Development and Deployment: Key Priorities in Disciple-making

By Joel Comiskey

Tradition says that the pastor must do the work of the ministry. Many pastors have been trained with this mentality. They fail to decentralize and release leaders. The ministry is all about them: their preaching, their leadership, their control. Cell church ministry, on the other hand, is organic and decentralized.

I’ve noticed that some leaders understand the why (the biblical base) for cell ministry. They are passionate about the idea. Yet, they don’t take the next step. They fail in the area of development and deployment.

Those who make it in cell ministry are developers rather than controllers. They develop and deploy others. They love the equipping track and coaching. They willingly release new leaders, build a strong leadership team, and allow others to preach. They see their main role as coach—rather than preacher. Pastors and leaders who excel in cell ministry practice releasing, risking, and trusting others to do the work of the ministry.

I’m talking about a very subtle shift. I’ve seen pastors fail in cell ministry if they don’t grow in this area of development. This month (September)let’s explore the theme of development. If you’d like to receive these blogs in your inbox, click here. We’ll cover: 

  • September 06-12: Scriptural base for developing others. Ephesians 4:7-12 talks about God raising up gifted people to prepare God’s people to minister.
  • September 13-19: Breaking traditions. Many pastors hold tightly to the value that they must do the work of the ministry. Perhaps their seminar training instilled in them the vision that the pastor does the work of the ministry. We’ll talk about steps to break this cycle. Cell ministry is all about developing the lay people to do the work of the ministry.
  • September 20-26: equipping and coaching. Successful pastors who develop others place a high premium on equipping and coaching. They prepare those who will be cell leaders and team members. They then make sure each leader is thoroughly coached. In fact, successful cell church pastors see themselves primarily as the coach.
  • September 27-October 03: raising up, releasing, and risking. The pastor needs to be willing to see others step out and even fail. Jesus welcomed this type of risking when he allowed Peter to walk on the water, the feeding of the loaves, and various other missions. Ultimately, Christ placed the entire church in their hands.