By Joel Comiskey, August 2020
Covid-19 came suddenly and has stayed a lot longer than most people expected. Some countries have done better in controlling the virus, but the worldwide Covid-19 death rate continues to skyrocket. Covid-19 has also slammed into churches like a fierce hurricane.
Churches have scrambled to figure out how to minister to their people online. Most churches are hesitant to gather on Sunday and even when they do, the space is limited. The churches having the most difficult time are those who previously focused on Sunday celebration and programs to minister to the people. The pastors of these churches are struggling to care for their people.
Could Jesus be reminding his church that he never intended his body to be based on buildings and programs?
Jesus gave the church a clear commission in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples who make disciples. He modeled how to do this in a small group, sent his disciples into the homes, and modeled house to house ministry by ministering in the homes. The early church followed Christ’s example and met from house to house (Acts 2:42-46; 20:20). The early church was perfectly suited to make disciples who made disciples, just like Jesus taught them.
Could Jesus be using a virus to remind the church of the importance of making disciples through small groups? I think so.
Over the last decade, I’ve increasingly become convinced that “Theology breeds methodology.” We must always start with the “why” question for small group ministry. The methodology (the why) of the cell church is to make disciples who make disciples. We do that through cell, celebration, equipping, and coaching. Prayer, as we talked about last month, is the oxygen which allows the church to breath.
Covid-19 is a wakeup call to go back to the New Testament vision of making disciples through small groups. Robert Lay often uses the phrase “vision leaks.” We need to continually renew our vision for why we are doing what we are doing. For the month of August, we will go back to the great commission and remember the why behind cell ministry. We will meditate on ways to renew the vision through cell church ministry. If you’d like to receive these blogs in your inbox, click here. We’ll cover:
- August 02-08: Covid-19 has stirred people to realize the importance of small groups. But is this enough to stimulate their passions long-term? No, Pragmatism doesn’t provide the needed passion over the long haul. So what does? Theology. Theology stirs our passion to press ahead until Jesus comes.
- August 09-15: key biblical truths. Making disciples is the key reason behind cell church ministry. People become disciples in the small group, the celebration, the equipping, and coaching.
- August 16-22: Resources and networking personal involvement. Biblical truth is essential to stir passion for cell ministry. Reading books, articles, and networking with cell churches is also essential. The JCG blog provides daily resources to help stir passion. Small group books and articles are also essential. Share what has helped you over the years.
- August 23-August 29:. Personal involvement. If we believe that cell church is biblical, we’ll make sure we are involved in one. Passion is stirred as we are personally giving to others and developing disciples who make disciples. Share your personal experience here and why personal involvement in small groups is essential.
- August 30-September 05:. Stirring the passions. What has worked best for you to renew the cell passion and stay focused on cell church ministry?
Feel free to comment here.