Tue. Mar 2nd, 2021

CELL MINISTRY
BY BRANDON STEPHENS

In the early church, people didn’t go to a certain building every Sunday to sit and listen to a “Pastor” or laity as they stood behind a pulpit and preached to a congregation. Churches then were nothing like the churches we know today. There were no large gatherings, except in the Jewish faith. However, there were many different types of religions. There were Jews, humanists, knostics, pantheists, agnostics, and atheists. None of them really communicated with people outside their religious circle. 1

The early Christian church was very different from today’s church. In fact, I am sure that there were many who, not liking change,
thought that it shouldn’t be done any other way. In the early “Christian” church, small groups of people met in houses as well as in
the temple to share the gospel and talk about what they learned with their friends (Acts 2:46) “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts; (Acts 20:20) “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly from house to house. People who had common interests naturally related with each other. There was a kindred spirit that was present among these people (I Thes. 5:11) “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fart you are doing). Even though there were people of all persuasions and walks of life in one house, they all shared some similar interests that brought them together as friends in the first place. At that time it might even have been the fact that they were being persecuted that brought them together. The fact that “birds of a feather flock together” speaks for itself. 2

What is a Cell Group and it’s purpose? The Cell Group is based on this model of the early church and on the belief that one on one
evangelism and discipleship is better than one on five thousand. The cell group meet together for the purpose of prayer, edification, and evangelism. It is important that the cells have both purpose and organization. Without these components, the groups won’t achieve the desired results. The adult leader and co-leader do not do all the ministering in the cell group; the individuals in the group also minister to each other. This is one reason why the cell approach is so unique. In a large church you might not even know the people in the pew next to you. In a small group, you can really get to know everyone.

The impact of the early house groups was so powerful that conversions took place daily.

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1 Touch Phoenix Ministries, Copyright 1994.

2 Tan, Paul Lee, Th D. Encyclopedia of 7,700 illustrations: Signs of the Times, (Rockville, Maryland:Assurance Publishers, 1979), #6861

Members of the early church served one another. In the early church, there were not specialists, only those who served. How does a cell group grow? The cell starts with a cell leader and his/her co-leader. They invite a group of people they know to get together once a week to discuss relevant life issues. Then the leaders ask everyone to bring their friends “oikos” to the next meeting. It is not a requirement that all people share interests, it’s just a natural occurrence. When the group reaches a steady attendance level of fifteen, it multiplies into two groups. The leader takes half of the group and picks a new co-leader from people currently in his/her group. The co-leader becomes a leader and takes the other half and finds his own co-leader from his/her group. There can be an infinite number of people in one cell church and it will never get to large. The list below reveals the percentages of people won to Christ when asked, “What, or who, was responsible for your coming to Christ or church?”3

The most productive fields of harvest have been members of oikoses

1. A special need 1%
2. Walked in 2-3%
3. Pastor 5-6%
4. Visitation 1-2%
5. Sunday School 4-5%
6. Evangelistic Crusade 0-5%
7. Church Programs 2-3%
8. A friend or relative (Oikos) 75-90%

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3. Touch phoenix ministries, Copyright 1994

EIGHT PURPOSES OF HAVING CELLS

*Make disciple…discipleship is a process of demonstration.

*Develops a prayer life…prayer is used continually to help the cell.

*Fellowship is present…a productive, positive caring and sharing takes place.

Gifts are used…saints are used…saints are given opportunity to minister through the spirit.

*Everyone can minister…everyone can edify.

*Greater measure of needs met.. 90% of needs provided in cells life.

*Souls saved daily…church only happens on special days.

*Vision of evangelism given…group puts emphasis upon reaching out.

Cell groups are not simply another program, they are a way of life, body life. The cell group church is natural because much of what it does is done in the home environment (l Peter 4:9) ” Use hospitality one to another without grudging “. Home in the New Testament church was a place where “the church ” gathered, and was the central training place for the children. This way of life is the development of a family of a family of believers known as an “oikos”. Definition of Oikos: (A persons group of friends, family, associates with which he carries on close meaningful relationships.) The size of ones “Oikos” will vary with emotional strength. A normal Oikos is about 10 people interconnected.

Cells depends on oikoses to grow properly just like a planted seed needs sunlight and water.

The Cell Group Meeting

A. The Beginning

The cell group should flow smoothly. People should never get the idea you don’t know what to do next. You should never get the idea that you don’t know what to do next. The following is an example of what a cell group should actually be like. This is not an ultimatum of what it will be, however. You must e sensitive to the needs of the group. If they get of the subject, but it is still a good subject, let them talk for a time before regaining control. Also, if there comes a time where the entire group stops and everyone seems to be helping one person, sometimes it is best to let the Holy Ghost lead the group and you stand down for a while.

1. Fellowship: 6:45-7:00 (15 Min.) – There should be fifteen minutes before the cell starts for people to eat food and talk about
whatever they want. This helps to limit side track conversations during the meeting and also helps the new people get acquainted. It is a good idea to have food during the fellowship time. Make sure you know in advance who is bringing food. Food seems to make people feel comfortable and they will be more likely to be open and share.

2. Introduction: (Ice Breaker): 7:00-7:15 (15 Min.) – This is the time for you to introduce yourself and for the people in your group to get better acquainted. An Ice Breaker is a question designed to break down communication barriers when meeting new people. There are questions like, “What was the most significant thing that happened to you in the last week?” There are also less serious ones like, “If you inherited a million Ibs. of salmon Popsicle’s what would you do?”

B. The Middle

1. Share the Vision: 7:15-7:16 (1 Min.) – It is very important that the group understands a little of what cell groups are about. It
is common practice to forget or neglect doing this, but it is very important that this is done. Here is a sample vision statement.

“Cell groups are voluntary. There is nothing to join and there are no dues to pay. They’re here for when you have problems, joys, or just an opinion you want to share in a safe, open environment. There are three levels of honesty: honest, more honest, and most honest. We are hoping that you will try to be as honest as you can. You can choose not to answer any question at any time. The things said in this group are confidential and will not be shared outside the group. When our group reaches a steady 15 we will multiply into two groups. This is a positive thing because it allows others to join a group without it getting too big. As you experience the love and support that this group has to offer you may one day want to start a group of your own. It is also important that we bring new people.”

2. The Body (Topic): 7:16-8:00 (45 Min.) – This is the most important part of the night, when the actual curriculum is discussed. Again, be sensitive to the needs of your group. If they get off the subject, but are still having good conversation, let them talk for a little . Always try to go back to the original topic. You can do this by tying to relate what the people are saying to your topic and then going to the next section.

C. The End

1. Prayer: 8:00 – 8:15 (15 min.) – There are many different ways of praying in groups. All of them are right; it’s your job to figure out which one is right for your group. It is always good to ask for any prayer requests and equally important to write them down. During this time you might also want to ask about the previous weeks prayer requests which you wrote down. Some people like to assign someone or ask who wants to pray for the individual needs as they are brought up. Some leaders just let everyone pray and then close by bringing up all the prayer requests written down.

Your method of prayer can vary. You can have someone open and then let anyone chime in when every they want. Or you can stand in a circle, assign someone to open and then squeeze the hand next to them until the last person closes. Be sure to explain what method is going to be used so that everyone will feel comfortable with using it.

{Don’t force a visitor to pray if he/she doesn’t feel comfortable with it.

In any sport team you need to work together to accomplish your goal. It is not enough for you alone to know what you are doing, but everyone else needs to know, too. Your teammates need to know what you have done and if it worked out or not. You are expected to learn from each other.

In cell groups, one cell group can be started with one leader. He can be the only person who knows what’s going on and it will -work. He will know where the meetings will be, what topics to use and who -he has -to call. The problem arises when you have fifteen cell groups, thirty leaders, and all your groups are splitting and reforming without you knowing who’s in charge or who goes to what group. It is this reason that we have developed a series or forms and checklists so that all of us are “flying in the same direction”.

B. Leaders List Of Duties

1. Why You Need It

Leaders tend to be busy people with a lot on their minds and plenty to do. For this reason it is not uncommon for leaders to forget some of their tasks. Here is a copy of our leadership Checklist of weekly duties. This list is one of the most important forms we use to help the meetings go smoothly.

Z. Leadership Checklist

1. Location of Cell Group after next meeting secured and announced at the Cell Group.

2. Cell Group participants have been Bailed for next meeting.

3. Vision shared at beginning of meeting.

4. Newcomer sheets handed oat and completed.

5. Attendance sheets hand out and completed.

6. Weekly Report and Planning Worksheet (for next week) completed.

7. Balance sheet completed.

8. Thank you note to Host left at house -before you leave.

9. Newcomers added to calling list.

10. All new participants called within 24 hours to be thanked for coming and told of next week’s meeting.

11. Absent people called to find out why -they weren’t there.

12. Share Newcomer, Weekly Report, Report, Week Planning sheets and Balance sheet with Zone Servant.

13. Is food provided for? By whom?

14. Does anyone need a ride to cell group?

Cell groups are based on a principle of one friend brining another friend and then that friend bringing his friends. For this
reason, it is of vital importance that a house for the cell group is secured two weeks in advance. This means that you will be able to bring maps and invitations to the next cell group to the one you are going to. To make matters easier, a leader may want to secure a house for two weeks in a row.

When dealing with people, you are dealing with forgetfulness. This is why it is important to call everyone who has ever been to your cell group to invite them to the next meeting. This is also a good time to keep up relations with the people in you cell. TO aid you in remembering the needs of the individuals in your group there are calling cards for each person in out cell.

Calling Procedure

1. The leader and/or intern leader call the people in their cell.

2. Call at least once a week to tell them the time and place of the next cell Group.

3. Ask How their week is going or follow up on a prayer request from the last meeting.

4. If they missed the last cell, find out why and let them know that you miss them.

5. Call a first time visitor within 24 hours of the cell meeting, ask them what they thought of it.

6. Have calling cards In front of you when you call cell members and jet down notes about your conversation with them. Cards should include the name, address, phone number, birth date, who brought them to the cell, their special interests, their problems, and if they often need a ride.

7. If a situation arises that you can not handle, ask your zone servant for help.

It is important to know who is in your cell and to have some background information about them. This is how we get to know people and build relationships with them. It is also important that we keep accurate records of who is attending the groups.

To accomplish these goals, we have devised a Newcomer Sheet to keep track of this information. It is important that they are handed out during the beginning of the meeting and that they are all collected at the end of the meeting.

Newcomer Sheet

First Name:___________________________

Last Name:____________________________

Phone:_____________________

Address:____________________________________________________________

City:__________________________ State:_______________

Zip:______________________

Date of Birth:_______________________________

Who Invited You:______________________________________________

Do you attend Church on a regular basis? If so what church?:

_______________________________________________________________________

Hobbies or
Interests.___________________________________________________________

———-Please Do Not Write Below This Line———–

Cell Leader:___________________________________________ Zone

Servant:_______________________________________________

Group:_________________________________________________

Date:____________________________

Leaders are expected to pace themselves and not be the kind of person who is always on a spiritual roller coaster. They must be
strongly grounded in the word and not believe in any questionable doctrine.

The Apostle Paul once said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in
faith, and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

As a leader, you will be both looked up to and looked down upon. There arc those who will look up to you for support and as an example. There are also those who will look down on you and try to explain why you shouldn’t be a leader. Remember, teachers are judged more harshly then anyone else. For this reason you must live a consistently moral lifestyle.

This is what I Timothy 3:1-3 gives as additional qualifications for leadership.
A leader should:

1. Be beyond reproach.
2. Be temperate.
3. Be self controlled.
4. Be respectable.
5. Be able to teach and be taught.
6. Be hospitable.
7. Not drink, smoke, or any other drugs.
8. Not be greedy.
9. Have a proper relationship with family.
10. Not just recently accepted Christ.
11. Have a good reputation with outsiders.

Call Report Card

Name:___________________________
Address:________________________________

Phone ( )___________________ City/state:______________________
Zip:_______

Best Time to call:____________________________________________________________

Usually need ride?:__________________________________________________________

Who brought them:______________________________ Birth date: ____/____/____

Special
Interests:__________________________________________________________________________________

 

__________________________________________________________

Contact Information Date Comments

1.__________________________________/ /________________________________

2.__________________________________/ /________________________________

3.__________________________________/ /________________________________

4.__________________________________/ /________________________________

5.__________________________________/ /________________________________

The results of Cell Group churches can be measured in not only spiritual growth, but in numerical growth.

Churches around the world using cell groups.

Singapore – Faith Community Baptist Church has grown from 600 to 6,000 in 5 years.

Thailand – Hope of Bangkok Church has grown to 6,000 in 12 years with over 199 churches through Thailand.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Has gone from 683 to 23,000 in 8 years.

Johannesburg’ South Africa – Began with 1; in 1979 and now had 1,700 in 1992.

San Salvador. El Salvador – Changed to cell group church when attendance was 3,000. In one year church grew to 14,000; six years later it was 85,000 adults.

South Korea – Pastor Cho’s church has gone from 5 in 1969 to over 700,000 in 1992.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS SUBMITTED BY THE AUTHOR.

THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.IN

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