards are overgrown in the same community with tangled weeds and bushes. Yet right next door, I might find a well-manicured lawn with a wide variety of beautiful plants.
Both the beautiful lawns and the weedy ones have similarities. Both require the same sun and rain. The key differences, however, are planning, care, and hard work. Those overgrown, weedy lawns were just left to themselves. The beautiful yards required attention and planning—the right amount of water, clearing the weeds, fertilizing, and replanting.
You probably know where I’m going. Fruitful cell churches don’t just happen. They require attention and hard work. God is the only one who gives sustained growth, but he uses us. For example,
- It’s easier not to ask for cell statistics, but the result is a lack of quality control.
- It’s easier not to coach the leaders actively, but the result is disheartened and often discouraged leaders.
- It’s easier not to implement the church-wide equipping, but the result is no new leaders.
- It’s easier not to develop a leadership or pastoral team, but the result is a lack of vision and direction.
- It’s easier not to encourage evangelism and missions, but stagnation results.
We are now in 2023. What do you need to work on to have a beautiful garden? Some churches are recovering from Covid-19 and want to return to face-to-face cells. Others need to re-emphasize prayer, outreach, coaching leaders, gathering statistics, or pastoral team planning.
At my local church, in 2023, we are asking all Zoom cells to meet face-to-face, preparing teachers for the equipping track, perfecting our statistical control, and asking all groups to evangelize and proactively meet felt needs.