By Joel Comiskey, free teaching videos on leading small groups
God is so creative. He makes each person unique with distinct DNA patterns and fingerprints. The same is true with the animal kingdom. Zebra stripes, like human fingerprints, are never the same. Although zebras do have a lot in common, their stripes are distinct in each and every single zebra in the world.
Uniqueness abounds in all of his creation. Snowflakes are renowned for their uniqueness. No matter how many billions of them fall from the sky, two are never the same. Every single snowflake has its own unique pattern.
This same uniqueness applies to Christ’s church. Although Jesus is the head of the entire universal church, He has a perfect plan for each local church. Paul says, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1: 18). The big question for 2021 is, “What is God’s plan for my local church this year?” If you’re a small group leader, what is his plan for your small group?
Many churches in the past have tried to copy exact models of growing cell churches. But Jesus does not have one exact pattern for all local churches. Yes, he has laid down eternal principles in Scripture, yet each local churches needs to discover specific direction. Those who have tried to follow someone else’s model are usually disappointed. Why? Because when the founders of the model change, those local churches following the specific model also have to adjust. These local churches lack creativity because they are following a human head, rather than Christ.
Since Jesus is the head of the church, what does he have for your local body this year? Are you transitioning your entire church to the cell model? If so, start with a pilot group. Your goal should be to congregate key, committed leaders into a single pilot group which will eventually multiply. Or maybe you are in a pre-transition stage. You need to teach your people biblical house to house values with the goal of starting your transition later. If you have been in the cell camp for a while, perhaps you should set a bold, risky goal to challenge your leaders to think beyond themselves and to envision future leaders and small groups.
Prayer needs to permeate all goal setting. I encourage pastoral teams to spend time with Jesus and each other to envision the 2021 goal. Also have the cell leaders dream about what God wants for their cell group. Then come together to share the vision and dream together.
Remember that Jesus is the head of his body. His goal is to make more and better disciples. Dream and envision what he has for your local church and individual cell groups. Go forward in prayer and faith. He wants to use you to minister to a lost world.