Cell Church: An Organic Cell System
When I hear the word “system,” I often think of something cold and mechanical, like an institution or organization full of rules, regulations, and bureaucracy. And the cell church should never be run like a machine or business. Rather, it’s organic and full of life; It’s the body of Christ, the church of the living God. Dependence on the Spirit of God through the gifts of the Spirit must shape the direction of every cell church today, just like in the early church.
Actually, the dictionary defines the word “system” simply as a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole. In this sense, the cell church is a system because it doesn’t work well unless key elements are flowing together and contributing to the goal of making disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). So what are these key aspects? I’m referring to:
I’ve left out prayer and missions, but these two elements are the essence of the church in general, like the air the church of Jesus Christ breathes. Yet, the core of the organic cell church system is cell, celebration, equipping, and coaching. When these elements are working properly, the local church becomes effective at making disciples who make other disciples.
Cell church is not primarily about the cell or bringing those cells together to celebrate. Nor is it mainly about coaching leaders or a particular type of equipping material to prepare new leaders. Rather, it emphasizes all of the above elements into one system. When the organic cell system is functioning properly, the cells are supported, the leaders are coached, and new people are being developed through the equipping. The celebration service helps the cells grow and function.
When I coach pastors, I often will go through their organic cell system, like a check-list. My case study of each church is organized around the key elements of effective cell systems: cell, celebration, coaching, and equipping. I also make sure the church is breathing properly by emphasizing prayer and missions. Here are some key questions for you to consider:
- How are your cells? Are they holistic? Do they follow a clear definition?
- How is the celebration? Is it a gathering of the cells? Can the cell church system be seen in the announcements, the offices, the vision casting?
- How is the coaching of the leaders? Are supervisors being raised up and nourished? Is coaching taking place?
- How is the equipping? Does the church have a clearly defined discipleship equipping?
- How is the prayer and mission emphasis? I don’t think a church can even get to first base unless it’s breathing the pure air of prayer and missions.
For the month of April we’ll be looking at cell church as an organic cell system. Experienced cell church pastors will write blogs on aspects of this topic that will appear each day. If you’d like to receive these blogs daily in your email, please sign-up here. We’ll be covering the the following themes:
- Week 1 (April 03-09). What is the organic cell system? Why is it important to have the key elements functioning together?
- Week 2 (April 10-16). Cell and celebration. Why is it important to maintain a holistic view of the cell and to view the celebration as the gathering of those cells meeting together?
- Week 3 (April 17-23). Coaching and equipping. Why is it important for cell churches to coach each leader and to have a church-wide equipping for everyone?
- Week 4 (April 24-April 30). Prayer and missions. Why are these two elements the air the church of Jesus Christ breathes?
Does your church have an organic cell church system? Why or why not? Please feel free to comment here.
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Joel Comiskey’s new book, Children in Cell Ministry, can now be purchased here.
27 videos on cell church from Joel Comiskey
- There are 27 videos on all aspects of cell church (with downloadable resources) on Ministry Grid. Check it out.
Free Ebook byJoel Comiskey and small group health assessment
- Free Ebook from Joel Comiskey (Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church). Joel’s book is available at the end of the Thriving Small Groups Assessment. There is no catch to this. We are not asking for your contact information or trying to up-sell anything. At the end of the assessment, you will also discover the health of your small groups. I think you’ll find both of this free resources extremely helpful.
Joel Comiskey’s new book: 2000 Years of Small Groups
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Bill Beckham’s new books
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