By Joel Comiskey, check out, Groups that Thrive
The first deep value or conviction of an effective pastor is spending time with Jesus. Someone said, “if you were hauled into court for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to conflict you?” Great pastors demonstrate the evidence of Jesus Christ in their lives. And this only comes through spending time with him. Notice the apostle Peter’s priorities in Acts 6:4, “We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
The second value or priority is focusing on the infrastructure of the church, rather than the Sunday crowd. Effective cell church pastors know if they can mobilize the laity to be involved in cell groups, those attending the church will receive personal care. The major desire for a cell church pastor is the growth and health of the cell groups, as opposed to how many people are attending the worship service.
The cell group church strategy is primarily a strategy to make disciples who make disciples. Successful cell group church pastors see success as how many pew sitters can be converted into disciples who will pastor home groups that will in turn pastor and evangelize. The real work is caring for the current leaders and then training the future ones (discipleship equipping). The celebration is important, but it’s the result of the real work that takes place during the week.
The cell infrastructure focus helps align the pastorate with New Testament truth—remember that Ephesians 4:11-12 says the job of the pastor is to train the lay people to do the work of the ministry. This new focus also helps rescue the pastor’s role from the star of the Sunday celebration to chief trainer and disciple-maker. Instead of asking about how to make the celebration attractive enough to keep people coming back, he asks, “How can I prepare and release lay workers into the harvest by developing them to lead dynamic cell groups?”
A lone pastor in a small church will take longer to arrive at this point than a pastor in a large church. The goal is the same, however. Carl George says, “I challenge pastors to be minister developers, and then to measure every other effect in the church by that standard—not by how impressive is the sermon but by how many ministers are made. Measure not by how available or busy the pastors are but by the extent to which the paid staff contributes to the making of ministers” (How to Break Growth Barriers, p. 104).
Like Jesus and His disciples, the lead pastor will primarily care and minister to his ministerial team. The pastor must pour his life into his key leaders. He must build relationships with them outside of the official team gathering. Jesus, the ultimate leader, revealed how He developed relationships with His disciples: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15 ).˜