By Joel Comiskey, check out: Living in Victory
I love hearing Mario Vega talk about cell group goals. Elim is so crystal clear about making specific, yearly multiplication goals. They realize that until Jesus comes, we need to be making more and better disciples. This is the heart of the great commission.
Cell multiplication goals must take into account two things: The urgency to reach a lost world without Christ (rapid multiplication of cells), and the long-term commitment of the church to reach this lost world (quality cells that endure over time).
Some pastors are idealists. They love to dream, but they confuse dreams with goals. A dream is a wish, a miracle that only God can fulfill—something in the distant future. So when the pastor says, “we hope to have 50 cells” at the end of the year when there are only five cells right now, the people think, “there goes our idealist pastor again, trying to inspire us with a goal that he knows will never happen.” Worse yet, they stop listening.
What about using the term “projections” instead of goals. According to the dictionary, a projection is an estimate or forecast of a future situation or trend based on a study of present ones. Notice that it’s a forecast based on the study of current reality. This is what companies do all the time with the project how much money they will make quarter by quarter. They study the current situation, the future trends, and then project accordingly. The currency in the church of Jesus Christ is disciple-making, something eternal and far more valuable than gold or silver.
I coach pastors to prayerfully project how many cells they will actually plan on multiplying by the end of the year. I tell them to plan on reaching their cell multiplication goals, so the entire church can celebrate when they reach them. Projections should be based on:
- Prayer. How is the prayer in the church?
- Equipping. How many are in the equipping right now and plan on graduating that same year.
- Current cells. What is the state of the current cell groups? Are there groups which are ready to multiply?
- Coaching. Are there coaches who can coach the new cells, as well as keep the existing ones strong?
- Life. The reality is that leaders will move away, choose to stop leading their cells, and so forth.
- The next year. The cell church cycle continues year after year. Some churches reach a goal one year but the people are too drained to produce the following year. Think long term.
- Risk. Faith is essential. We need to expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.
The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. If we’re going to fulfill the great commission, we need more and better disciples. What are your projections for 2020? Jesus wants to use you to fulfill the commission he gave his disciples over 2000 years ago.