By Joel Comiskey, check out, Groups that Thrive
Last month, I met pastor Rodrigo Leone of Central Baptist Church in Itabira, I initially thought he was the lead pastor but learned that he was part of the pastoral team at Central Baptist Church. Rodrigo started as a cell member, became co-leader, then leader, multiplication leader, coach, and eventually became part of the pastoral team. Rodrigo is under the direction of Flávio Márcio, the lead pastor, who started the first pilot group at Central Baptist twenty years ago. The church has now grown to 140 cells and 2400 people.
Maybe you aspire to be a pastor someday, like Rodrigo or Flavio. Here are some critical steps you can take now:
- Prioritize your relationship with Jesus. Effective pastors first demonstrate that they know Jesus and hear his voice. Others perceive their spirituality and want to follow. Be someone now who others will want to follow in the future.
- Be a hero with those who know you best. John Maxwell’s advice rings true today, “True success is having those closest to you love and respect you the most.” Maxwell is referring to spouse, family, children, and close friends. Ministry is tough and often feels like the “fog of war” because people are fickle and their needs are endless. If you have a deep, fruitful relationship with those closest to you, they will be a refuge and confidence builder in times of stress and trial.
- Be fruitful in cell ministry. Cell churches develop people from within. Only those who have led and multiplied cell groups are considered for higher level positions of ministry. Granted, integrity and calling are also essential, but if you desire to be a pastor, start by leading a small group, developing new leaders, and then coaching them.
But what if you are already a pastor? What is your next step? I recently taught a seminar in Guatemala and several lead pastors realized they were not leading the cell church charge but had delegated the vision to someone else. They were willing to take the next step of leading the charge. Taking back the vision might mean leading a cell or being part of an cell group to connect experience with the cell vision.
Others might take the next step of saying NO to additional programs and ministries, which will allow people more time to participate in cell group ministry.
Or maybe taking the next step is starting the first pilot group. The best transitions begin with a pilot group, the one the lead pastor facilitates. This the best way to transition because the lead pastor can model what cell ministry should look like as well as coaching the the initial leaders.