By Joel Comiskey, check out, Groups that Thrive
In Tolkien’s famous triology, Lord of the Rings, we learn about a number of important rings. But one ring surpassed them all. One ring stood out above the rest.
The Bible is also full of important truths. Do some passages stand out above the rest?
As you know, I believe the entire Bible is our guide. In last week’s blog, I clearly stated that God’s inerrant Word should direct all we do and say. Scripture critiques us. The Bible stands above tradition and church history.
And there are a lot of great passages. Take the famous verse in Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Or the two great commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).
Both of these passages are excellent guides for life. But what about ministry?
Christ’s last command to his disciples gives us a clue. Jesus told them what to do before his ascension, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
These words are Christ’s marching orders for the church: make disciples of all nations until he comes again.
So how do we do this? What’s the best way to make disciples? Can we primarily make disciples by getting lots of people to sit and hear great preaching? Mega churches abound but disciples are preciously few. More buildings? Certainly not.
Jesus modeled his plan to make disciples in his small group for three years. His group was highly interactive. They learned through their mistakes, were able to ask questions, and practiced the new message to love one another—just the opposite of passive listening.
And when Jesus told his disciples to make new disciples, they knew exactly what he was talking about: follow the Master’s example by making disciples in small groups. And that’s what the early church did after Pentecost. They met from house to house, making and multiplying disciples (Acts 2:42-46; 20:20). After all, Jesus had already sent them into the homes to practice his new strategy (Matthew chapters 9 and 10).
Cell church or house to house ministry has one objective: make disciples who make disciples. We do it primarily through multiplying small groups, but the cell system also plays an essential part (celebration, equipping, and coaching).
So what are your goals for 2019? How many disciples are you planning on making and multiplying? (with the corresponding number of small groups). How many do you hope to graduate form the church-wide equipping? How about new coaches to care for the leaders?
My book Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church explains why discipleship should be the key goal for Christ’s church. Check it out here.