By Joel Comiskey, Living in Victory: 9 Spiritual Truths for Transformation and Renewal
I recently spoke at a webinar on the theme of my book Groups that Thrive. During the question/answer time, someone said, “Do we exclusively make disciples through the local church?” “No,” I said. “We become disciples of Jesus Christ both individually and through the local church.” Discipleship is all about becoming like Jesus and it happens in and outside the local church.
I believe that cell church ministry is the best way to make Christ-like disciples within the local church. The early church made disciples in both the large and small group contexts (Acts 2:42-46; 5:42; 20:20). But let’s face it, we live most of our lives outside of the local church experience.
We must grow spiritually in our own personal lives as we walk with Jesus each day. How do we do this? Here are a few ways:
- Reading the Bible
- Spiritual warfare
- Fasting and prayer
- Allowing the Spirit to break bondages in our lives
- Practicing forgiveness
Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.” God’s grace works through us as we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
A large part of my study and ministry has focused on how cell churches make disciples who make disciples. But I’m also passionate about how individuals in those cell churches become more like Jesus in their personal lives and marriages.
So how do we help cell members grasp the importance of personal spiritual growth? And what about the cell leaders? They also need to become more like Jesus in their personal lives. Coaches and pastors have the same need.
Last month we talked about caring for others in cell ministry. For the month of May, let’s look at helping others take the next step to grow spiritually, whether talking about members, cell leaders, coaches, or pastors. Seasoned pastors and leaders will write 25 blogs on this topic. If you’d like to receive these blogs in your email, click here. We’ll cover:
- May 01-07: Biblical base for helping people grow spiritually. Scripture tells us to encourage each other (Hebrew 10:24).
- May 08-14: Cell members. Leaders need to help members take the next step in their spiritual lives. Growth in maturity is a process and cell leaders play a key role. So do other members since it is a one-another process.
- May 15-21: Cell leaders. Coaches must observe and encourage cell leaders to stay strong in their faith and grow spiritually. Offering books, blogs, and videos can help in the process. Coaching should involve teaching and accountability for the leader’s growth.
- May 22 to May 28: Coaches. Who is coaching the coaches? Spiritual development is an ongoing process. Lead pastors need to make sure the coaches are healthy.
- May 29 to June 04: Pastors. I often recommend the book Prayer Shield by C.Peter Wagner. Pastors need protection and accountability. They need to be challenged spiritually. Pastors also need to be coached and we must avoid the lone-ranger mentality. We are seeing disastrous consequences in lone-ranger pastors. May God help us to change this scenario.