Mending Nets or Creating New Ones

By Joel Comiskey, Leadership Explosion (2023 version), 2023

One of my cell church heroes is Werner Kniessel. Werner, a native of Zurich, Switzerland, served many years as a missionary to Argentina. God gave him a clear vision in Argentina to make disciples by multiplying small groups. His local church in Zurich asked him to come back as lead pastor.

With skill and patience, Werner transitioned his traditional church into a model cell church with 100s of cell groups. His church in Zurich has trained pastors and church planters throughout Europe. Celyce and I have had the privilege of speaking at Werner’s church in Zurich on two occasions. During one visit, Werner told me that his pastoral team mends their nets yearly.

Their pastoral team would examine which cells were unhealthy, which cells were not being supervised, which cells needed to multiply, and so forth. After mending the nets, they would project new goals for the year. They found that “mending the nets” each year was critical for the ongoing health of their church. And they did it as a team.

Most cell churches and groups will need to mend their nets more than once yearly. Teams should examine their groups each week. What kinds of holes appear in your cell net system, and what do you need to change for 2023? Other churches need to create new nets. For example, maybe you need to create an equipping net, statistical net, etc. So whether you are mending or creating,

January is a great month to examine how you can more effectively make disciples who make disciples. In my local church, I can think of three areas of need:

  1. Statistics. We’ve had some hiccups in weekly data gathering and need to mend our reporting structure.
  2. Equipping. Key leaders have gone through most of the equipping, but we now need to train the teachers who will prepare the entire church.
  3. Evangelism. As a pastoral team, we want to make  2023 the year of missions and outreach. We desire to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those around us. By God’s grace, we did pretty well during Covid-19, and almost all of our groups are now meeting face-to-face. However, we now need to start proactively evangelizing. We want each group to target those in need to serve them and preach the gospel.

Jesus has placed us in a particular community, and he desires to rule and reign in those around us. How can you mend your nets (or create new ones) to reach people in 2023?