Cell Leadership Development

By Joel Comiskey


What is the main objective of cell ministry? Or does such an objective even exist? We know that the goal of the Christian life is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. While this is God’s ultimate plan, does he have a particular purpose for the cell-based church?

I’ve been wrestling with these questions a lot for the past twenty-two years. Many have asked me these questions, and they gnaw at me every time I coach a pastor or pastors. In preparation for coaching, I ask myself, “What is my principal objective in helping this pastor?” “Where am I guiding this church?” “What am I trying to do?”

I’ve come to the conclusion that the primary goal of cell ministry is to make disciples who make disciples. Christ’s last command to his disciples was for them to repeat the process and to reproduce new disciples. But how were they supposed to do that?

We in North America and the Western world in general often project our own cultural bias into Christ’s great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Most discipleship books, in fact, assume that discipleship is an individualistic endeavor–one-on-one or between me and God. And yes, there is an important individual aspect (e.g., personal devotions, etc.). Yet in Matthew 28, Jesus was talking to a group of disciples. He wanted them to follow his example by making disciples in a group.

The early church followed Christ’s pattern by making disciples through the house churches that periodically celebrated together in public worship. The cell church today makes disciples by following the early church pattern of cell and celebration.

So how does the cell church make disciples? Both the cell and the cell system work together to make this happen. In the cell, a potential disciple is transformed through community, priesthood of all believers, group evangelism, and team multiplication. The cell system ensures each leader has a coach and that training (equipping track) happens. Then the cells gather together to worship and grow through the teaching of God’s Word. The goal of the two-wing cell church is to make disciples who make disciples.