PH.D. Tutorials

Joel Comiskey

A Ph.D. Tutorial

Presented to Dr. C. Peter Wagner

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Philosophy In Intercultural Studies

The School of World Mission


September 1996

    • How the Tutorial Fits into the Dissertation
    • Purpose
    • Goals
    • Problem Statement for this Tutorial
    • Research Questions
    • Delimitations
    • Definitions
    • Assumptions
    • Overview of This Tutorial
    • Rapid Multiplication Makes New Leadership Essential
    • Mindset for Rapid Deployment Of Leadership
      • Reliance on The Holy Spirit
      • Deployment of Young Christians
      • Deployment of Facilitators As Opposed to Bible Teachers
      • Deployment of Women
      • Willingness to Face Failure
    • Leadership Giftedness
    • Models For Training New Christians On The Path To Cell Leadership
      • Ralph Neighbour’s Training Process
      • Bethany World Prayer Center
      • Models For Training Cell Leaders And Interns
      • Serendipity Model
      • Meta Model
      • Cho Model
      • Neighbour’s Training Model
      • Personal Journey In Cell Training
    • Conclusion On Cell Leadership Training Models
    • Difficulty In Identifying Leadership Characteristics
    • Biblical Leadership
      • Old Testament Principles
      • New Testament Principles
    • Essential Church Growth Qualities
      • Goal Setting
      • Church Growth Attitudes
      • Visionary Leadership
      • The Devotional Life Of A Leader
    • The Pastoral Role of the Cell Leader
    • The Communication Role Of The Cell Leader
      • Create Responsiveness
      • Do Not Dominate The Cell Meeting
      • Maintain The Flow Of Participation
      • Guide The Group Into Deeper Levels Of Communication
      • Respond Properly To Each Member
      • Ask Stimulating Questions
    • Conclusion
  • Shepherd/Rancher Paradigm
    • Span Of Care
    • Transitioning From Shepherd To Rancher
    • Ranchers In The Cell Church Today
  • Situational Leadership
    • Description
    • Application To Cell Ministry
  • General Latin Leadership Traits
    • Authoritarianism
    • Assigned Status
    • Idealism
  • Comparative Studies on Latin American Leadership
  • Research By Dr. Geert Hostede
  • Research By Robert T. Moran And Philip R. Harris
    • Emergence Theory
    • Mentoring
    • Definition
    • Basic Characteristics Of Mentor—Mentoree Training
    • Type Of Mentoring Models
    • Co-Mentoring
  • Chapter 1: Introduction

    Many believe that leadership is the key element behind successful cell-based ministry. My conviction is heading in that same direction. In fact, a major part of my research in Latin America will be attempting to discover those characteristics that distinguish effective cell leaders from non-effective ones. That is, those cell leaders who are able to multiply their group versus those who cannot.

    From the outset of this tutorial, it is wise to point out that I will be focusing on church growth leadership. Therefore, as much as possible, this study will be pragmatic. In other words, my focus is on those leadership traits that get results. Perhaps Carl George sums it up best when he talks about leadership that gets results,

    …It means the willingness to put the inspiring of your people, getting them into action,…In short, take responsibility for meeting the goals you set…. True leadership commits to results. Leaders pour their energy, excitement, prayer, blood, and sweat into solving the obstacles between them and the vision God has given for that church (1994:86).

    Why am I concerned with church growth leadership as it relates to cell-based ministry? Primarily because it is my conviction that cell-based ministry represents one methodology in the broader field of church growth. In other words, my interest in cell-based ministry stems from my enthusiasm for church growth. Although cell-based ministry only one method among many that God is using today, it is a method that God is using mightily throughout the world today.

    How the Tutorial Fits into the Dissertation

    • In a general sense, this tutorial will give me an overview of leadership in the cell church. Therefore, beyond my dissertation, I will benefit by having a better understanding of how to identify and train effective leadership in the cell church.
    • More specifically, this tutorial will provide much of the material for two chapters in my actual dissertation. These two chapters are:

    Chapter 6- Issues Of Latin American Leadership And Cell-Based Ministry (25 Pages)

    Chapter 9- Leadership Patterns In The Case Study Churches (30 Pages)


    The purpose for this tutorial is to analyze leadership in the cell church. It will primarily focus on the training of effective leadership from the new Christian to the head pastor. At the same time, this tutorial will try to contextualize leadership training and theory to the Latin American context (especially chapter 7).


    I have at least three broad goals in this tutorial:

    • To discover how best to train lay people for small group leadership
    • To analyze the principles behind effective top leadership in the cell church
    • To contextualize leadership training and theory to a Latin American context.

    Problem Statement for this Tutorial

    The central research issue of this tutorial is an analysis of cell-based leadership in the Latin American context.

    Research Questions

    • What are the needs of leadership development in the cell church?
    • What are some of the ways to train new Christians to eventually become cell leaders?
    • What are the best training models for cell leaders?
    • What are some of the key leadership principles for those who lead cell groups?
    • What are some key leadership paradigms that might be helpful for top cell leadership (section leaders, district leaders, head pastors, etc.) in the cell church?
    • What are some of the patterns of Latin American leadership? (with the cell church in mind)


    The material on leadership is vast—both from a Christian as well as a secular point of view. I have attempted to sift through a selected portion of that literature in order to apply it to the topic of cell-based ministry, and more specifically, in a Latin context.

    However, I am the first to admit that I have not covered all of the relevant literature. Much more could be said and studied. My only excuse is that tutorials such as this one must have a stopping point. I also felt that my contextualization of Latin leadership fell short due to the limited amount of literature that I was able to find on the subject (note 1).

    In this tutorial, especially, I felt like I needed to use inclusive language (taking into consideration both male and female). Since so many cell leaders are women, I felt that it simply was not right to constantly use he, his, and him when describing cell leadership. On the other hand, I did not want to blow up every sentence with two pronouns. Therefore, when referring to cell leadership, I decided to randomly choose to use she and her, while at other times using he, his, and him. I hope that this style is not too “rough” and bothersome to the reader.


    Throughout this tutorial, I will be describing characteristics of effective leadership, so at this point I will only offer a few generalized definitions which will be more clearly defined by the end of this tutorial. Actually, the study of leadership is a very complicated and at times fuzzy science. This is due to the variety of factors that must be taken into account when considering leadership effectiveness. For example, Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus write,

    Literally thousands of empirical investigations of leaders have been conducted in the last seventy-five years alone, but no clear and unequivocal understanding exists as to what distinguishes leaders from non-leaders, and perhaps more important, what distinguishes effective leaders from ineffective leaders and effective organizations from ineffective organizations (1985:4).

    However, perhaps it is in order to attempt to define leadership here. Dr. Bobby Clinton defines leadership like this, “A leader, as defined from a study of Biblical leadership,…is a person, with God-given capacity and with God-given responsibility who is influencing a specific group of God’s people toward God’s purposes for the group” ( Leadership 1993:14). This idea of influencing a group of people towards God’s purpose is also taken up by Dr. Peter Wagner while defining the leadership gift in the New Testament ( Rom. 12:8),

    The gift of leadership is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to set goals in accordance with God’s purpose for the future and to communicate these goals to others in such a way that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to accomplish those goals for the glory of God” (1994:149).

    From the above definitions, we can safely say that leaders both set goals and successfully influence people towards those goals. Since church growth thinking forms the underlying philosophy of this tutorial, we will specifically be analyzing effective leadership from this standpoint.


    These are some of the assumptions that will play a large role in this tutorial:

    • It is God’s will that His church grows.
    • God uses a variety of methods to grow His church.
    • Cell-based ministry is one of those effective methods that God is using today.
    • Church growth leadership is the preferred style of leadership in the cell church today.
    • Effective cell leaders are those who are able to multiply their cell groups

    Overview of this Tutorial

    In this tutorial I will:

    • Establish the leadership need in the cell church
    • Set forth various training models for cell leaders
    • Establish important church growth leadership principle for the cell Leader
    • Talk about leadership paradigms for top cell leadership
    • Discover how Latin American leadership differs from North American leadership.

    Chapter 2: The Need for Leadership in the Cell Church

    In order for a cell church to experience dynamic growth, it must rapidly raise up new leaders. If a cell church is going to fulfill the Jethro principle, a multiple layer of leadership is needed. There must also be leadership progression. In other words, as successful cell leaders demonstrate their talent for leading others, new, more challenging roles must be made available to them. The cells must never become self-serving, inward-looking enclaves of Christians seeking to be “discipled”.

    Rapid Multiplication Makes New Leadership Essential

    The rallying cry of the cell church is “born to multiply”. Successful leaders all seem to have one thing in common. They are able to translate intention into reality and to sustain it (Bennis and Nanus 1985:226). Eddie Gibbs says, “By multiplying cell groups the growing church creates leadership positions and an ideal training ground for future leadership. Wasdell describes cell groups as ‘leader-breeders’ (1981:260). I like that term “Leader breeders” because this is exactly what must happen in a rapidly growing cell church.

    I recently heard about a cell church in Medan, Indonesia that was established in the mid 1980s. It now has almost 10,000 members due to the fact that the cells never go over 15 in number. The goal of each group is to give birth every year. If it does not, the cell is absorbed into the other cell groups. The goal is crystal clear in this cell church: Evangelism first, then discipleship ( Davis 1996) (note 2). In this church, there is a constant need to raise up cell leadership to serve the new cells. In fact, a 700 member “in house” Bible School to was formed to train cell leaders, as well as church planters and missionaries.

    If we are going to release leadership rapidly to serve the needs of growing church, we need to use every potential leader. Paul Cho is an example of someone who has done that. Under his leadership, the church has grown to more than 625,000 members along with 22,000 cell groups. Neighbour points out that because Cho’s church adds 140 new members per day, the church has found it necessary to plant churches of 5,000 members (Neighbor 1990:24). One of the chief reasons that Cho has been able to maintain such rapid growth is that in his church there is a ratio of one lay leader to every ten to sixteen church members (Hurtson 1995:68). For example, in 1988 alone, 10,000 new lay leaders were appointed for ministry (Hurton 1995:194). It is this type of rapid deployment of leadership that is needed in the cell church today. Yet, how is this accomplished?

    Mindset for Rapid Deployment of Leadership

    From my experience in cell ministry, in order to have a constant pool of leadership available to lead the new groups, a new mentality must penetrate both the leadership philosophy and the church philosophy.

    Reliance on the Holy Spirit

    In many churches, there is an underlying, if not stated, assumption that if a lay person is going to assume leadership responsibility, he or she must be formally trained.

    And yes, formal training can be very beneficial. Yet, a philosophy that relies on formal training for new leadership oftentimes minimizes the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul the apostle is a case in point. During the first century, when Paul established churches throughout the Mediterranean world, he trusted in the Holy Spirit to work through the young believers who he left behind to lead the new churches (Allen 1962:84-94). Speaking of Paul’s method, Allen writes,

    …the moment converts were made in any place ministers were appointed from among themselves, presbyter Bishops, or Bishops, who in turn could organize and bring into the unity of the visible Church and new group of Christian in their neighborhood (1956:9).

    Unlike the apostle Paul, we often hang educational nooses around the necks of our potential leaders. No wonder, we can’t find enough to lead our cell groups! I’m personally convinced that we should be risky when it comes to raising up cell leadership. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to work through those who show enthusiasm, clear testimony, and desire to serve Jesus (Kreider 1995:41-53).

    Deployment of Young Christians

    Like Paul the apostle, Paul Cho uses young Christians in cell leadership. When he was asked where he got his leadership for his 22,000+ cell groups, without even hesitating he said, “We get them from our new Christians” (Galloway 1995:105). I do not believe that this quote means that Cho immediately places these new Christians into leadership, but it does mean that Cho understands that tomorrow’s cell leaders will come from the ranks of today’s new believers, and he plans accordingly.

    In fact, it is a well-known truth that new Christians are oftentimes the most effective evangelists. Wagner notes that the potential for evangelism is much higher in new Christians that mature ones (1976:91). This is primarily due to the fact that new Christians still have contacts with non-Christians. Mike Berg & Paul Pretiz in their excellent book, Spontaneous Combustion: Grass-Roots Christianity, Latin American Style, note that many of Latin American’s grass roots churches are alive with new Christians. They say,

    There is a quality of pristine faith in a believer’s first love that should emulated. With this is the need to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s illumination of the simple believer. We can be grateful for new found perspectives by believers in the GR church (1996:127).

    It is probably for this reason that Pete Scazzero, the pastor of a growing C&MA cell church in New York, uses new Christians in cell leadership. Carl George dedicates six pages to Pete’s church in his book Prepare Your Church for the Future. Here is what Pete says about leadership in cell ministry,

    Our future is limited by our leadership…Give me ten solid cell-group leaders, and our attendance will grow by another 100, because we’ll have provided an environment where the Holy Spirit is gifts can be released to do the work of the ministry…Several of the cell-group leaders (X’s) and apprentices (Xa’s) are new Christians. ‘Young Christians who lead cell groups grow like crazy…especially as they learn to base their identity in Christ instead of in their ministries or on their egos (1992:203,204).

    Personally, I’ve never placed brand new Christians into cell leadership positions. However, I have utilized younger Christians that demonstrate purity and zeal in their Christian life. Brand new Christians should be steered into a training track and then encouraged to become interns in a cell group.

    Deployment of Facilitators as Opposed to Bible Teachers

    Perhaps, there would be more willingness to release leaders if we would remember that cell leaders and interns are not Bible teachers but facilitators. A facilitator’s job description focuses more on guiding the communication process, praying for cell members, calls, visitation, and reaching the lost for Christ. George wisely adds, “…in the church of the future a leader won’t be known for his or her ability to handle a quarterly or written study guide so much as for a skill in relating to people in such a way that they allow access into their lives (1994:68).

    Because cell ministry focuses on raising up facilitators as opposed to Bible teachers, I do not believe that it is essential that a potential leader be required to know large amounts of Bible doctrine, be a gifted teacher, or even a recognized leader in the church in order to lead a cell group. If a person has demonstrated his or her love for Jesus Christ and if that person is walking in holiness, cell leadership is a distinct possibility.

    Deployment of Women

    Most of the most rapidly growing cell churches make extensive use of women in ministry. This is not a new phenomenon. Back in the days when Wesley turned England upside down through a powerful small group ministry, the majority of his cell lay leaders were women (Brown 1992:39).

    Today, Paul Cho is the prime example of a cell ministry that was launched by women and that now uses women as the vast majority of cell leaders (1982:21-32). The women who lead the cell groups in Cho’s church are not considered authoritative Bible teachers. Rather, their authority is derived from their submission to pastor Cho’s leadership. George wisely observes, “If a church focuses its groups as teaching ministries, some people will have problems sitting under women. But if the groups are to encourage the “one anothers” of spiritual life, the gender of the person facilitating the meetings or leading the groups won’t matter (1991:135).

    In fact, I have discovered that women can oftentimes guide the group into deeper communication than men can. Generally speaking, women are better communicators than men. Since participation that results in more in-depth sharing is one of the major goals in the cell meeting, women should be called upon to lead groups as much as possible.

    Willingness to Face Failure

    Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor, wrote,

    Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. Im fact, success represents the 1 percent of your work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure (quoted in Peters 1987:315).

    Bennis and Nanus have noticed that successful leaders learn from their failures and become stronger as a result. They say, “…for the successful leader, failure is a beginning, the springboard of hope” (1985:71). Peters believes that a company should promote failure. He counsels executives to hold “Hall of Shame” parties, to give rewards to those who have fouled up recently, to share freely (top executives) about their own failures, etc. (1987:316-317). Peters promotes fast failure; “Fail and get on with it” is the motto. The reasoning is clear. Without the freedom to make mistakes, there will be little innovation, little progress, data will be faked, those at the top will be kept in the dark, little learning will take place, and the fun will be drained from the company (1987: 320).

    These principles from the business world have huge implications for the cell church. The ever expanding needs of the cell church means that new, untested leadership will be placed in leadership roles. After all, every leader starts somewhere. Some leaders will fail and choose to withdraw. This is to be expected, and it is not the end of the world when it happens. Some groups will be dissolved (note 3). However, the majority will learn from their mistakes, correct them, and press on.

    An over cautious, perfectionist attitude toward leadership must not be allowed to dominate the cell church today. Although some groups will fail, with the proper control and administration over the cell groups, we have found that the vast majority of groups succeed.

    Leadership Giftedness

    Even though there is an attitude of risk and willingness to trust the Holy Spirit to raise up new cell leadership, relatively few will ultimately serve in cell leadership positions. During the Church Growth Lectures at Fuller Seminary in 1984, I was surprised to hear Paul Cho himself say that only ten percent of his congregation have the proper gifts to be a cell leader.

    He believes that the gift of evangelism is the most important gift for a successful cell leader to possess. For Cho, only those with the gift of evangelism will ultimately succeed, and he has come to the conclusion that ten percent of the congregation has this particular gift. To understand what the gift of evangelism is, Wagner’s definition is helpful,

    the gift of evangelist is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way that men and women become Jesus’ disciples and responsible members of the Body of Christ (1994:157).

    After defining the gift, Wagner, like Cho, contends that approximately five to ten percent of a church’s active members have this gift (1994:160).

    Pastor Cho tried for a long time to stir up lay people with the enthusiasm to lead cell groups, only to discover that after the initial pumped up excitement faded away, many of the cell leaders became discouraged and could did muster up enough internal vision to successfully multiply their groups. It wasn’t clear to me how he now finds those with the gift of evangelism, but he does believe that the successful cell leaders will have that gift (Cho 1984: lecture).

    Although I highly respect Pastor Cho’s opinion, I disagree with his statement that only those with the gift of evangelism can successfully lead a cell group. In my opinion, this would be true only if the cell leader was personally responsible to bring the new members to the cell group. However, the effective cell churches that I have studied emphasize team evangelism rather than personal evangelism, net fishing versus hook fishing.

    From my analysis of cell churches, I would be more inclined to suggest that a successful cell leader must excel at mobilization and leadership in order to motivate others to invite their relatives and close friends. With this in mind, perhaps an effective cell leader might have the gift of leader, apostle, prophet, pastor, or possibly even one of the serving gifts (note 4).

    Although I disagree with Cho’s contention that cell leadership must have the gift of evangelism, he might be right about the percentage of lay people that will ultimately serve in a cell leadership position. This fact, should liberate top leadership in the cell church from demanding that everyone serve in a cell leadership position. Some lay people are simply not called, nor gifted for the task. At the same time, like the issue of God’s sovereignty and our need to evangelize, (note 5) oftentimes it is not initially clear who will be a successful cell leader. Most of the time, the verdict must wait until the person actually leads the group (note 6). It is my opinion that since it is not clear which gifts (and I would add talents and acquired skills) are needed to successfully lead a cell group, it seems logical to open the door for all lay people who are willing to try. Perhaps future research (including my own) will provide information that will give greater specificity to cell leadership selection (note 7).

    Chapter 3: Training Models for Cell Leadership

    Dale Galloway says it well, “The most important job of the pastor and the pastoral staff is leadership development, training lay leaders who will build small groups. Leadership development is essential, and it must be top priority. It cannot be left to chance” (1995:118). George adds, “Since the whole system depends on trained leaders being available, the number of groups cannot grow if you are not multiplying the number of Xs”[cell leader] (1994: 61)..

    My interest in leadership development and cell groups is intimately linked with my passion for church growth. As Wagner so clearly brings out in his landmark book Leading Your Church To Growth, “In every growing, dynamic church I have studied, I have found a key person whom God is using to make it happen” (1984:61). This is also true in cell ministry. Behind a successful cell group is an effective leader (note 8).

    In this chapter, my focus turns to leadership training models in the cell church , that is, how a cell church can effectively, yet rapidly, train leadership to meet the burgeoning needs of a growing church. I will cover leadership training for new Christians all the way to cell apprenticeship and internship.

    Models for Training New Christians on the Path to Cell Leadership

    We have already discussed the urgent need in the cell church to identify potential leaders in the cell church. Under this section, I will suggest some models for preparing new believers to become cell leaders.

    I will be using the word “training” in this section as opposed to “discipleship”. To me, the word “training” speaks of movement and direction toward a goal. On the other hand, the word “discipleship” often provokes images of inward growth and personal sanctification that is purely qualitative in nature. The training that I’m describing in this paper is goal oriented and seeks to take the new believer from his present position to a practical, hands on ministry which contributes to the natural process of church growth.

    Under this section, I will analyze two models that are becoming increasingly well known and probably the most widely promoted at this time. This is largely due to the fact that Ralph Neighbour has his own publishing house and Bethany World Prayer Center has become one of the most well attended cell conferences in the world (note 9).

    Ralph Neighbour ’s Training Process

    Ralph Neighbour has probably done more than anyone to connect new believer training with cell group ministry. In industry terms, Dr. Neighbour has set the standard. Many cell churches are either using his material or have adapted it in their own context.

    General Training

    I recently bought the Track Pack from Touch Publications, Ralph Neighbour’s publishing house. This pack includes seven discipleship books (booklets) written by Ralph Neighbour (note 10). These booklets take the new believer from rethinking his value system to learning to penetrate his own “oikoses” (friends, neighbors, and family) through leading small groups.

    The main characteristic that separates these training manuals from the “garden variety” discipleship booklets (i.e., Navigator—Campus Crusade variety) is that they are so intimately linked with the cell group. In the cornerstone booklet, The Arrival Kit, Week one, Day one informs the new believer,

    Your Cell Group will be served in a special way. Some day, when you have matured, you may also shepherd others as a Cell Leader. There will never be more than fifteen in your family cell, and you will soon discover that each member is on a spiritual journey with you (1993:11).

    In the above quote, not only does Dr. Neighbour introduce new believer training and cell group involvement simultaneously, he also plants the seed that someday the new believer might become a cell group leader.

    Most of the material for new believers in the Track Pack is foundational Biblical teaching designed to disciple new believers. However, Neighbour takes those teachings and gives them new meaning in the light of the cell group. Take, for example, the Biblical teaching on fellowship. A quote out of the booklet, Welcome To Your Changed Life, says,

    There’s an event unbelievers look forward to, often called the ‘Happy Hour.’ It’s a time when friends get together for an hour or so and drink alcoholic spirits to ‘get happy.’ Perhaps you have shared in such events? Christians have the only TRUE ‘Happy Hour!’ It’s a special time, called a ‘Cell Group,’ when they get together to be with their Lord” (1995:14).

    When talking about baptism, he urges the new Christian to talk with his cell leader as soon as possible (1993:41). When touching the Lord’s Supper, he says, “In your oikos, you will observe a special meal called ‘The Lord’s Supper’” (1993:41).

    The new believer is guided upon a track (a literal railroad track) that attempts to take him from his worldly value system all the way to conducting small groups and winning his non-Christians neighbors. With each new stage of ministry, Neighbour emphasizes a corresponding book or books of the Bible. The following diagram explains the process better.

    (Neighbour 1995:4)
    1. Rethinking my value system Pentateuch
    2. Learning to be a sponsor History/Poetry
    3. Learning to use the john 3:16 diagram Major Prophets/Minor Prophets
    4. Bringing “Type A” unbelievers to Christ Gospels
    5. Being equipped for ministry and spiritual warfare Acts
    6. Learning to conduct share/interest groups Pauline Epistles/Regular epistles
    7. Learning to penetrate new oikoses Revelation

    In my opinion, the strength of Neighbour’s training system does not reside in the doctrinal/Scriptural teaching of his training material. The Navigators and other like-minded groups probably have an edge on the market in this area. Rather, the importance of these materials lie in the fact that Dr. Neighbour is the first one to link new believer training so intimately with cell group ministry.


    I believe that the most unique, workable contribution of Dr. Neighbour to new believer training is the concept of sponsorship within the cell group. Sponsorship is much like one on one discipleship. However, the main difference is that the sponsor (or discipler) comes from within the cell group and sponsors (disciples) someone who has been assigned to the same group. However, Neighbour does not only believe that a Sponsor should disciple a new Christian. Rather, he believes that every newcomer to the group should have a sponsor ( Sponsor’s 1995:5) (note 11).

    The Sponsor-Sponsee relationship lasts from three to four months. Then the relationship changes to partnership. It’s during this transitional time that the Sponsor trains the Sponsee to become a Sponsor of others ( Sponsor’s 1995:5). The Sponsor is supposed to do at least six things with the Sponsee ( Sponsor’s 1995:22-32). They are:

    • Listening
    • Interceding
    • Modeling
    • Teaching
    • Setting the Pace or Leading
    • Involving the Sponsee with other Christians

    As far as I am concerned, the sponsorship idea should be implemented in every cell group. Cell group leaders cannot do everything. Trying to lead and shepherd the group, as well as care for the new converts is not only draining but ineffective. This idea, steals the wealth of Navigator/Campus Crusade knowledge on discipleship, but takes it one step further. It envelops the new believer in a close knit cell group.

    Training for Outreach

    Four booklets of the Track Pack focus on teaching the new believer to reach out to non-Christians. Neighbour believes that the most effective outreach involves reaching friends, neighbors, and family members which he labels our “oikos”. This is the Greek word for house or household in the New Testament (1992:60-65). He also distinguishes between “type A” unbelievers who are familiar with religious customs from “type B” unbelievers who are “…are not searching for Jesus Christ, and show no interest in Bible study or other Christian activities (1992:27).

    For the “type B” unbelievers, Dr. Neighbour has designed a “non-Christian type” cell group called Share Groups. These Share Groups do not replace the normal cell groups but rather serve as an extension or outreach from the regular cell group. Those believers who start or participate in Share Groups have the dual responsibility of attending their normal cell group as well as a separate Share Group. Concerning these Share Groups, Neighbour says, “This group should be free, informal, and spontaneous….It’s important for all Share Group members to feel they can be themselves” (1991:60).

    The idea of Share Groups is a sound one and obviously has been used by Dr. Neighbour and others very effectively. However, I have personally discovered very few people have time to be involved in a regular cell group, a celebration service, some type of cell training activity, and then commit themselves to another activity—in this case, a Share Group. In other words, I have found this concept more idealistic than practical in the life of a cell church.

    Bethany World Prayer Center

    Bethany World Prayer Center holds the most promise for promoting and modeling the cell church model in the United States (note 12). They have successfully adapted Neighbour’s training methods for new believers to their own context and situation. First, it should be noted that from the moment that the new convert enters the church, there is cell group involvement. The process is best described in the following table format:

    (Adapted from Bethany Cell Conference Manual 1996:17)
    1. New Believer Orientation
    • First, the cell leaders are praying in back throughout the altar call
    • Second, the cell leaders hear when the altar call is taking place. They then stand behind the new believers
    • Third, within 24 hours of the person accepting Christ a zone pastor and the cell pastor visit the new convert.
    2. Discipleship Track
    • This step begins the moment the new believer enters a cell group. It involves nine steps as outlined in the below table
    3. Foundation Class
    • It involves attending a class on doctrine that is offered on Wednesday night at Bethany World Prayer Center. It is my understanding that this class covers essential Bible doctrine.
    • After taking the course, the person is ready to be an apprentice in the cell group (step six).
    4. Apprentice in Touch Group
    • A cell apprentice is simply one who attends the cell group on a regular basis and has been given a small ministry assignment within the cell group.
    5. Leadership Track
    • This track has not yet been developed
    6. Intern in Touch Group
    • The intern and the leader work as a team.
    7. Leadership Seminar
    • An event in which section leaders, section pastors, and district pastors train potential cell leaders.
    8. Touch Group Leader
    • The person is now an official cell leader

    As of June, 1996, Bethany had not yet developed their Leadership Track (Step five). The most developed part of their new believer training is step two, the Discipleship Track that begins the moment the new believer arrives at the cell group. The following table better describe the process that step:

    (Adapted from Hornsby 1995:25)
    Step Two
    1. Assign Sponsor Bethany tries to match the right sponsor with the person. Men sponsor men and women sponsor women.
    2. Follow-up and Road to Maturity This is an actual visit to the sponsee’s house to determine the spiritual condition of the sponsee. An interview is given.
    3. Are You Going to Heaven tract This is a generic tract (from Christian Equippers) that is much like the four spiritual laws or any other four step track that leads the non-Christian to make a profession of faith.
    4. Water Baptism tract A very good tract from Christian Equippers that emphasizes baptism as an act of obedience rather than part of our salvation.
    5. Follow-up tract This tract ( Christian Equippers) emphasizes the basic disciplines of Chrisitian growth: Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Witnessing, Spiritual Warfare, and the Victorious life.
    6. Baptism in the Holy Spirit tract This tract teaches a person that to be baptized in the Spirit, one must speak in tongues. It is also designed by Christian Equippers.
    7. Bethany Touch Group tract This tract is just about the touch groups at Bethany and how they function
    8. “Two Question” test This is a training time. The Sponsor trains the Sponsee how to ask the two salvation questions (very much like the E.E. questions).
    9. Evangelize with the new believer Here the Sponsee goes with the Sponsor to penetrate the “oikos” of the Sponsee.

    Like most things at Bethany World Prayer Center, I really like their new believer to cell leadership training model. Although it is still “under construction”, it seems to be practical, thorough, and doable. I actually like the idea of using four simple tracts to cover important Biblical truth rather than paying more money for an in-depth booklet (Neighbour). It also seems a lot easier to train Sponsors with something as simple as a tract.

    Bethany should be commended for their creativity in combining personal cell group training with classroom instruction (something that would be unacceptable to some cell group purists— Ralph Neighbour). Bethany is also the model for effectiveness when it comes to making immediate contact with the new believer and utilizing the cell leaders immediately after the altar call.

    Although I like their model and do not have any criticisms of it, I believe that it is not wise for any cell church to follow verbatim someone else’s model of training. Every cell model has to be adapted to fit the situation, the followers, and the leaders.

    Models for Training Cell Leaders and Interns

    In this section, I will primarily deal with the latter stages of cell leader training. That is, I will be describing the various training models for cell leaders. My starting point will be three of the four training model categories that Lyman Coleman uses in his 1993 manual on small group ministry (note 13). However, I hope to expand on Coleman’s categories, offer major corrections, (note 14) and add one more model. I believe that it is useful to start with Coleman’s categories since most cell leader training will fall under one of them.

    Serendipity Model

    Serendipity has established itself as being a first class producer of small group material for both cell leaders and cell group members. I have also found that Lyman Coleman’s knowledge of small dynamics is the foremost in the field.

    Balance between Up-Front and On-Going Training

    The Serendipity Model of leadership training requires six sessions of up-front training with periodic on-going training. That is, the potential leaders are required to take six seminar type classes before they can lead a small group. Afterwards, they are required to attend a monthly on-going leadership training meeting. Coleman takes pride in the fact that his model takes into account the various types of groups in the church. For example, support groups might receive more training than other groups (Coleman 1993: 5:19). The requirements in themselves are sound and the once a month ongoing training takes into account the busy life of the cell leader (note 15). It is my understanding that Coleman does not promote the Jethro system in his model of small group ministry (notes 16).

    Difficulty in Training Such Diverse Leadership

    However, I have noticed one major difficulty. Serendipity encourages churches to initiate a variety of small groups in the church (e.g., sports groups, choir groups, care groups, etc.). For example, Dr. Coleman says, “It is not easy to categorize small groups. Often, they have several different goals which cross the lines of categorization” (1993: 11).

    Because the groups are so diverse, it is extremely difficult to offer unified training that will meet the needs of each leader. For example, the leader of a sports team or a choir group will not need to learn about lesson preparation or how to lead worship in the group. Those issues are simply not relevant to them. Therefore, I have discovered that ongoing leadership training in a church that promotes a wide variety of small groups is very difficult to maintain and make relevant.

    Meta Model

    In the US the Meta Model of small group ministry seems to have the highest profile due to the fact that two of the largest churches in the US are using it (WillowCreek and Saddleback Community Church.

    Less Up-Front Training

    The Meta model requires less up-front training than the Serendipity approach. Coleman says, “The up-front training of the Meta model is called an -apprenticeship, and it is basically the associate, assistant, or co-leader who is ‘mentored’ while they are in the group” (1993:5:19). George, the philosophical thinker behind the Meta Model, sets forth his reasoning behind less up-front training in his recent book, The Coming Church Revolution,

    Those who plan training and leadership development in churches tend to overdo orientation training and under do supervision. Why? Their own educational upbringing has made them comfortable with orientation training but relatively unfamiliar with the notion of supervision….any growing Christian…will be able to put together lots of the pieces on a common-sense basis with only a small amount of instruction (1994: 83).

    As a pragmatist, George realizes that no one model is laid in concrete. In other words, although George would prefer to use an effective model of apprenticeship, he is willing to change if the apprenticeship is not working. He says,

    The poorer the supervision, the richer the orientation has to be. The thicker the supervision, the thinner the orientation has to be. Adult learning that is rooted in behavior change opts increasingly in favor of supervision and on the job training rather than on orientation (1994:84).

    More Ongoing Training

    To compensate for the lack of up-front training, each cell leader and intern in the Meta model must attend on-going bimonthly leadership training (note 17). In other words, the Meta Model requires that the cell leaders spend more time fulfilling on the job training. Ideally, every other week, they are required to meet in a general leadership training event called the VHS (Vision, Huddle, and Skill Training).

    Cell leaders (both the leader and the intern) learn best through experience and reflection. George rightly says, …the best possible context anyone has ever discovered for developing leadership occurs because of a small group” (1994:48). If the small group is the best context for a leader to gain experience, the bimonthly leadership training session is the best place for leaders to reflect on their experiences. It is during these leadership training meetings that the top leadership of the church can help in the training process (George 1992: 119-152).

    Change of Emphasis

    In his book, Prepare Your Church for the Future, George strongly emphasizes the bimonthly leadership gatherings (Vision, Huddle, and Skill Training) He dedicates some thirty pages to describe these events in detail and how the Jethro system of care (D’s, L’s, X’s, etc.) ties into these bimonthly leadership training meetings (1992:121-148). In that book, George is very dogmatic about the necessity of having those bimonthly meetings. On the other hand, there was very little said about the apprentice system of training leaders.

    However, in George’s most recent book, The Coming Church Revolution, he reverses gears. Very little is said about the VHS . He even implies that an official VHS gathering is not even necessary if you are providing the same type of training in another manner (1994:128). He recommends that a church does not launch the VHS right away as a program , but rather tries to identify the VHS functions already present in the church (1994:203). On the other hand, lots of space is dedicated to raising up leadership from among the lay people in the church. One example will suffice, “…the limiting resource for most churches’ part of the harvest is usually the lack of trained leaders. The model we increasingly find in healthy, growing churches is one of apprentice that leads to leadership (1994:61).

    Personal Observations

    I personally believe that the change of emphasis from on-going training to apprenticeship is the result of the difficulty in gathering together leaders from such diverse groups and trying to offer them something relevant. This was the same criticism that I offered concerning the Serendipity Model (note 18). As I have studied the Meta Model in five flagship churches around the US, I have discovered that ongoing training has become increasingly difficult, if not irrelevant (note 19).

    However, it must be added that the Meta Model promotes a strong Jethro system of leadership (see footnote under Serendipity Model). In my study of Meta Churches in the US, I noticed an increasing reliance on the Jethro system, due to the difficulty of gathering the small group leaders together for ongoing training.

    Cho Model

    According to Lyman Coleman, the Cho model requires no up-front training. Once the cell group is formed, Coleman says that the leaders are required to attend a weekly training event where they are given the notes to the pastors and discussion questions for Bible application (Coleman 1993: 5:19). Coleman then proceeds to talk about what Dale Galloway does, who Coleman labels as the major as the major advocate of the Cho model in the US (Coleman 1993: 5:19).

    Mistaken Analysis of the Cho Model

    I am not sure how Coleman arrived at these conclusions, but it does not appear that they are true. First, in Dale Galloway’s recent book on his small group ministry called, The Small Group Book, he talks about offering an initial training time for cell leaders and interns that lasts three day event (1995:93). Second, the evidence seems to point to Galloway being more of an advocate of the Meta Model than the Cho Model (note 20).

    If by calling this training system the ‘Cho model’, Coleman is referring to the what Paul Yonggi Cho actually does in Korea, he is also mistaken.

    The Training Cho Actually Offers

    Contrary to what Coleman implies, Cho does offer up-front training. Potential cell leaders must attend an eight-week leadership training course that is taught on Sunday afternoon in one of Yoida Full Gospel Churches’ small auditoriums (Hurtson 1995:75). Topics covered in this eight-week course include: cell leader responsibilities, home cell-group growth, Bible lesson preparation, etc. (Hurtson 1995:215). Cho believes that “…the success of home cell groups depends on the guidance of the pastor, a trained lay leadership and continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit” (1981:135).

    Neither does Cho offer a weekly training session to his cell leaders at the church (since 1988 this has been discontinued due to the rapid growth). Rather, printed supplemental materials are available before and after the Wednesday night services (Hurtson 1995:214).

    The ongoing training now consists of semiannual cell leader conferences in which pastor Cho personally addresses the cell leaders. Due to their large number, half of the cell leaders attend the conference one day, while the other half attend the next day. Practical tips and vision casting seem to be the main agenda for these conferences (Hurtson 1995: 75). However, the main ongoing training takes place as section leaders spend time with group leaders both during ministry visits and during the actual group meetings (Hurtson 1995:75).

    In summary, the original Cho Model (before it became impractical to train the cell leaders on a weekly basis) consisted of:

    • An eight week training course for potential cell leaders
    • Strong implementation of the Jethro System
    • Weekly Training for the cell leaders (this has now been cut back to twice per year)
    The Cho Model Today

    This original Cho model is followed precisely by Bethany World Prayer Center today. The cell leaders and interns are required to meet every Wednesday night with their section pastors and district pastors who train them in the cell lessons. Pastor Larry, after delivering exegetical teaching to the congregation, meets with the cell leaders to pray for them and stir them up with fresh vision. There is also a required cell leadership training before one can lead a group. Like in Cho’s church, there is also a healthy Jethro system in place.

    Neighbour’s Training Model

    Neighbour’s model of pre-training and ongoing training is unique. From my understanding of Neighbour, there is no ongoing training after one has begun leading a cell group. He believes that potential leaders must be trained from within their existing cell groups through a combination of modeling and personal training (note 21). I believe that Neighbour does promote a leadership training retreat in which potential cell leaders are invited. However, my point here is that after the cell leader begins ministering, there are no ongoing training meetings. Neighbour believes that the only way a cell church can keep up with the constant need for new cell leadership is if each leader trains new leaders (1990: 221).

    Personal Journey in Cell Training

    After describing the four training models, Lyman Coleman refers to the fifth model, that is, the model that best describes your own personal situation. When my wife and I began the cell system in Ecuador, I followed a small manual that we received from a fellow missionary who was the head pastor of a C&MA church in Colombia. As I look back on it, this manual promoted a very similar approach to the VHS (Vision, Huddle, and Skill Training) model that is now promoted by Carl George (note 22). Apart from many helpful hints in the manual, the core principle was holding bimonthly training session with all the cell leadership present. We followed the general tenor of that model throughout our time in Ecuador.

    Before leaving Ecuador, a key co-worker (a fellow missionary with whom I had worked side by side in the cell ministry) and I reflected back on our three and one half years s of cell ministry. Both of us agreed that the bimonthly training sessions were the backbone of our cell ministry and the key to our success. In my own cell manual, I call this bimonthly meeting, the motor of the cell group ministry.

    Our other ongoing system of training took place through the Jethro model. This idea was unashamedly stolen from Carl George through his book, Prepare Your Church for the Future. Following George’s teaching, we appointed D’s (myself), L’s (at one point we had eleven), X’s (at one time 50 ), and Xa’s (at one time 50). This system offered mixed results. It really depended on the commitment of the L (overseer of five cell groups), as to whether or not the cell leaders received proper care.

    Our pre-training developed in two stages. In the initial stages of the cell ministry, I taught a taught a Sunday School course entitled “How To Lead A Cell Group.” That was my first attempt to put together a cell manual. Later, when the manual was more fully developed, I offered a one day seminar for new leaders.

    Conclusion on Cell Leadership Training Models

    Among the five models discussed under this section, there seems to be more similarity than dissimilarity, more agreement than disagreement. The following table gives an overview of the four cell leader training models:


    • Formal 8 week pre-training
    • No apprentice-ship in the cell
    • Monthly ongoing training
    • No Jethro system
    • No formal pre-training
    • Apprenticeship within the cell
    • Bimonthly ongoing training
    • Well established Jethro system
    • Formal 8 week pre-training
    • Apprenticeship within the cell
    • Weekly ongoing training (note 23)
    • Well established Jethro system
    • No formal pre-training
    • Apprenticeship within the cell
    • No ongoing training
    • Well established Jethro system

    The Serendipity Model appears to be the weakest in that there is not an emphasis on apprenticeship within the cell group nor on the Jethro system. I also found Neighbour’s model to be deficient, due to the lack of formal leadership training and ongoing training, which I believe are both very important.

    The Meta Model and the Cho Model have the most in common. However, the Cho model includes both formal pre-training as apprenticeship training within the cell group, while the Meta Model only offers apprenticeship training. With this in mind, it would appear that the Cho Model offers the most complete system of cell training. It is also true that the Cho Model has produced the most rapid church growth, which is another factor in its favor.

    Therefore, in summary, an effective cell leader training model should have:

    • Some kind of pre-training for potential cell leaders before they begin leading their groups.
    • An apprentice system within the cell group in which potential leaders are in the process of being trained from the moment they enter the group.
    • A Jethro system in which every leader is pastored (note 24).
    • Some type of on-going training (this training might be weekly, bimonthly, or monthly).

    Chapter 4: Foundational Principles for Cell Leaders

    In the last chapter, we discussed various cell leader training models which describe both the pre-cell leader training as well as post-cell leader training. Now we turn to the content of the training. What are the essential leadership principles that a cell leader or potential cell leader needs to know in order to be effective?

    Difficulty in Identifying Leadership Characteristics

    Before I present some important cell leadership principles, it is important to remember that lists of effective leadership characteristics abound. I did a comparison of leadership characteristics listed in five popular leadership books and found a lot of variation. The following table demonstrates what I am saying:

    Spiritual Leadership
    by J. Oswald Sanders
    Leadership that Endures in a World That Changes
    by John Haggai
    Leadership Style of Jesus
    by Michael Youssef
    Learn to be a Leader
    by G.S. Dobbins
    Leaders Are Made; Not Born
    by Ted Engstrom
    • Discipline
    • Vision
    • Wisdom
    • Decisiveness
    • Courage
    • Humility
    • Integrity
    • Humor
    • Patience
    • Friendship
    • Prudence
    • Inspirational
    • Decision Maker
    • Listener
    • Prayer warrior
    • Reader
    • Organizer
    • Vision
    • Goal setter
    • Lover
    • Humility
    • Self control
    • Risk taker
    • High energy
    • Perseve-rance
    • Authority
    • Knowledge
    • Courage
    • Friendliness
    • Tradition breaker
    • Generous
    • Truthful
    • Forgiving
    • Good health
    • Physically attractive
    • Intelligent
    • Superior education
    • Clear ideals
    • Enthusiastic
    • Perseve-rance
    • Capacity to learn
    • Integrity
    • Good reputation
    • Faithful
    • Integrity
    • Visionary
    • Willingness to deal with obstacles
    • Ability to receive correction
    • Flexible
    • Committed to people

    From my study of what other authors had to say about leadership characteristics, I came up with a wide varieties of answers. I am not saying that such lists are useless, but I am saying that they are certainly not conclusive. They seem to give validity to what Bennis and Nanus say, “…leadership is the most studied and least understood topic of any in the social sciences,…Leadership is like the Abominable Snowman, whose footprints are everywhere but who is nowhere to be seen” (1985:20).

    Actually, I think that one needs to be careful when promoting lists of leadership characteristics because scholars like Stogdill (1948) and Fielder (1967) have already demonstrated that leadership effectiveness is not only determined by a series of traits or characteristics. It is much more complex. The followers, the situation, and the leader must be studied as a unit to arrive at an accurate picture of effective leadership. Finney’s comments are instructive here, “A leader emerges from within a certain set of circumstances at a particular time. The context is all important. A small group can often be instructive in providing a useful microcosm of a church or other larger assembly of people” (1989:38).

    Biblical Leadership

    When considering the content of cell leadership training, I believe that the best place to start is the authoritative Word of God. In order to avoid simply giving my own opinion about what made a Bible character effective, I decided to do a study on those passages which specifically declare God’s requirements for leadership.

    Old Testament Principles

    The following table presents various principles drawn from the Old Testament where the text gives clear requirements to leaders:

    Exodus 18:25 Deuteronomy 17:15-20 I Samuel 16:7 II Samuel 23:3 & Leviticus 25:43-53
    • Leaders of virtue
    • Delegation of responsibility
    • God’s election (v.15)
    • Committed believer (15)
    • Dependent on God (16-17)
    • An obedient student of the Bible (18,19)
    • Humility (v.20)
    • A dedicated heart to God
    • A reverence for God

    When I do cell training, I know that I need to share the above leadership requirements because God has explicitly directed them to potential or existing leaders. It seems that the one requirement that stands out more than any other one is the necessity of dependence upon God. A cell leader must be continually dependent upon God to give wisdom, direction, love for the people, and power.

    Anyone studying leadership in the Old Testament is obliged to take note of the life of Nehemiah. The principles derived from the study of Nehemiah’s life can be very

    very instructive for cell leadership. With this mind, I studied the man Nehemiah with the hope of deriving various principles that might be helpful in my training of cell leadership. Here are the principles that I wrote down:

    A passion for the glory of God (1:4)
    A dynamic life of prayer (1:5-11)
    A willingness to fulfill his own prayer (1:11; 4:8,9)
    A sacrificial life (2:1-7)
    Wise plans (2:4-7)
    A contagious vision ( 2:17, 18 & 4:1-14)
    A just life ( 5:1-13)
    A ministry of teaching ( 8:9, 18)
    A hatred of sin (13:25)

    Nehemiah is an example of someone who got the job done—from beginning to end. He possessed God’s passion, was willing to get involved, knew what to get done, how to get it done, and was able to motivate people toward the fulfillment of his goal. His vision was so utterly contagious to complete his God-given task, he never allowed obstacles and difficulties to deter him. Nehemiah’s first class leadership speaks to the cell church today.

    New Testament Principles

    Using the same technique for the New Testament, I simply included those references which specifically are directed toward leaders and how they should behave. The following table explains those passages:

    Mark 10:42-45 Acts 6:3 Romans 12:8 Timothy 3:1-13
    (Titus 1: 5-10)
    • Domination is the world’s leadership style
    • Servanthood is the leadership style of the disciple
    • Service through the cell ministry
    • A good testimony
    • Filled with the Spirit
    • Filled with wisdom
    • Diligence
    • Social qualities
    • A pure life (3:2,3)
    • A good reputation (3:7)
    • Moral qualities
    • ‘husband of one wife’ (3:2)
    • ‘not given to wine’ (3:3)
    • Mental qualities
    • ‘respectable’ (3:2)
    • ‘self controlled’ (3:2)
    • ‘Able to teach’ (3:2)
    • Personal qualities
    • Gentle (3:3)
    • Hospitable (3:2)
    • Not a lover of money (3:3)
    • Domestic qualities
    • house in order (3:2,4,5)

    One characteristic of leadership that is unique to the New Testament is the concept of servanthood. Jesus modeled this attitude so perfectly when he washed the feet of His disciples (John 13). This characteristic is also highly desirable in the cell leadership.

    Steve Barker points out,

    To begin a cell group requires lots of service. Someone must decide who, when, where, why and how. This means that someone has to make the calls, find the house, set up the chairs, make the coffee, remind the people of the meeting, and introduce everyone. Oftentimes it is a job without appreciation- but absolutely necessary. The service required before the actual cell meeting begins often makes the difference between the success or failure of the group (1985:44).

    Effective leadership in the cell group requires a huge amount of service. Although it is always good to delegate, ultimately the cell leader is responsible for the activities in the group, the order of the meeting, where the group will meet, the refreshments, follow-up on the newcomers, etc.

    Essential Church Growth Qualities

    As I stated at the beginning, this present study is biased toward church growth leadership. It is my conviction that the best type of cell leadership is church growth oriented. Bishop George Carey says,

    You show me a growing church, where people are being added o the faith and growing in it, and you will be showing me effective leadership…Churches and fellowships grow because of visionary leadership. Conversely, when churches loses heart and fade away, often, although not always, it is connected with ‘leaders’ who cannot lead (forward in Finney 1989:ix).

    As part of the larger church growth movement, much of the success within the cell-based structure is due to church growth leadership. Normally, the top leadership has implemented the cell ministry because they are interested in ever expanding church growth. The most effective cell leaders are those who earnestly desire that their cell multiply. The following are some of the foundational church growth qualities that I have embraced and urge cell leadership to internalize and practice.

    Goal Setting

    I am a strong believer in goal setting. I will even be so bold to say that effective goal setting is the primary catalyst behind successful church growth leadership. I believe that in order for cell groups to multiply rapidly, the cell leader must set bold, clear goals for the group. It is my strong suspicion that those cell leaders who have specific goals will multiply more rapidly than those who do not.

    Donald McGavran, the father of church growth, states, Nothing focuses effort like setting a goal (1990: 265). In his study on leadership, Ted Engstrom concurs, “The best leaders always had a planned course, specific goals, and written objectives. They had in mind the direction in which they wanted to go…”(1976:106).

    This confirms two significant research projects that measured church growth and direction in leadership. First, John Wesley Hall Jr., who received his Ph.D. from Fuller Seminary, studied urban church leadership in Latin American. John performed an in-depth statistical analysis of pastors from both large and small urban churches throughout Latin America. The statistics showed clearly that pastors of larger churches were directive and future oriented in their leadership approach (1992:171-172). Second, Kirk Hadaway performed a survey in which he discovered that sixty-nine percent of growing churches set membership goals, as compared to forty-two percent of plateaued churches and thirty-two percent for declining churches. He concludes,

    Growing churches are goal-directed. They set measurable goals for attendance, Sunday School classes, revivals, and for many other areas….Setting goals helps churches to grow….Goals provide direction and ensure that priorities (which flow out of purpose) are acted upon….Challenging goals have the potential for producing motivation and enthusiasm. Big plans create a sense of excitement if they are consistent with the mission and vision of a congregation and are not see as totally impossible” (1994:120-121).

    This decisiveness that characterizes effective leadership must be connected with clear, reachable goals. Engstrom supports this conclusion. He discovered that the most effective goals were very reachable. Referring to a leader’s goals, he goes on to say, “They [goals] must be reachable within a particular time frame… “(1976:139). Hocking advises leaders to, “Set deadlines for your goals. When is a project completed? Most leaders find that they are more productive when they have deadlines” (1991:248). I would also add that goals should be visible (note 25). Tom Peter gives this same advise in his book, Thriving On Chaos (1987:91).

    However, many leaders refuse to make goals. They behave like the person who shot the arrow and then drew the bulls eye around the place where the arrow landed. In other words, there is no goal, no bulls eye out in front. These leaders meander aimlessly and accept whatever happens–often very little. Talking about goal less leadership in plateaued churches, Hadaway writes,

    …the pastor and laity in these churches may be working just as hard as their counterparts in growing congregations. Yet there is something lacking. The organization is not going anywhere, it is only seeking to maintain itself, rather than striving to become something better and to reach even more person with the gospel. Goals, when they exist at all, tend to be maintenance oriented rather than dealing with membership, attendance, and outreach (1991:111-112)

    One thing that I have noticed about Paul Yonggi Cho is that he is extremely focused. He knows where his church is going and how it will get there. He is also very committed to setting church growth goals. In fact he believes that it is essential for a church growth leader to set clear, measurable goals (1984:144-204). Cho says, “The number-one requirement for having real growth—unlimited church growth—is to set goals” (1982:162). He recommends four principles for setting goals:

    • Set specific goals
    • Dream about those goals
    • Proclaim those goals to the church
    • Prepare for the fulfillment of the goals

    In training cell leadership these four basic steps are a good place to start. Each cell leader should know when (it is preferable to have the exact date) the group is going to give birth to another group (note 26). The cell leader should then dream about that goal, proclaim the goal to the cell members and top leadership, and make all the needed preparations (as if the goal was definitely going to become a reality).

    Cho believes so much in this principle that he requires that his cell leaders practice it as well. Referring to the cell leaders in Cho’s church, Karen Hurtson writes, “Each cell leader is to pray that God will give him a specific number he and his group are to win to Jesus Christ that year” (1995:101).

    John Mallison, the Australian small group expert, recommends that goal setting can be aided by the group claiming the verse, ‘Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’ (John 12:24). Of course, by that verse, he is referring to a group dying (not staying together) in order to give birth to a new one. He writes,

    Let the goal be to grow to 10 or 12 members by the end of the first year….This becomes the group’s motivation for their life together—to grow to the point where they lose their original identity by dividing at the end of twelve months, to become the basis for two more groups with the same goal. As this process is repeated, so the redemptive fellowship of the original small group is multiplied (1989:22).

    Church Growth Attitudes

    Along with goal setting, church growth teaches that there are three essential attitudes for leaders to possess. They are:

    • Obedience
    • This is obedience to the Word of God. Biblical obedience is primary. For this reason, I covered the Biblical principles of leadership first.
    • Optimism

    There were twelve leaders who went to spy out the promised land (Numbers 13, 14). All of them saw the giants and were faced with the same reality. However, only two of them saw beyond the problem to the power of God. It was Joshua and Caleb who maintained an attitude of optimism and urged the Israelites to trust God to defeat the giants (Numbers 13:30-33).

    Optimistic cell leaders are able to see beyond the many obstacles that confront them week after week. They have the faith to lay hold on the God who “…calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). George Barna did a survey among leadership in rapidly growing churches. He noticed this pattern,

    In the churches that have grown rapidly, the leaders have learned to dream and have the faith that the obstacles are opportunities. Negative attitudes are not permitted to influence these leaders…They believe that God can do anything and for this reason they make great plans and goals (1991:32,38).

    On the other hand, cell leaders do get discouraged. Oftentimes, they are ready to throw in the towel. For this reason, the ongoing training sessions are exceedingly important (note 27).


    It was while reading Donald McGavran’s foundational work, Understanding Church Growth that I became a church growth enthusiast. McGavran’s heartbeat for a lost world won me over. I became convinced that church growth was a legitimate discipline that was committed to evangelizing a lost world.

    In my opinion, if there is one value that stands out about Donald McGavran, it was his commitment to pragmatism. He writes,

    Nothing hurts missions overseas so much as continuing methods, institutions, and policies which ought to bring men to Christ–but don’t; which ought to multiply churches–but don’t; which ought to improve society–but don’t. We teach men to be ruthless in regard to method. If it does not work to the glory of God and the extension of Christ’s church, throw it away and get something which does. As to methods, we are fiercely pragmatic–doctrine is something entirely different (quoted in Wagner 1973:146, 147).

    I do not believe that there is one “right way” to lead a cell group. The “right way” is the one that edifies the saints and attracts non-Christians to the group. If the cell leader has managed to multiply his group, he or she has done it the “right way”. This pragmatic attitude characterized the life and ministry of John Wesley. Wilke notes,

    John Wesley changed his structures and methods, almost against his will, in order to save souls. He didn’t want to use women, but he did in exceptional circumstances. The ‘exceptional’ became normal. He didn’t want to use lay pastors, but he did. They were able to reach the unbelievers. He didn’t want to preach in the open air, but he did so that more might hear the Word of God (Wilke 1986:59).

    Tom Peters takes pragmatism one step farther when he says, “The best leaders…are the best ‘note-takers’, the best ‘askers,’ the best learners. They are shameless thieves” (1987:284). Instead of inventing something on your own, Peters recommends the title, “Swiped from the Best with Pride” (1987:284). Cell leaders do well to take this advice by stealing any information, methodology, or leadership style that will ultimately lead to the multiplication of the cell group.

    Visionary Leadership

    Vision is one of those qualities that everyone want to have, but no one really understands. Due to my lack of clarity on the subject, I often talk about vision, goal setting, optimism, and faith interchangeably. And yes, there are many similarities. Yet, there does seem to be one thing about vision which everyone agrees upon—it is the one characteristic that all church growth leaders possess (Barna 1992:12). If this is true, it behooves us to understand what vision is and then to pass it on to cell leadership.

    Toward a Definition of Vision

    When George Barna studied User Friendly Churches (1992), he became so impressed by the relationship between church growth and visionary leadership that he wrote a book on the subject entitled, The Power of Vision. In it, he describes vision this way,

    Vision is a picture held in your mind’s eye of the way things could or should be in the days ahead. Vision connotes a visual reality, a portrait of conditions that do not exist currently. This picture is internalized and personal (1992:29).

    The “picture in your mind’s eye” sounds strangely like what Paul Cho promotes in his landmark book, The Fourth Dimension. Vision lies in the realm of the future and involves our dreams and aspirations. Bennis and Nanus state,

    To choose a direction, a leader must first have developed a mental image of a possible and desirable future state of the organization. This image, which we call a vision, may be as vague as a dream or as precise as a goal or mission statement. The critical point is that a vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organization, a condition that is better in some important ways than what now exists

    God-inspired Visions

    These dreams and visions are not concocted by our own human whims and emotions; rather they come from God. William Beckham writes,

    Vision in a Kingdom sense means passion, calling, a compulsion from God, an oughtness. This kind of vision is not something I catch but something that catches me. I do not act upon this vision, it acts upon me….A vision is something working in our lives, not something we are working on (1995:223).

    If God is the one who imparts dreams and vision, we must remember that His dreams are oftentimes much larger than our own. He has the means to accomplish any dream that He initiates. Barna says,

    …His dreams are bigger than yours and that they call for you to expand the size of your mental playing field to accommodate His vision…Dreaming big, through God’s enablement, is also one means of allowing the church to see and to reflect God’s power and majesty (1992:107).

    Perhaps vision can be best described best in terms of the architect and the construction workers. Before the actual construction can begin, there must be a blueprint. The blueprint comes first; then the construction. This is the lesson that Stephen Covey would have us to capture. He refers to vision as the first creation, the blueprint that must first appear before reality comes into being. Covey believes that it is the leader’s first task to nurture this first creation in the mind (1989:101ff).

    Vision Separates Leaders from Managers

    It is this distinction between the initial dream and the actual fulfillment that, perhaps more than any other trait, separates leaders from managers. The leader spends his time with the first creation, the vision. He meditates on the vision, he broadens it, he clarifies it, he synthesizes it, and he communicates it. The manager on the other hand is like the construction worker who follows the blueprint, who manages the existing direction. Bennis and Nanus state,

    We have here [vision] one of the clearest distinctions between the leader and the manager. By focusing attention on a vision, the leader operates on the emotional and spiritual resources of the organization, on its values, commitment, and aspirations. The manager by contrast, operates on the physical resources of the organization,…(1985:92).

    Cell leaders should be encouraged to dream about their cell groups, to ask God to show them His desired direction for the group. This dreaming should cover the raising up of future cell leaders, the multiplication of the cell group, and the spiritual communion among members of the group. The cell leader should not spend all of his time doing the work of the ministry, at the expense spending time before the Lord. Perhaps, this is why leaders who pray often seem to be more effective in cell multiplication—they’ve spent more time receiving God’s vision for their cell group (note 28). Barna says, “…the vision-capturing process may be an ordeal. Hours and hours will be spent in prayer, in study,….Some leaders find this period very lonely” (1994:148).

    Communicating Vision

    Effective leaders not only meditate on their vision, they also clarify it so that the followers will respond. Bennis and Nanus say, “Leaders are only as powerful as the ideas they can communicate” (1985:107). This is not an easy task. Followers are bombarded with a wide array of images, signals, forecasts, and alternatives. However, this is where the genius of leadership lies. The effective leaders are able to take from the wide array of ideas and clarify a vision for the future which is easy to understand, desirable, and energizing (Bennis and Nanus 1985:103).

    This clarification might be in the form of pithy phrases or pictures. Bennis and Nanus call it the ability of a leader to “position” the vision in the hearts and minds of the followers. For example, Ray Kroc the driving force behind McDonald’s Hamburgers requires every executive office to carry this sign,

    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence

    Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent

    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb

    Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts

    Persistence, determination alone are omnipotent

    (Bennis & Nanus 1985:45).

    Rick Warren says, “The #1 task of leadership is to continually clarify and communicate the purpose of the organization (Warren 1995:10). He understands that great leaders use symbols and slogans to communicate their vision. In his popular church growth seminars, he makes a strong plea for pastors to clearly communicate their vision through slogans, symbols, stories, and Scriptures (note 29). After the vision has been clarified and made simple enough so that the followers can comprehend it, effective leaders use every opportunity to communicate it. Barna says, “Those leaders who have been most successful contend that you must take advantage of all opportunities, at all times, to share the vision (1994:143).

    The Practical Side of Vision

    Vision should not be considered only some esoteric, spiritual experience. There are some very practical considerations as well. First, a vision must be realistic and not overly idealistic or the followers will become disinterested (Nanus 1992:168) (note 30). Second, a vision must change to adapt to an ever-changing context. In his book, Visionary Leadership, Burt Nanus talks about vision and change (1992:162-163). He believes that a vision which is not adjusted to reality will probably fizzle out. To avoid this, the vision should be monitored and tracked (1992:159-161). Peters notes, “The vision must act as a compass in a wild and stormy sea and, like a compass, it loses its value if it’s not adjusted to take account of its surroundings” (1987:488).

    Finally, dreaming or having a vision is never an end in itself. Successful leaders all seem to have this one thing in common. They are able to translate intention into reality and to sustain it (Bennis and Nanus 1985:226). They are not content with merely dreaming. They must see their dreams turn into reality.

    Vision and Cell Multiplication

    Multiplication does not naturally happen. Just the opposite. The actual tendency is for cell groups to look inward. Close relationships have developed; fun times have been shared. Why even think about forming a new group? It is precisely at this point that without a vision the people perish (Proverbs 28:19). It is here that the vision for cell multiplication is absolutely necessary. This vision can only come from one place: Leadership. I’m referring to top leadership, section leaders (L’s), cell leaders, and intern leaders.

    Cells will not multiply in the church unless the top leadership (pastoral team) intentionally motivate the cells leaders to make cell multiplication the chief priority. This primarily takes place in the ongoing training times, but it also should be heard in the announcements, the sermon, and the award ceremonies (in honor of cell groups that have given birth) Again, the goal of the top leadership is to instill this vision for cell multiplication into the thinking of the cell leaders. Ultimately, the cell leaders are the ground troops who make it happen.

    How do the cell leaders actually make it happen? I’m sure there are many factors. My field research will largely be dedicated to isolating some of those variables. However, I suspect that much of it has to do with expectation that come from the God-given vision. By faith, the cell leader expects that his group will multiply and constantly communicates this expectation with the members of the cell. It is not enough to dream and pray. The dreaming and praying must lead to expectation that results in practical step by step planning (Cho 1982:166). In commenting on the miracle of Paul Cho’s church and how it grew from twenty small groups to fifty thousand small groups, Hadaway says, “…the numbers continued to grow because a growth strategy was built into each cell group” (1987:19).

    It is this type of ‘built in strategy’ or ‘ genetic code’ that is placed into the each cell group through the leader’s vision and dreams. Karen Hurtson talks about one cell leader named Pablo, who shares with the group his vision for multiplication before every meeting. The people in Pablo’s group have a very positive idea about cell group multiplication. They see the multiplication of their group as a sign of success (Hurtson 1995:12). Karen Hurtson writes about another group in Shreveport, Louisiana, that baked a cake and had a party before giving birth to a daughter cell. Hurtson comments, “…they understood that multiplying was a sign that their group had been effective, an event worth celebrating” (Hurtson 1995:12) (note 31).

    The Devotional Life of a Leader

    If there was one discipline that I could instill in the life of every cell leader, it would be the discipline of having regular, daily devotions. I personally believe that this is the most important discipline of the Christian life. I believe that all of my “successes” (family, ministry, and life in general) can be traced back to my daily devotional life. It is during my time with Jesus that he transforms me, feeds me, directs me, and shows me new revelation. ChuaWeeHian writes, “Leadership is exciting and exacting, and spiritual leaders have to give themselves unstintingly to meet the needs of their people. Unless our inner lives are renewed and replenished, there will be little depth to our ministry” (1987:94).

    As the cell leader spends daily time with the King of Kings, he or she will be renewed with optimism, filled with fresh vision, enabled to plan more effectively, and receive new guidance for the cell group. One of the questions that I will be asking cell leaders in Latin America is about their daily quiet times in order to see if there is a connection between this time and cell multiplication. I suspect that there is.

    The Pastoral Role of the Cell Leader

    Some people have trouble calling cell leaders “pastors”. I do not. It is my conviction that cell group are mini-churches within the larger local church structure, and that the pastors of these mini-churches are the cell leaders (note 32). After all, the cell leaders truly do the work of a pastor. The cell pastor fulfills every Biblical principle required of a pastor:

    • Care for the sheep (Acts 20: 28,29)
      • The cell leader must visit, counsel, and pray for the sick flock. It is his responsibility to care for his cell like a shepherd cares for his flock.
      • Know the sheep (John 10: 14,15 )
      • Effective cell leaders get to know each person who enters the group. Neighbour recommends that the cell leader conducts an interview with the new member. He says,
      • Nothing can substitute for personal time with each member of your flock! It will be in such private times that you will discern their value systems and deepest needs. While you will usually have your Intern at your side whey you visit, there will be times when more private sessions may help you gain special insights into each persons (1992:42).
    • Seek the sheep (Luke 15:4)
      • Jesus talks about leaving the flock of one hundred sheep to seek the one that has gone astray. Knowing that a Satanic dominated world is always at work in the lives of the cell members, a true shepherd will go after the sheep when they cease to attend.
    • Feed the sheep (Psalm 23: 1-3)
      • Although the cell group is not a Bible study, the Word of God always has a central place. Normally, the lessons are based upon passages from Scripture that have been broken down into relevant application questions. Oftentimes, the cell leader must spend more times meditating on the Scripture beforehand for a cell lesson than a Bible Study/Sunday School lesson. The cell leader must know the passage so well that he can lovingly draw the group into clear understanding of how the Bible applies to their daily lives. In this way, the sheep are fed and leave the cell group satisfied.
    • Watch out for the sheep (John 10:10, Ephesians 6:12)

    Satan walks about like a roaring lion hoping to devour God’s flock (I Peter 5:8,9). In many churches, Satan has free reign to attack God’s flock because the span of care between lay person and pastor is huge. In the cell church, every ten members is under the care and guidance of the cell pastor and the cell intern, who are responsible to protect their sheep. Paul’s advice to the pastors in Ephesus is helpful to every cell leader,

    Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:28-31).

    Satan doesn’t only attack from without; he also raises up self-proclaimed leaders from within who use a Christian small group gatherings to create division with the goal of attracting a following. Problem people are common in small groups and the cell shepherd must be careful that their behavior does not negatively affect his cell flock (George 1990:105, 110).

    The Communication Role of the Cell Leader

    The cell leader has a unique role. His job is not to preach, teach, nor lead a service. Rather, the goal is communication, interaction, and participation among the members of the group. Because of this, I have found that the more training that a potential or experienced cell leader can receive in the art of small group dynamics, (note 33) the more effective she will be as a leader. David Hocking says, “Communication is the name of the game! It’s not an option or a creative alternative—it’s essential for good leadership! Without communication, leadership cannot exist” (1991: 56).

    Create Responsiveness

    The leader would be wise to note that his actions, attitudes, and responsiveness will either stimulate others to share and communicate or cut them off (Hamlin 1990:51-80). This responsiveness is often communicated through gestures of the cell leader. Does the cell leader respond with a smile, a nod of the head, an offer to help or does he have a scowl on his face, show little responsiveness, and delay acting upon the needs of those present. The leaders own responsiveness through actions and gestures will set the tone of the cell meetings.

    Another essential link to creating responsiveness is listening. One chapter in Tom Peters book, Thriving On Chaos, is called ”Become Obsessed With Listening”. He understands that for a company to make it in such a competitive, ever-changing world, it must know the needs of its customers and respond accordingly. Listening is the key that provides needed customer information. Peters says, “Listening to customers must become everyone’s business. With most competitors moving ever faster, the race will go to those who listen (and respond) most intently” (1987:176).

    The leader must have the same attitude in the cell group. What the cell members have to say during the cell meeting is the most important part. And cell members know when the cell leader has listening or not listened carefully. Stephen Covey hits a common flaw in our human nature when he says, “Most people do not listen to understand; They listen in order to answer. While the other is talking, they are preparing their reply” (1989:239). How often have I watched a cell leader rustling through his notes in preparation for the next question, while a cell member was attempting to answer the question raised by the cell leader. When the cell member senses that the leader is not listening he or she will be hesitant to respond to the next question.

    Do not Dominate the Cell Meeting

    This is where most cell leaders fail. I cannot count the number of small groups that I have attended in which the cell leader has controlled and dominated the entire meeting (note 34). The cell was more like a mini-Sunday church service with the pastor performing his preaching role.

    In contrast, effective cell leaders are communicators. His goal is to draw out the other cell members. In Ecuador, I remember asking one of my key section leaders to speak at one of our leadership training meetings. He told the cell leaders present that the goal of the leader during the cell meeting is to talk ten percent of the time and stir up the members to speak ninety percent of the time. Perhaps, these figures are high, but the point is clear.

    The following table presents principles that are helpful reminders to cell leaders seeking to lead their groups into greater discussion and participation:

    • The leader should not answer her own questions
    • Give others a chance to answer
    • After asking the questions, the leader should give the group time to think
    • Normally people to think through a number of possibilities
    • The leader should not fear silence in the group
    • Cell leaders tend to fear silence more than the cell members.
    • After the first response, the cell leader should ask the group if there are additional responses
    • Some people get warmed up slower than others. A cell leader should not move on too quickly.
    Maintain the Flow of Participation

    In order to maintain the flow of communication among all participants in the cell group, the cell leader should be trained concerning how to draw out more participation. She must know how to tone down the talkers and draw out the non-talkers. Richard Price and Pat Springle wisely advice,

    Excessive talkers will drain the life of a group. First, no one has an opportunity to contribute while they are talking. Second group members will come to resent his or her comment and behaviors….As the leader, you need to deal with the situation created by the excessive talker. You can begin with a subtle approach, but later you may need to be more direct 1991:116, 117).

    The subtle approach involves:

    • Sitting next to the one who talks to much in order to give the person less eye contact
    • Calling on other people to give their opinion
    • Redirecting the conversation away from the talker when he or she pauses

    However, if the indirect route does not produce results, ultimately the leader must directly deal with the talker. First, one on one, and if that doesn’t work, the leader will need to inform the section leader.

    • On the other hand, there are those who have more trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings. The leader can draw out these people by:
    • Looking at them more often during the cell meeting
    • Calling upon them by name to comment on the topic
    Guide the Group into Deeper Levels of Communication

    Although the cell meeting does not have to be a “feeling oriented” meeting, there should be transparency. Perhaps, this word transparency or intimacy helps to distinguish between the Sunday celebration service and he cell group. During he celebration time, it is okay to be unknown and lost in the crowd. In the cell group, each person becomes known.

    The cell group should provide the atmosphere in which each person is free to express his or her true self. At first, the sharing might cover the latest weather or sports. However, the cell leader should direct the conversation to deeper levels. There are several way to do this.

    First the leader herself should know about the various levels of communication. Judy Hamlin explains these various levels in the following manner (1990:54-57):

    • Level One: Climate, family, etc.
    • Level Two: Information or facts
    • Level Three: Ideas and opinions
    • Level Four: Feelings
    • Level Five: Sharing what is truly happening in our lives

    She gives an excellent example of these various levels in the following table:


    Mary: Hi Rebecca, How was the weather in Florida?

    Rebecca: Most of the time it was just great.

    Mary: You must have had a great time.

    Rebecca: Yes, I did, but you know I was thinking about the famine in Ethiopia and it really made me think about the serious problems in the world. Do you think much about the fact that many people die for lack of food?

    Mary: Yes, for me it is a very sad situation. When I see all the hungry people on television, it really makes me sad. Especially because we’re not doing more to the change the situation..

    Rebecca: For me, the famine is not something that I just see on television. My sister became anorexic. Last month , she died.

    Understanding the levels of communication will help the cell leader to know where to go. However, transparency will never happen unless the leader herself is willing to share some of her own deep struggles. If the leader always wants to give the best impression of herself, the other cell members will do likewise. Hocking says,

    Learn to admit your mistakes in the presence of the group and to apologize sincerely when things go wrong or do not turn out the way you expected….admitting failure in the midst of success is a key to good leadership. Learn to be open and honest before others. They’ll love you for it (or at least fall over backwards out of shock!) (1991:63).

    Respond Properly to Each Member

    I touched on this point earlier, but it is so important that it deserves more analysis. The leader must be careful to give a positive answer to the one who responds. If the cell leader criticizes someone’s response, others will be more hesitant to respond (note 35). There is always a way to respond positively, even if someone’s answer is wrong.

    It is also helpful for the leader to give a brief summary of the responses before moving on to the next question. This will give a sense of finality to the discussion.

    Ask Stimulating Questions

    If participation is so important in the cell group, it behooves the cell leader to make sure that her questions are interesting. At Bethany World Prayer Center, the questions are prepared by Pastor Larry Stockstill, but they are tested in a small group before being presented to the cell leader. This is the ideal.

    The leader should at least have in mind two principles about the questions that she asks:

    • Open-ended questions are preferable to closed-ended questions.
      • There are might be a few questions that illicit a yes/no, right/wrong response, but the majority of the questions should allow the cell members to share their opinions and experiences.
    • Application questions are preferable to observation/interpretation questions.
      • Proper Bible study involves Observation, Interpretation, and Application. Although all are essential to good Bible Study, in the cell group, application is primary (note 36). Therefore, if the passage is about forgiveness, the questions should allow the cell members to share experiences when they needed to forgive someone or when they felt forgiven, etc.

    Rather, than an information gathering time or an adult Bible study, the cell group is a dynamic event in which the “church can be and experience the church” while ministering one to another. The cell leader’s chief role is to guide the group into participation and interaction which leads to true Christian fellowship (note 37). This is not an easy task. North American culture places a high value on personal sharing and vulnerability, but this is not the case in Latin America. In Latin America, there is more ‘image’ pressure (tough guy) that hinders the Latin American from opening up. However, in both cultures, the more a perspective cell leader can learn about small group dynamics the better equipped he or she will be in successful cell leadership.

    Chapter 5: Helpful Paradigms for Top Leadership in Cell Ministry

    In the last chapter, I had cell leaders in mind when setting forth various leadership principles. Here, I move up one level to top leadership (i.e., section leaders, zone leaders, district leaders, and senior pastors). This is primarily because the following paradigms only apply best to upper level leadership (e.g., the Shepherd/Rancher concept).

    Shepherd/Rancher Paradigm

    The Shepherd/Rancher concept was first coined by Lyle E. Schaller (Wagner 1984:59). This paradigm has many similarities to the Jethro model, but perhaps is easier to grasp—especially for pastors who are trying to pastor their congregation on their own. The background of this concept is the real world of pastors and ranchers. Simply put, a pastor cares for individual sheep while a rancher cares for those who are caring for the sheep. A pastor of a single flock of sheep gives individual attention to each of the sheep in the flock. Such a pastor is limited by his physical capacity to care for the sheep. In contrast a rancher has a number of pastors or sheep hands under his care who do the actual work of shepherding the flock. Both the shepherd and the rancher care for the sheep; the difference is that one does the actual caring and the other administer those who do the actual caring.

    Span of Care

    Most pastors in North America and Latin America behave like pastors of individual flocks. They feel responsible to care for each and every sheep under them. However, they can only physically and spiritually care for so many before the task becomes unmanageable. How many people can an individual pastor truly care for? Some would say up to two hundred people (Wagner 1984:58). However, Carl George disagrees. After talking about how most lay people depend on the pastor figure, he says,

    The underlying assumption behind these attitudes is that a pastor or skilled lay leader can provide adequate care for a group of 50-100. In reality, he or she cannot. What actually transpires is a limited intimacy and a limited accountability. Over time, many people grow dissatisfied and disillusioned, not understanding why it’s so hard to go deeper in feelings of caring and belong (1990:67).

    My point here is that even if an individual pastor thinks that he can care for an entire congregation, in reality he or she cannot provide adequate care for the entire flock.

    If a pastor tries to care for the entire church by himself, studies have proven that the church will probably not grow beyond two hundred people. Peter Wagner says, “But in order to get through the 200 barrier and sustain a healthy rate of growth, the pastor must be willing to pay a price too high for some: he or she must be willing to shift from a shepherd mode to a rancher mode” (1984:58-59).

    Transitioning from Shepherd to Rancher

    To better understand the transition process from pastor to rancher, it is helpful to examine the characteristics of both pastor and rancher. The following table helps us to see the differences:

    (Adapted from George 1993:85-108)
    Traditional Pastor Rancher
    • Tries to personally satisfy all of the needs
    • Believes that he is responsible for everything
    • Participates in every meeting
    • Depends on the compliments of the others
    • Does not delegate much
    • His vision is limited by what he can do
    • See the congregation as individuals and not as groups of people
    • Does not possess clear church growth goals for the church.
    • Focuses on small groups to care for the church
    • Is the leader of the church and is not afraid of making changes
    • Delegates with flexibility. Is more concerned with the results that the process
    • Is able to say NO to ministry opportunities, if there is someone else that can do it.
    • Creates roles for the congregation to fill
    • Wants the people to be free from dependence upon himself
    • Is an excellent administrator. Reserves time for planning and prayer
    • Raises up and trains the leaders of the small groups

    There are several key changes that must be made if a pastor is going to move from being the sole pastor to a rancher. First, he must be willing to delegate. This is very difficult for many pastors today. A pastor’s self worth is often derived from the dependence that the congregations displays towards him. There is a feeling that the church could not go on without him or her. However, to become a rancher, there must be the willingness to pastor the church through other people. Today’s ranchers, or large church pastors, still have a heart for the sheep. However, they like physical ranchers, realize that they must do it through under shepherds.

    A second major change is to train lay people to do the work of the ministry. This is Scriptural. Paul says in Ephesians 4: 11,12, It was he who gave some…to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” According to these verses, a pastor’s role is to train others to do the work of the ministry. The opposite is also true. The pastor must not do it all himself. A true rancher will spend the majority of his time training others (George 1993:105).

    Ranchers in the Cell Church Today

    I believe that the rancher paradigm is uniquely suited for cell ministry today. George wisely says, “The goal of the pastor whose church is based on cells is to pastor those who are pastoring the church” (1993:196). In the cell church, the senior pastor does not even attempt to develop face to face, pastoral relationships with individual members of the congregation. Rather, he is committed to meeting face to face with those who are caring for those who are caring for the congregation (note 39). This is why it is not uncommon to hear of cell churches that have between 30,000 and 700,000 people. In these churches there is a hierarchical system of care which touches lives in a personal way. I believe that the cell church offers the best hope for smoothly transitioning a pastor from the Shepherd Motif to the Rancher Motif.

    Situational Leadership

    Hersey and Blanchard have popularized a model of leadership called situational leadership (1988:170). This model could be very beneficial for top leadership in the cell church.


    According to this model the leader must study every situation to determine how he or she should lead. In other words, there is no one style of leadership that will always be effective. The effectiveness of the leader is determined by how well he sizes up the situation and then applies the correct leadership style to meet the needs of his followers in that particular situation.

    Although most leaders have a propensity for being either task oriented or relationship oriented (Anderson and Mylander 1994:100), it is also possible to adapt one’s style of leadership as the need arises. The situational leader, therefore, tries to determine how much task guidance the followers need and then to balance that with the proper amount of relationship support. The amount of task guidance and relationship support that the leader gives is dependent on the maturity of the follower (s).

    By task guidance I’m referring to the leader’s responsibility to give “expert” guidance so that the follower can successfully complete his task. This might be described as one way communication from the leader to the follower (Hersey and Blanchard 1988:172). By relationship support I’m referring to the leader’s responsibi­lity to give emotional/social support to the follower while he is completing the task. This could be described as two way communi­cation (Hersey and Blanchard 1988:172). The maturity level of the follower is determined by his ability to complete the task (knowledge & skill concerning what to do) and his willingness to complete the task (level of confidence, desire, and commitment).

    The “task” does not necessarily need to be measured in terms of quantity (although this is often true of management). The task might be seen in a variety of ways including: educating students, helping God’s people grow in spiritual maturity, developing leaders, training children, etc.

    Hersey and Blanchard have developed a chart which helps the leader match the follower’s level of maturity with the approp­riate amount of task/relationship behavior the leader needs to demonstrate in order to effectively lead. The following table will help clarify the relationship between relationship and task guidance:

    (Adapted from Hersey and Blanchard 1988:182)



    Share ideas and facilitate in decision making


    HI TASK 2


    Explain decisions and provide opportunity for clarification




    Turn over responsibility for decisions and implementation


    HI TASK 1


    Provide specific instructions and closely supervise performance


    • The extent to which the leader engages in defining roles telling what, how, when, where, and if more than one person, who is to do what in:
    • Goal-Setting
    • Organizing
    • Establishing Time Lines
    • Direction
    • Controlling
    • The extent to which a leader engages in two-way (multi-way) communication, listening, facilitating behaviors, socioemotional support
    • Giving
    • Communicating
    • Facilitating Interactions
    • Active Listening
    • Providing Feedback

    In the above boxes, the TASK (HIGH OR LOW) and RELATIONSHIP (HIGH OR LOW) refers to how the leader responds to the follower in each situation. For example, if the follower has the ability to perform a particular task, but lacks confidence in doing it, the leader will want to be very supportive (high relationship), but give little direct guidance (low task), as is seen in the upper left box.

    The idea of Hersey and Blanchard is that as the maturity level increases the leader can move from telling to selling to participating and finally to delegating (Hersey and Blanchard 1988:177-179). Neil Anderson adds an important clarification,

    It is important to note that a good leader never stops being a loving, relational person, regardless of the maturity of the followers. The point is that immature people need instruction and supervision. As they mature, they want and need more involvement in the decision-making process. As they start to assume more responsibility, they need the emotional support of their leader. When they have been fully delegated the responsibility, they may resent the constant interference and intrusion of the one who entrusted the ministry to them….On the other hand, if you are new in your ministry, do you appreciate it if your senior pastor is unavailable to you, leaving you alone to sin, or swim? (1994:97).

    Application to Cell Ministry

    The great thing about this leadership model is that it does not prescribe only one kind of leadership style. It says that an effective leader adjusts his style according to the needs of the follower. If the person is competent and highly motivated, the leader should not lead in a directive, authoritative way. Rather, he should show respect, support, and confidence toward the person. If the unmotivated and incapable, the directive style is needed (note 40).

    Top leadership in the cell ministry (section leader, zone leader, district leader, and upper level pastor (s) must understand the maturity and confidence levels of those under them in order to lead more effectively. With new or uncertain cell leaders, the top leadership must give precise, step by step leadership (telling). With those cell leaders who know what they are doing and are very motivated, top leadership can simply encourage and provide a respectful support.

    For example, suppose a section leader had five different cell leaders under her care. Two of those leaders are highly competent and very motivated, two of them lack proper understanding of how to lead a cell but want to learn, and the final cell leader lacks both motivation and expertise. The section leader can spend less time with the two highly competent and motivated leaders (showing admiration and support is often sufficient). In fact, perhaps the section leader might delegate other responsibilities to them. For the two who are willing but lack expertise, the section’s leaders style become very relational but also provides the needed information. Finally, with the cell leader who is not confident and lacks the proper skills, the section leader gives directive, step by step counsel on how to lead the cell group, but does not go to great length to establish a personal relationship with the person.

    In Latin America, some leaders feel they have to be the strong, authoritative caudillo leader at all times. The situational leadership model provides a needed correction to this mentality. On the other hand, North American leadership tends to being overly democratic. At times, the leader must behave in a directive, authoritarian style—depending on the needs of the followers.

    Chapter 6: Distinctiveness of Latin American Leadership

    As a missionary to Latin America, this particular chapter is very important. As I minister in Latin America for the next four years, I realize that all of the great leadership theories will be meaningless to my ministry if do not apply to the cultural traits that exist in Latin American leadership. Moran and Harris have concluded that, “Leadership is learned and is based on assumptions about one’s place in the world. Managers from other business systems [cross-cultural] are not ‘underdeveloped’ American managers (1982:62). We shall see that culture plays a significant role in shaping leadership style.

    General Latin Leadership Traits

    Olien reminds us that, “Anthropology has divided the world into ‘cultural areas’ for the purposes of study. A culture area is a geographical space within which the people share a number of traits at a given point in time” (1973:2). Just as anthropology generalizes cultural traits across a large area, in this section, I will attempt to make some broad, general statement about Latin American leadership. However, I am also very aware that not all Latins will precisely fit into these stereotypes.


    Latins are generally very authoritarian. Usually, there is a clear distinction between leader and follower. In fact, this characteristic is one that has been passed down from generations past—namely, the Spanish conquistadors.

    Emphasis on Control and Power

    There seems to be built into the Spanish psyche a desire to control, to be in charge. Dealy feels that it is this goal that drives the Latin American, in contrast to being a successful doctor, lawyer, businessman, or any other profession (1992:62). Dealy says, “Only a vigorous public power stance fully satiates the Latin’s desire for acclaim, just as the economic category ‘millionaire’ uniquely approaches gratification of the capitalists sense of total success (1992:62-63). He goes on to say,

    In North American eyes good government would make the Post Office turn a profit; in Latin American eyes a good firm would, like a strong political movement, establish a monopoly of power over every competitor” (1992:107).

    Geyer confirms this,

    In Latin American politics, it has been not the man who seeks to unite and to compromise and to heal wounds who was admired but rather the man who wielded total power—that classic Spanish type, the caudillo or strongman. Power could not be shared;.. (1970:96).

    Caudillo Style Leadership

    The spirit of the conquistador is now seen in the Latin American caudillo. The caudillo in Latin America’s history refers to the self-proclaimed military officer that were supported by nonprofessional armies (Silvert 1977:25). However, in a general sense, the caudillismo has popularly come to refer to any highly personalistic regime which is under the control of a charismatic leader (Silvert 1977:25). Gereats defines this term by the words, ‘daring’, ‘aggressive’, and ‘strong’ (1970:47).

    It is this spirit that guides much of the leadership in Latin America. There is a tendency to exercise control and domination instead of leading by example and servanthood (note 41). Gareats says, “Most Latin American leaders, whether in the political sphere or in ordinary life, give the appearance of being strong men” (1970:48) (note 42).

    Christian Caudillo Leadership

    For the most part, Christian Leadership follows the same pattern of authoritarianism in Latin America. It is not uncommon to find strong, caudillo type leaders in pastoral positions in Latin America. Wagner says, “Speaking of Latin America, a culturally-relevant leadership pattern which has evolved there is that of the caudillo….in a Christian way, their leadership system follows the pattern of the secular caudillo (1984:90-91). Berg and Pretiz have observed the same phenomena in the grass roots churches that they have analyzed throughout Latin America. They say, “…the authoritarianism of the GR pastor is comfortable for people accustomed to their country’s power-wielding President, or even perhaps dictatorships” (1996:144).

    However, the rigid, controlling, and negative element of the secular caudillo pattern has been largely transformed by Christian virtues. Wagner calls it a transformed “servant-caudillo” pattern (1984:91) and others call it “charismatic caudillismo” (Deiros 1992:169 in Berg & Pretiz 1996:215).

    Another way of describing the pastor role in Latin America is that of the “godfather” or the benevolent patron (Berg & Pretiz 1996:215). In the days when haciendas were much more common, the owner-boss was the ultimate authority. At the same time, he protected his workers, defended them in legal problems, and stood as their “godfather” at family occasions. For the most part, Latin American pastors are looked up to, respected, and obeyed. Berg and Pretiz write, “In the lower-socio-economic levels, people trust the pastor who may even hold all church properties in his name. They are “used to authority,” said a Peruvian pastor” (1996:215). Like most everything, there is a negative side to an absolutist, controlling pastoral image and caution is needed on the side of both laity and clergy.

    Assigned Status

    Latins respond to leadership in a much different way than North Americans. In Latin America, there is a much greater respect for position and status than competency . Lingenfelter and Mayers describe the Latins propensity toward assigned status in these four ways:

    • Personal identity is determined by formal credentials of birth and rank.
    • The amount of respect one receives is permanently fixed; attention focuses on those with high social status in spite of any personal failings they have.
    • The individual is expected to play his or her role and to sacrifice to attain higher rank.
    • People associate only with their social equals.
    Climbing the Ladder

    Perhaps the ladder concept can shed light on the Latin American’s concept of social status. In North America, people aspire to climb the ladder of success. Employees are encouraged to dream and plan to rise rapidly in the company. However, in Latin America, one’s assigned status oftentimes prevents that from happening.

    The concept of social status in Latin American culture means that each person is placed on a particular rung of the ladder in relationship to everyone else (Mayers 1976:23). There is no ‘climbing the ladder’ because of the assigned social status that each one receives at birth.

    North Americas often say that if anyone, regardless of race or social status, will simply ‘pull himself or herself up by the bootstraps’, there are unlimited possibilities. The upward ladder is there for any worker to become the boss, president of the company, or even president of the United States. In contrast, Latin America has removed that ladder. A person is assigned his or her status from birth onwards. Geyer perhaps judgmentally states, “… Latin America has far fewer racial attitudes; but it does suffer from a closed and inviolate class system (1970:7) (note 43).

    Spanish Supremacy

    As in many Latin American countries, there are a tiny minority of pure Spanish descent who wield tremendous leadership power. They are the ones who steer the major centers of power in Latin America, course both politically, economically, and socially (Ecuador in Pictures: 1987: 38)

    Historic Development

    This disparity did not develop over night. The process began years ago when the Spanish conquered the Indian population. For almost four hundred years the strong, soldierly Spaniards live along side their conquered Indian slaves. An inevitable attitude of superiority began to develop (Weil 1973:101,102). . Schodt writes, “The grafting of Spanish rule onto the conquered Inca society established a colonial system with a large Indian underclass and a small Hispanic elite… (Schodt 1987: 17).”

    Even though binding ties have been severed with Spain, yet the spirit of elitism still strongly remains through her descendants. The idea that a person’s blood line positions him or her for power is still widespread throughout Latin America. Dealy states,

    …while our forefathers [North Americans] alternately ignored the Indian, stole his land, or drove him out, Spanish settlers inducted them into a social hierarchy: They became a personal work force to till the soil and were brought into homes as mistresses and table servants” (1992:62).

    This social hierarchy is still very important in Latin America today. Rangel calls this social structuring the cancer of Latin American society today (1987:16). Instead of ignoring the Indians or extermination them (as in the case of the North Americans), the Latin Americans grafted them into their society. They became indispensable.

    Privileged Status

    For example, the “whites” who occupy the top rungs of power in Ecuador place a high emphasis on purity of race-whether or not this can be proven. Within the white group, even more important than one’s exact racial traits, is one’s socioeconomic status and evidence of an urban European life-style (Weil 1973:66). Many of these creoles or pure-bloods are vocal about their pure blood and resulting privileged status (Urbanski 1978:170).

    The Underclass

    I use this terminology simply to describe those under the ruling class white race. Although these could be divided into middle and lower, those distinctions do not always hold true in Latin America due to the importance placed upon blood lines and a person’s position at birth.


    Underneath the umbrella of this small elite upper class is a large underclass consisting of Mestizos, pure Indians, and Negroes. Mestizo status falls somewhere between the white higher class and the Indian lower class. Although they are below the white race, they are mixing with it. (Weil 1973:66). The Mestizo race came as a result of the mixed marriages between the Indian woman and the conquistadors. Yet, it is probably more accurate to say that most of the offspring were less the result of formal marriage as the result of rape and concubinage (Elliott 1984:201).

    Indigenous Peoples

    The pure Indians are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to authority and power. The government has tended to disregard their distinct differences and customs and lump them together as a “depressed group” (Weil 1973:67). This attitude of powerlessness can clearly be seen in their behavior towards whites. Indians, while talking with whites remove their hats, lower their heads and speak in soft tones. They assume a passive, submissive role which has been instilled in them from childhood. However, in their own communities, the whites and Mestizos are the butt of their jokes (Weil 1973:67).

    Assigned Status and Cell Ministry

    There are a few considerations that this concept of Latin American assigned status presents for effective cell ministry.

    Formation of Groups

    It behooves cell groups in Latin American to be organized along homogenous lines so that communication in the cell might be maximized and that non-Christians will be readily attracted. Potential members should be allowed to pick their own cell group according to personal preference. Any type of forced gathering of members into heterogeneous groups is not wise in Latin America (note 44).

    Giving Birth

    These status considerations must also be taken into account in the birth of a new group. It would be a fatal mistake to force a group to give birth against natural cultural lines (whites with indigenous people, etc.). Rather, the new cell groups should be formed according to natural cultural patterns.


    This cultural aspect especially affects how Latin leadership set goals. Basically, Latins have a far more idealistic view of life than do North Americans. In other words, Latins are not eternal optimists like many North Americans. Nida states, “Latins have been preoccupied with death and are very pessimistic due to the decades of suffering” (1974:43).” Latin Literature reflects this way of thinking. Rarely does a Latin novel have a happy ending—the hero usually dies, the romance falls apart, or the “bad guy” wins.

    North Americans are known for their pragmatism, their propensity to act now and think later. Just the opposite is true with regard to Latin Americans. Nida notes that Latin American’s tend to be far more philosophical (1974:43). Concerning this quality, Plaza says,

    Another basic Latin American characteristic derived from both the Indians and the Iberians is the emphasis on contemplation rather than action. The cultural anthropologist Kusch has pointed out that in Quechua the verb ‘to be’ means ‘to stay put.’ The Latin American has traditionally tended to have a static outlook, because for him time is an ever-recurring phenomenon, with no connotation of urgency. This is directly contrary to the dynamic concept expressed by the Anglo-Saxon saying ‘Time waits for no man’ (1971:23) (note 45)

    There is a tendency for Latin Leadership to set high, unrealistic goals. They might feel that a lesser, more reachable goal would not be worthy to dream about or declare to the congregation.

    North American pragmatism and optimism does not have to be at odds with the idealism of Latin American. I believe that it can be complimentary. However, there must be give and take and lots of sensitivity to bring about a working solution.

    Comparative Studies on Latin American Leadership

    Most of the material analysis of Latin leadership thus far has been more general and anecdotal in nature. However, there are some scientific studies on leadership styles is various cultural contexts. I will be focusing on those aspects that are most relevant to this current tutorial.

    Research by Dr. Geert Hostede

    I am indebted to the work done by Dr. Geert Hofstede on cross-cultural leadership patterns. Dr. Hofstede looks at four aspects of cultural values as they relate to organizations and leadership. These are: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism, and Masculinity.

    Power Distance

    Power distance deals with the style of leadership decision making, the liberty of a subordinate to disagree with his boss, and what kind of style the subordinates prefer (Hofstede 1990:92). High power distance refers to a large gap between the leader and follower (true in Latin America); whereas low power distance suggests close relationships (nearness) between leader and follower (true of U.S.). The research done by Hofstede in this area suggests that the level of power distance is more culturally determined than anything else. Different societies place different values on such areas as prestige, wealth, and power (1980: 92). Hofstede discovered that places like Mexico and Venezuela have double the power distance than places like the U.S. or most European countries (1980:104) (note 46). A study in 1967 of Peruvian workers and U.S. workers showed clearly that Peruvians were not nearly so concerned as U.S. workers that their boss demonstrate democratic, participation oriented style leadership (Hofstede 1980:115).

    The following table shows some of the authoritarian—democratic values between countries with a high power distance level versus those with a lower level: (note 47)

    (Adapted from Hofstede 1980:119)
    Countries with High Power Distance: Mexico, Perú, Venezuela, Colombia, etc, Countries With Low Power Distance: U.S., Netherlands, Sweden, etc.
    • Managers show less consideration
    • Managers show more consideration
    • Employees fear to disagree with their boss
    • Employees less afraid of disagreeing with their boss
    • Managers see themselves as benevolent decision makers
    • Managers see themselves as practical and systematic; They admit a need for support
    • Subordinates favor a manager’s decision making style to be more autocratic-paternalistic
    • Subordinates favor a manager’s decision making style to be more consultative, democratic, and give and take
    • Close supervision positively evaluated by subordinates
    • Close supervision negatively evaluated by subordinates
    • Higher and lower educated employees show similar values about authority
    • Higher educated employees hold much less authoritarian values than lower-educated ones.
    • Students put place high value on conformity
    • Students place high value on independence

    The research done by Hostede only confirms the earlier comments concerning the tendency in Latin America to be more authoritarian and power conscious. I see this is as one of the reasons why the hierarchical cell church structure (Jethro system) works so well. At the same time, it explains why it is so hard for cell leaders not to dominate the meeting. They are accustomed to maintaining distance between themselves and those under their charge. Oftentimes, there is a greater desire to control the group rather than serving it.

    Avoidance/Uncertainty Paradigm

    The name that Dr. Hofstede has coined is certainly not self explanatory. The idea here is how a culture deals with change and tradition Is there a tendency to live with change ( US) or avoid it ( Latin America). The issues that he researched were (1980:164):

    • Rule orientation: Agreement with the statement: A companies rule should not be broken—even when the employee thinks it is in the company’s best interest.
    • Employment stability: Employees statement that they intend to continue with the company a) for two years at the most b) from two to five years.
    • Stress, as expressed in the answer to the question, “How often do you feel nervous or tense at work?”.

    As was the previous case, the countries in which I will be doing my case study research scored very high in the uncertainty/avoidance continuum in comparison with the more industrialized nations as the US and most European countries (note 48). The following table gives a summary of the values in high uncertainty/avoidance countries versus low ones:

    (Adapted from Hofstede 1980:176-175)
    • Pessimism about people’s amount of initiative, ambition, and leadership skills
    • Optimism about people’s amount of initiative, ambition, and leadership skills
    • Initiative of subordinates should be kept under control
    • Delegation to subordinates can be complete
    • Competition between employees is emotionally disapproved of
    • Competition between employees can be fair and right
    • Conflict in organization is undesirable
    • Conflict in organization is natural
    • Preference for clear requirements and instructions
    • Preference for broad guidelines
    • Less risk taking; fear of failure
    • More risk taking; Hope of success
    • Lower ambition for individual advancement
    • Higher ambition for individual advancement
    • Managers should be selected on the basis of seniority
    • Managers should not be selected on the basis of seniority
    • Loyalty to employer is seen as a virtue
    • Loyalty to employer is not seen as a virtue
    • More emotional resistance to change
    • Less emotional resistance to change
    • More worry about the future
    • Less worry about the future

    It must be remembered that Greece, Belgium, and Japan scored higher than any of the Latin American countries. However, these points add insight concerning how Latin view leadership, ambition, competition, change, and general leadership skills.


    This term needs little definition. It involves how cultures view self-orientation versus collective orientation. It is not surprising that out of the thirty-nine countries studied in this statistical analysis, the US rated the highest on individualism. On the opposite extreme the Latin American countries were among the least individualistic (note 49). It is interesting to note that the US had one of the lowest power distance ratios and highest individualism ratios (not much separation from leadership and follower—and high individualism ) while most of the Northern Latin American countries had high power distance and low individualism (lots of separation between leader and follower and lots of conformity and group orientation). In Latin America there is a definite ‘we’ consciousness instead of the ‘I” consciousness so prevalent in the US. The following table will help clarify these distinctions:

    (Adapted from Hofstede 1980:230-231)
    HIGH INDIVIDUALISM: US, Great Britain, Canada, Australia LOW INDIVIDUALISM: Venezuela, Perú, Colombia, Mexico
    • Need to make specific friendships
    • Social relationships predetermined in terms of ingroups
    • Individual initiative is socially encouraged
    • Individual initiative is socially frowned upon; fatalism
    • Managers endorse “modern” points of view on stimulating employee initiative and group activity
    • Managers endorse “traditional” points of view, not supporting employee initiative and group activity
    • Emotional independence from company
    • Emotional dependence from company
    • Managers aspire to leadership and variety
    • Managers aspire to conformity and orderliness
    • Students consider it socially acceptable to claim pursuing their own ends without minding others
    • Students consider it less socially acceptable to claim pursuing their own ends without minding others

    The group consciousness so prevalent in Latin America help us understand why small group ministry works so well in Latin America. This study confirms my suspicion that cell group evangelism would be far more acceptable and effective in Latin America than an individualistic approach. On the other hand, cell group multiplication needs to be handled with great care in that change seems to be more difficult and long term commitment to the group is far higher .


    Here Dr. Hofstede examines the role that gender plays in the leadership of society. He states, “The predominant socialization pattern is for men to be more assertive and for women to be more nurturing” (1980:261). He goes on to say, “Male behavior is associated with autonomy, aggression, exhibition, and dominance; female behavior is associated with nurturance, affiliation, helpfulness, and humility (1990:263).

    Interestingly enough, there was not a distinct, noticeable difference between US culture and Latin American culture (note 50). Under this category, I will not even provide a table because I do not believe that it would be helpful. However, Hofstede does provide excellent insight into his findings and the machismo factor so common in Latin America by the following comment,

    The one concept from the anthropological literature which can be directly associated with masculinity is “machismo” (a need for ostentatious manliness) which is usually attributed to Latin American countries, especially Mexico….The Latin American female counterpart to machismo is “Marianismo”: a combination of near-saintliness, submissiveness, and frigidity (Stevens, 1973). In the HERMES data, some Latin American countries score far to the masculine side— Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia—which fits with the machismo image. Argentina and Brazil, however, score in the middle, while Peru and Chile score more feminine. Private discussions with Latin American spokesmen confirm that machismo is more present in the countries around the Caribbean than in the remainder of South America (Hofstede 1980:289).

    The three previous categories presented by Hofstede have challenged me to rethink my own cultural leadership style in the light of Latin American culture. However, this category had the opposite affect. Perhaps, the machismo paradigm of Latin America is overplayed. According to this study, North Americans are just as masculine oriented as the majority of Latin American countries.

    With regard to women in cell leadership roles, It remains to be seen how Latin culture (specifically thinking of Ecuador) will accept their ministry—especially as it involves women leading mixed groups of both women and men.

    Research by Robert T. Moran and Philip R. Harris

    North Americans trying to do business in Latin America have come to realize that understanding Latin leadership patterns and attitudes is absolutely essential. Robert T. Moran and Philip R. Harris, two experts in the field of international management believe that success in business only comes when North Americans “…try and enter into the foreign manager’s life space and perceive situations as that person might do” (1982:298). They offer an excellent synthesis of the differences between North American business patterns versus Latin American business patterns. The following table represents just some of the cultural patterns presented in their analysis:

    (Adapted from Moran and Harris 1982: 299)
    • The individual can influence the future “where there is a will there is a way”
    • Life follows a preordained course and human action is determined by the will of God
    • Planning, scheduling
    • An individual should be realistic in his aspirations
    • Ideals are to be pursued regardless of what is reasonable
    • Goals setting
    • We must work hard to accomplish our objectives (Puritan ethic)
    • Hard work is not the only prerequisite for success; wisdom, luck, and time are also required
    • Motivation and bargaining
    • Commitments should be honored (people will do what they say they will do)
    • A commitment may be superseded by a conflicting request, or an agreement may only signify intention, and have little or no relationship to the capacity of performance
    • Negotiating and bargaining
    • One should effectively use his time (time is money which can be saved or wasted)
    • Schedules are important but only in relation to other priorities [people and family are often the priorities]
    • Long- and short-range planning
    • A primary obligation of an employee is to the organization
    • The individual employee has a primary obligation to his family and friends
    • Loyalty, commitment, and motivation
    • The employer or employee can terminate their relationship
    • Employment is for a lifetime
    • Motivation and commitment to the company
    • The best qualified persons should be given the position available
    • Family considerations, friendship, and other considerations partially determine employment practices
    • Employment promotions; Recruiting; Selection; Reward
    • A person can be removed if he does not perform well
    • The removal of a person from a position involves a great loss of prestige and may only rarely be done
    • Promotion
    • All levels of management are open to qualified individuals (an office boy can rise to become company president)
    • Education or family ties are the primary vehicles for mobility
    • Employment practices and promotions
    • Competition stimulates high performance
    • Competition leads to unbalances and to disharmony
    • Promotion
    • Change is considered an improvement
    • Tradition is revered and the power of the ruling group is founded on the continuation of a stable structure
    • Planning
    • Persons and systems are to be evaluated
    • Persons are evaluated but in such a way that individuals not highly evaluated will not be embarrassed or caused to “lose face”
    • Rewards
    • Promotion

    These comparisons further add and confirm what has been said thus far about Latin authority patterns, change dynamics, group consciousness, and the priority of people and family over work and prosperity.

    Chapter 7: Conclusion

    Admittedly, at times this study has seemed very broad. For example, I am aware that entire tutorials have been written on Biblical leadership, church growth leadership, and situational leadership. Here, I have simply included them as important issues.

    Although the leadership topics have been broad, the ever present challenge in this tutorial has been to include only the leadership theory that best applies to the cell church– and more specifically to the cell church in Latin America. My hope is that this tight relationship is evident throughout.

    As we have seen, in the cell church there are a variety of applications to leadership models and theory. We looked at the ever present need for new cell leadership in a church which is rapidly multiplying cell groups. We saw that in the cell church, leadership training begins when a new covert is added to the cell group for the first time. Instead of creating an additional structure to care for the new convert, the cell church emphasizes “in-house” or “in-cell” training. The goal is to turn the zealous new convert into an effective cell leader who will in turn train others. A number of leadership models were also examined, and it was determined that the Cho model is the most complete.

    Beyond models of training, we delved into the content of the training. Specifically what kind of content is needed to raise up unapologetic church growth leadership within the cell church. Throughout this tutorial, I have not tried to hide my bias toward church growth leadership. As I have mentioned many times, I view cell-based ministry as a very important methodology in the larger discipline of church growth, and not as an end in itself. Keeping in mind the various levels of leadership in the cell church, I tried to apply principles to cell leaders and paradigms to top leadership, although these categories are more fluid than stringent.

    For me, the most important part of this study was the last chapter. I have become increasingly aware of the need to deeply understand Latin culture in order to properly apply leadership theory and principles. Too often, there is a wholesale application of North American leadership to Latin culture that fit no better than Saul’s armor on the boy David.

    Since I have tried to apply leadership theory to cell based ministry along the way, I will not repeat myself here. Simply to say that cell-based ministry offers some exciting leadership challenges. Perhaps cell-based leadership can best be described as extended leadership since a giant net of leadership is needed. Although strong, charismatic leadership is essential in the cell church, there is no such thing as the super pastor—the one who does everything himself. Rather, leadership in the cell church is distributed throughout, so that it reaches down to the lowest denominator. From this study, I think we can conclude that although the need for leadership is great in the cell church, the potential is even greater for raising up an army of church growth leaders through the cell church.

    Appendix: Dr. Robert Clinton’s Leadership Research

    To be honest, I was not sure where to place Dr. Clinton’s research on leadership. It does not qualify for pure church growth leadership theory, nor does it apply specifically to one particular level of cell leadership. Nor do I believe that knowledge of Clinton’s literature is essential for success in the cell church today. Rather, I view his research as more qualitative and reflective in nature. It gives a leader the chance to examine his or her life from the perspective of God’s sovereignty. It can bring clarity as the leader’s giftedness and future ministry focus. weakness, and possibilities for the future.

    Clinton has written and taught on a number of areas which include: Leadership Theory, Leadership Giftedness, Leadership Training Models, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership In The Bible, Change Dynamics, Mentoring, and Leadership Emergence. In this appendix, I will include only two areas of Clinton’s research that I feel might most directly apply to a cell leadership or top leadership in the cell church (i.e., section leader, zone leader, district pastor, or senior pastor).

    Emergence Theory

    Perhaps, the concept of Emergence theory can best be described by the quote, “If you know that God will be developing you over a lifetime, you’ll most likely stay for the whole ride” (1988:23). His basic thesis is that, “God develops a leader over a lifetime.

    His theory comes from studying some 800 leaders (note 51). Clinton sees 5 major stages of leadership development. The following chart helps clarify :

    (Adapted from Clinton 1988)
    • Sovereign Foundations
    • In this phase, God is working in the leader personality to make him the man that God wants him to be.
    • Inner-Life Growth
    • Usually, in this stage, the leader receives some kind of training. It might be Bible School. Yet, for the most part, God is preparing the leader.
    • Ministry Maturing
    • In this stage, the leader gets more ministry experience. This is often more incidental than intentional. In the first three stages, God is concentrating on the leader. God is more interested in the inward development of the leader himself.
    • Life Maturing
    • In this stage, the leader identifies his gift-mix and uses it with power. “God uses one’s life as well as gifts to influence others. This is a period in which giftedness emerges along with priorities.” (1988:32)
    • Convergence
    • He views convergence as that place in which everything works together. Gift-mix, location, experience, & temperament all seem to flow together during this stage. He gives a warning, “Not many leaders experience convergence. Often they are promoted to roles that hinder their gift-mix. Further, few leaders minister out of what they are. In convergence, being and spiritual authority form the true power base for mature ministry.” (1988:33)
    • He talks about leaders becoming stagnant in ministry. They fail to move on any further. “Leaders have a tendency to cease developing once they have some skills and ministry experience. They may be content to continue their ministry as is, without discerning the need to develop further (1988: 115)”

    That development is a function of the use of events and people to impress leadership lessons upon a leader. This development of a leader (or processing) is central to Dr. Clinton’s leadership theory. He has discovered that all leaders can point to critical incidents in their lives where God taught them something very important” (1988:24). One of the key concepts in Clinton’s Emergence theory is how God uses tests, challenges, and trials to mold us and shape us. These tests are called process items. Clinton states, “Upon successful completion of the ministry task, the leader is usually given a bigger task” (1988:34). He then adds, “Can you be faithful in little things? You may not see the importance of small tasks now, but can you do faithfully what is given you? If you can, then you’ll be given greater things. If not, God will have to teach the same lesson again” (1988:35).

    He elaborates on a number of tests that he has noticed in the lives of great leaders. Some of them include:

    • Integrity testing
    • Will the leader respond honestly?
    • Obedience test

    Will the leader be obedient to the voice of God? He says, “A leader who repeatedly demonstrates that God speaks to him gains spiritual authority” (1988:69). A leader first learns about personal guidance for his own life. Having learned to discern God’s direction for his own life in numerous crucial decisions, he can then shift to the leadership function of determining guidance for the group that he leads (1988:127).

    • Submission test

    Will the leader submit to that person that God has placed over him? He writes, “A developing leader will usually struggle with someone who is in authority over him. Learning submission is critical to learning what authority is, so emerging leaders must first learn to submit” (1988:81). He goes on to say, “An important thing to keep in mind is that the ultimate assignment is from God, even if the ministry task is self-initiated or assigned by another” (1988: 83).

    (Adapted from Clinton 1989)
    • Effective leaders maintain a posture of learning throughout their lives.
    • Effective leaders value spiritual authority as their power base.
    • Effective leaders make the selection and formation of new leadership a chief priority.
    • Effective leaders that have been productive throughout their lives have a clear, dynamic philosophy of ministry.
    • Effective leaders evidence a growing knowledge of their sense of destiny.
    • Effective leaders perceive their ministry in future terms in an ever-increasing way.
    • When Christ calls leaders, He plans to develop all of their potential. Every leader is responsible to continue developing him or herself to the fullest possible potential. .
    • One of the key functions of leadership is raising up new leadership.
    • Leaders should develop a philosophy of ministry which honors Biblical values, is relevant to the times, and encompass the leader’s own giftedness.
    • Ministry flows from being. A leader must continually develop his or her spiritual power.

    Leadership development theory can be very helpful in the life of cell leadership. It is always beneficial to meditate on how God has prepared us through His sovereign working. This theory can also suggest future direction as well.


    The reason that I chose mentoring among Clinton’s research is because it might help a cell leader more effectively raise up the cell intern. Clinton has written an important book on the subject called, The Mentor Handbook (1991).


    Clinton defines mentoring as: A relational process,

    • In which someone who knows something, the mentor
    • Transfers that something (the power resources such as wisdom, advice, information, emotional support, protection, linking to resources, career guidance, status)
    • To someone else, the mentoree,
    • At a sensitive time so that it impacts development (2-4)
    Basic Characteristics of Mentor —Mentoree Training

    There are some basic considerations in the mentor-mentoree training process:

    • Attraction of the mentoree to the mentor
    • People have a tendency to try to live up to the genuine expectations of those they admire and respect. The attraction must be both ways.
    • Accountability
    • Relationship
    • Responsiveness
    Type of Mentoring Models

    Clinton has demonstrated that mentoring covers a wide variety of relationships. The following chart will help to clarify those categories:

    (Adapted from Clinton 1991)
    • Discipler
    • A mature follower of Christ helping a immature Christian grow in the Christian habits
    • Spiritual Director
    • A spiritual person developing a person who needs to develop spiritually
    • Coach

    Clinton says, “A relational process, in which a person who knows how to do something very well, imparts that capacity to someone who desire to learn” (5-3)

    • Counselor
    • Very much like a normal counselor. One finds formalized counselors who make a profession of helping the body of Christ through counseling. There are others who counsel on a more informal basis (6-3).
    • Teacher
    • This is your normal gifted teacher who teaches knowledge to people with a specific need to learn who are motivated by the teacher to put their knowledge into action
    • Sponsor
    • This is a person with influence who lifts up a young, emerging leader. He might do this by encouraging him/her or recommending him/her.
    • Clinton says, “Frequently there are good potential leaders within an organization waiting to be discovered by those above. Without that discovery they may never rise to their potential and contribute to the organization. Either they will languish or leave the group for greener pastures” (8-1).
    • Contemporary Model
    • Oftentimes, we’ll be attracted to follow a person who has gifts like our own. Clinton says, “Gifted people attract like-gifted people” (9-10).
    • Historical Model
    • His basic point here is that we can be mentored vicariously by those who have gone before us.
    • Divine Contact

    Clinton says, “ God sometimes sends along a divine contact to mentor us in some special way whether we want it or not. We should be prepared to recognize them and respond accordingly to God’s empowerment through them” (11-1).

    As the chart demonstrates, mentoring might be an active discipleship relationship, an occasional contact, or even a relationship with a person via books or example. I believe that this is a helpful clarification.


    I have found this section one of the most helpful. Co-mentoring is when two people come together on a regular basis to hold each other accountable. Clinton says, “It seems that because both parties are at about the same developmental level in terms of age, situational pressures, spiritual maturing and ministry experience that there exists the possibility for more honest openness to come into play” (13-1). The relationship is the key dynamic here. It’s not the type of mentoring. There must be an attraction and respect for one another. It should be ‘fun’ to be with that person. Clinton says, “Relaxed times together are just as important as serious times together” (13-2).

    As I mentioned previously, the need for new leadership in the cell church is enormous. A cell leader should know how to mentor someone from within the group who will eventually lead another group. The relationship that the cell leader has with his intern will vary according to the situation and needs of the intern (situational leadership). Therefore, Clinton’s study on mentoring gives the cell leader new, more creative options.


    1. I spent one day at the huge L.A. public library trying to find characteristics of Latin leadership and came up with very little.
    2. Taken from an e-mail from Don Davis, who is a Cross Cultural/Educational Consultant for Greater Asia Training Enterprises. He wrote this to Dan Gibson on Abril 12, 1996.
    3. In the C&MA it seems that we are willing to take great risks in planting new churches. Many of these churches die because the initial foundations were so weak. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that we should only start churches when we have a good chance of succeeding. In contrast, I believe that we should not hesitate to launch new cell groups. From my experience, I have discovered that it is far less devastating to both leader and followers when a cell group dissolves than when an entire church has to close the doors.
    4. I will be asking cell leaders in Latin America to describe their own spiritual gifting. I hope to find some giftedness patterns among those leaders who have successfully multiplied their cell group.
    5. Since we do not know who God has chosen to be saved, we must evangelize all non-Christians.
    6. When I was at Bethany World Prayer Center, I talked to a very shy man named Carl, who is now a section leader in Bethany’s cell ministry. Carl became a section leader because he had multiplied his own cell group six times. Pastor Larry Stockstill uses Carl as an example of how God even uses very shy people to successfully lead cell groups.
    7. When I was at Bethany World Prayer Center, I talked to five leaders (cell leaders and top leadership) who gave me four different answers concerning why some cell leaders are able to multiply their groups while others are not.
    8. Again, the major part of my research in Latin America will involve trying to determine the characteristics of effective cell leaders in contrast to those who are ineffective.
    9. This year they are preparing for 3,000 pastors to travel to Baton Rouge to attend their five day seminar.
    10. Jim Egli is co-authored The New Believer’s Station. These booklets are distributed through Touch Publishing House—1-800-735-5865.
    11. For those who are already Christians, he recommends that the Sponsor use the booklet, The Arrival Kit. This booklet talks about areas such as: kingdom values, being filled with the Spirit, spiritual bondage, etc. I’m not sure if I would personally use the ‘sponsoring’ concept with everyone that arrives in a cell group. Again, this seems more idealistic than practical.
    12. Recently I heard from Jim Egli, a director at Touch Outreach, that while their seminar ministry is not seeing great results, Bethany World Prayer Center is being swamped with pastors attending their cell seminars.
    13. In this 1993 manual Coleman goes into great detail in describing the Meta Model, the Cho Model, the Serendipity Model, and the Covenant Model (which I will not use here because it is not really a church growth model.
    14. From what I know and have read about Paul Cho’s model of training leaders, Coleman is way off in the way that he describes it.
    15. Bethany World Prayer Center requires that the cell leaders and interns attend a weekly training session.
    16. That is, cell leaders are cared for by leaders over them. The leaders over the cell leaders also have leaders over them and the process continues up to the senior pastor.
    17. At this time, very few Meta Churches insist on bimonthly ongoing leadership training (since the Meta Model has now been proven in the market place).
    18. From my research, I have discovered that the lines are increasingly difficult to distinguish between the Serendipity Model and the Meta Model. Both offer a plethora of small groups and both have a very difficult time training leadership on an ongoing basis.
    19. In my tutorial on Cell Group Strategies (June, 1996), I discussed this issue.
    20. In my tutorial on Cell strategies, I describe New Hope Community Church in greater detail. The reason that I believe that New Hope Community Church has modeled the Meta Model more than the Cho Model is due to their wide variety of small groups, the fact that George set forth the Meta paradigm after studying Galloway’s church, and the fact that Galloway openly promotes the Meta Model in his seminars.
    21. I’m referring here to the training offered in the Track Pack.
    22. It is also true that there is nothing new under the sun, and I suspect that Carl George simply gave new life to an already existing bimonthly cell training model.
    23. The weekly ongoing training was the original model that the Yoida Full Gospel Church practiced for years. As was mentioned earlier, this weekly training time has now become biannual due to the rapid growth of the cell groups.
    24. Neighbour points out that this is one aspect that is common to all of the cell churches. In his book, Where Do We Go From Here (1990:73-80),
    25. Much of the church growth success that we experienced at the El Batán Church in Quito, Ecuador had to do with the passion that possessed the leadership team to set clear, specific church growth goals and then to visibly display those goals on a huge plastic poster board.
    26. This is one of the questions that I will be asking cell leaders throughout Latin America, “Do you know when your group is going to give birth to another one?”
    27. I noticed that Larry Stockstill encourages his leaders every Wednesday. He gives them words of vision, encouragement, hope, and appreciation. At times, I am sure that Larry feels like he is repeating himself. Yet, I have become increasingly convinced that this ongoing vision casting time will make or break a cell ministry.
    28. I will never forget the response of Carl, a leader at Bethany World Prayer Center who multiplied his cell group six times. When I asked him the reason for his success, he dogmatically asserted—prayer, prayer, amd prayer.
    29. On the other hand, Barna in his book, The Power of Vision, advises the leader not to use slogans. He feels that slogans have a tendency of trivializing the vision rather than simplifying it (140). One of the subheadings reads, “Shelve the Slogans” (139).
    30. This seems to be a constant problem among Latin leadership. When working through their goals for the future, I have noticed a tendency to be highly unrealistic.
    31. I visited a cell group multiplication party at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, Louisiana.
    32. Martin Bucer, who utilized small groups during the reformation, and Philip Spener, who effectively used them right after the reformation, never allowed their small groups to be called the church. To them, the word “church” could only legitimately refer to the state church which gathered on Sunday morning. They would not allow communion and other sacraments to be performed through the small group. Although I believe that cell groups should be connected to larger celebration events, I believe that they can perform all of the functions of the larger church.
    33. Small Group Dynamics has become a discipline or science in its own right. Before I ever became interested in small group ministry, I remember taking a secular college course on small group dynamics—how to relate in a small group and how to improve communication in a small group. Practically all secular organizations hold small group meetings, from boards to task forces. Therefore, there is a plethora of information concerning how to encourage small group interaction, which is generally referred to as “Small Group Dynamics”.
    34. I am beginning to realize that this is especially true in Latin America where the spirit of the Caudillo (macho domination) is so common. Control seems to be more important in Latin America.
    35. I will never forget one cell meeting that I observed ( Republic Church in Quito, Ecuador). The leader had a small correction for every answer—the answer was almost right but not quite right. Towards the end of the meeting
    36. The expository teaching of the Word of God and various Sunday School classes all have their proper place in the church facility. However, in the home cell group, it seems best to emphasize Bible application.
    37. I am referring here to the normal believer oriented cell meetings here. If the emphasis is on unbelievers, the goal will not be intimate fellowship.
    38. Normally, in the cell church if one has arrived at a top leadership position, it is because he or she has mastered and been successful in leadership principles at the cell leader level.
    39. In many cell churches today, there are upper levels of management, so that the pastor actually trains for those who are over five cells, etc. and not the actual cell leader personally.
    40. When we first arrived in Ecuador, we were highly motivated and prepared (lots of pre-training). A senior missionary was assigned to us who treated us like babies who needed to be told everything and watched over. This person’s leadership style was offensive to us and was not effective. However, some new missionaries who lacked confidence and talent might have needed this time of directive leadership style. According to Hersey and Blanchard, the effective leader is able to adapt his leadership style according to the needs of the follower.
    41. In the El Batan Church I saw several of these ‘power confrontations’ first hand between the board (made up of successful businessmen and the pastors). I was amazed by the open boasting among these ‘powerful people’ of their power and influence. The situation became so pronounced that in June, 1996 this powerful board left the church (partly asked to resign by the national church) along with 200 people and formed their own new church under Alfredo Smith.
    42. This is especially true with regard to cell-based ministry. The issue of authority, both from the pastoral leadership perspective as well as it relates to cell leadership, seems to come up on a repeated basis.
    43. This has been confirmed in my own personal experience. We ministered in the El Batán church in Quito, Ecuador. This church happened to be more middle to upper class. Yet, I soon discovered that the higher class people of that church struggled with accepting and submitting to the national pastors who came from a lower class. I witnessed this superior attitude and disrespect time and time again. In fact, the only pastor that the upper class of the church has ever accepted was an Argentine who appears very ‘white’
    44. We divided our cell groups into the major departments in the church (University, young married couples, adults, etc.). This worked well and members with similar backgrounds were free to join the group of their choice.
    45. Perhaps another aspect of this conflict between idealism and realism is the tendency to say ‘yes’ when there is no concrete intention to fulfill that commitment How often did we forcefully agree on a plan of action in the pastoral staff meeting, only to see those plans fall by the wayside. How often did various workers tell me they were going to fulfill something only to have a change of plans later on. Again, I must be very careful here not to over generalize, yet, it does seem that there is a wider gap between idealism and realism in Latin America than in North America
    46. For example, the Power Distance scores for Mexico were 81, Venezuela 81, Colombia, 67, and Perú, 64; whereas the USA had a power distance level of 40, Great Britian, 35, Denmark, 18.
    47. Hofstede lists 18 characteristics. Here I have only listed those values that relate most to my present study on leadership.
    48. Some scores: US-46; Great Britain-35; Sweden-29; Australia-51; In contrast to Perú-87; Colombia-80; Venezuela-76; At the same time, this study was not so easy to label because of countries like Belgium-94; Greece-112; Japan-92.
    49. Here are some of the scores most relevant to who I am as an American and a missionary to Latin America: US-91; Great Britain-89; Canada-80; Italy-76 versus Venezuela-12 (the lowest); Colombia-13; Perú-16; Mexico-30.
    50. Here are some examples of scores: US-62; Japan-95 (highest); Austria-79; Switzerland-70 in comparison with Latin American countries: Mexico-69; Colombia-64; Peru-42; Venezuela-73; Spain-42; Chile-28.
    51. I have become increasingly concerned about the lack of distinction between leaders and non-leaders in Clinton’s framework. For example, Clinton talks about God’s preparation in the life of a potential leader through various checks. However, are not those checks used in the life of Christian non-leaders? At times, it seems that Clinton is simply reiterating what the Bible says about every Christian—not necessarily Christian leadership. He has arrived at his theories by using the grounded research technique (discovering patterns and similarities among leaders). However, he has not used grounded research to study non-leaders, so I wonder how specifically his research relates to leadership.

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