Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

THE CELL CHURCH
BY MARSHA GALLARDO

I sat upright in the pew, my senses quickened. This could be what I’ve been longing for, I thought.

“The church has become too building-centered,” said pastor Don Finto to the congregation of Belmont Church in Nashville, Tennessee, one significant Sunday in January 1992. “But I believe the Lord wants us to become a cell group-based church.”

As Finto continued to explain, my mind played back the frustration I’d experienced over the previous year, since my young family and I first moved into the area and began attending Belmont. We found Finto to be compassionate and real, a wonderful speaker and pastor. Moreover, I loved the worship-it reminded me of the charismatic prayer meetings I had enjoyed in the ’70s. We began attending regularly, eager to connect with our new church family.

But the truth was that beyond kind handshakes and warm hellos, friendships rarely blossomed.

Was it my fault, theirs-or was it something else?

I grew up a pastor’s kid, used to having a close network of friends within the church. Now, transplanted in another state and without my father’s reputation paving my way, I had a new, lonelier perspective.

Desperate for interaction, I dragged my husband to one of the few home groups operating out of Belmont. They were kind folks. But we felt like we had crashed a party-and we didn’t know the secret code words. Was it my fault, theirs-or something else?

I focused my attention once again on Finto.

“Many of you have lived with a perpetual frustration. You come to public assemblies and feel pumped, challenged. But you go away, and in an hour it’s gone. Why?” he asked. “Because you don’t have a group of people with whom you can work out the gospel.”

Yet Finto’s vision went beyond caring for the needs of Christians.

“Tens of thousands are lost because they are turned off by the traditional church,” he said. “The cell group-based church, in
comparison, meets the opportunity head-on. You are going to bring individuals to the Lord. Then you’ll bring them into your home and disciple them. When they finally come into the big assemblies, they’ll be comfortable sitting between you and your wife. They’ll soon be leading others to the Lord.”

He continued: “Cell groups are not just another religious fad. They may be the only hope for the survival of Christianity. In the parable of the two houses, the houses were different. The storms were not. The churches in the world that are thriving today know how to weather the storms. They can exist with or without church buildings. They are meeting house to house.”

While I was excited about the concept, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why would Finto want to shift gears so radically when Belmont is already a successful church, 3,500 strong? Why are so many churches across America doing the same thing-or considering doing it’?

WHAT IS A CELL CHURCH?
Ralph Neighbour, whose book, Where Do We Go From Here? (Touch Publications), has had a profound impact on the thinking of many church leaders (including Finto), defines a “cell church” as one that “is built on the principle that all Christians are ministers.”

In Cell Church Magazine, Neighbour explains the cell concept this way: “According to Ephesians 4:8, God has provided gifts to men to equip ‘believers who are gifted’ to do the work of ministry. Such a church is not built around the assembly of all its members but the clustering of believers to become ‘basic Christian communities’ which do the work of ministry from cell groups that meet in homes. These cells then cluster for area congregation activities, and assemble regionally for ‘celebration’ times.

The life of the church is in its cells, not in a building.”

Such cell group churches have an unlimited ability to evangelize and grow. As Jim Egli, director of North Star Strategies in Urbana, Illinois, notes, “Traditional churches expand primarily by attracting members from other congregations and usually reach a growth ceiling. In contrast, cell group churches demonstrate an amazing ability to reach unreached people in an expanding way, Instead of topping out at 200, 2,000 or 20,000 members, the structure of cell group churches allows them to grow indefinitely.”

Cell churches also have the unique ability to touch every member of a church and provide an atmosphere for growth and maturation. In an interview, Finto noted both of these abilities-“evangelism and nurture”-when describing his main reasons for beginning the transition to the cell model. “There are too many people slipping through the cracks,” he explained.

To close the “back door,” Finto is implementing a cell group strategy beginning with nine pilot cells, seven of which are led by Finto and other Belmont associate pastors and elders. Eventually he hopes everyone in the church will be in a cell. But to keep the vision pure, he wants the new system to evolve slowly.

The first step has been to train current leaders in cell group ministry and to transform the dozens of small groups already meeting into effective cell groups. Finto considers these groups “in transition” until they meet the following requirements: the group has 15 or fewer members (so as not to have too many lines of communication); it has an assistant cell leader who will lead a new, derivative cell when the first one multiplies; it evangelizes; its members interact outside of the cell; and, it is properly connected with church authority.

A few cells have already begun to meet. The assistant pastor’s wife, Sheila Watson, is excited about having her personal outreach more specifically defined. “I used to get up on Monday mornings and wonder who I should call first. There are so many to reach out to. But now I can focus on the six families in our cell group.”

One of these couples, Jeff and Donna Pack, was apprehensive at first. “Now we wonder how we did without the group,” Donna says. “We have someone who cares about us. We don’t fall by the wayside.”

Of course, cell groups are not a new idea. Jesus Himself banded to ether a small group of twelve. The early church modeled the idea further. Throughout church history, “small groups either spearheaded, became strong catalysts of, or followed as nurturing environments to revivals,” according to church historian J. Edwin Orr.

Many churches over the years have recognized the potential of small group ministry and embraced cell strategies to varying degrees-with corresponding degrees of success.

Karen Hurston of Hurston Ministries and Consultation Service in Gulf Breeze, Florida, notes that there are three basic ways churches have approached small group ministry:

1. Appendage system. In this system, small-group ministry is simply an “appendage” to more important church ministries. It is initiated and overseen by a layperson with the approval of the senior pastor. Typically, it embraces no more than 10 to 15 percent of the total congregation. If the layleader ever leaves, the entire program quickly dissolves.

2. Incorporated system. The majority of small-group programs in North America are “incorporated” into their churches’ roster of
ministries, with a designated staff member giving oversight. Although the senior pastor might consider small groups to be an important ministry, they are nevertheless only one among a plethora of activities from which a member can choose. A good incorporated system might involve up to 50 percent of a congregation. But since one staff person can only monitor a limited number of groups, that number tends to plateau and even decline in a matter of a few years.

3. Totally integrated system. This system is initiated by the church leadership. In such churches, small group participation is not
viewed as optional, but as the central activity of a “good member.” A totally integrated system generally involves 80 to 90 percent of a congregation and is overseen by several pastoral staff members, for whom small groups are their main focus.

Perhaps the best-known, modern-day cell church is David Yonggi Cho’s Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea-a church of over 645,000 that functions by way of the world’s most extensive cell group ministry. Yet while Yoido Church’s phenomenal growth continues in Korea, an American version is catching on in the United States. Many pastors are making the switch from the traditional program-oriented church to one based on cells.

MAKING THE SWITCH

Consider Dale Galloway’s New Hope Community Church in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from seminary, Dale discovered church growth was a whole lot easier to talk about than it was to produce. No matter how good a church’s preaching, teaching or music, Galloway found, people will leave within two or three years unless they are brought into some kind of small fellowship group. Challenged, Galloway set out to discover effective leadership principles and strategies to help him keep these people from falling through the cracks.

Today Galloway is a pacesetter when it comes to developing lay-led, small-group ministries to meet specific needs. In fact, church growth expert Elmer L. Towns says New Hope is “perhaps the church with the most effective small group ministry” in the United States. Nearly all of New Hope’s 5,200 members are involved in one or more of the church’s 475 small groups. These groups are evangelistic-attracting more than 700 new members each year, 80 percent of whom have never before belonged to a church.

Galloway understands the fear many pastors have when considering the release of laypeople to do the work of the ministry-which is a key element of any cell group strategy.

“We need to really trust the Holy Spirit with our ministry,” he says. “Over the years I’ve had a few people get off-base. But the rule is that an unhealthy group will always-sooner or later-die, and the Holy Spirit will cleanse His church. My testimony is that compared with the healthy, successful groups, the unhealthy ones have been very small in number. They have certainly not been enough to threaten me so that, out 0 my own insecurity, I would stop this mighty work of God in our midst.”

STARTING FROM SCRATCH

Towering at 6’6″ and weighing a husky 290 pounds, George Jones, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, emanates authority. But a recent newcomer to his church said upon introduction, “Oh, we were wondering who the pastor was.”

Jones likes it that way. “Some pastors are so insecure,” he says. “They’re worried someone is going to come up and unseat them. I want to train leaders so they can take over, and I can fade into the woodwork. I want it to be less of me and more of us.”

After taking over a small congregation on the verge of folding in 1987, Jones drew his new flock into the cell system by training 30 people and modeling a cell for six months. This small band then formed six cells. The church has grown to over 250 people.

“If you don’t do it this way you’re setting yourself up for isolation.” says Jones. “Your ministry focuses on what you produce rather than what you release.”

Today, “there is true congeniality among the leaders of our church,” he adds. “It’s not perfection, but we ask ourselves, ‘Is there fruit that abides? It’s messy, but it’s the best way to build a church that we’ve found.”

GOING UNDERGROUND

The roots of Dove Christian Fellowship go back to the early 1970s when a small group of believers began to reach out to the unchurched youth of their local community in northern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Soon it was obvious some kind of church structure was necessary. But what?

While asking this question, pastor Larry Kreider heard the Lord respond with another question: “Are you willing to be involved in the underground church?” Kreider understood. After all, it is the underground root system of a tree-the unnoticed half-that keeps the upper half nourished and healthy. Likewise, Kreider realized, it is the underground church that gives each believer an active and vital part in the living body of Christ.

Kreider began to meet with 25 people for a Sunday morning celebration. During the week, these 25 met in three cell groups. Today, 13 years later, Dove Christian Fellowship International is made up of over 2,000 believers meeting in more than 100 home cell groups in south-central Pennsylvania. Sister churches have been planted in Scotland, Brazil and Kenya.

These home-cell groups join together every Sunday morning for celebrations. Presently, there arc five different celebration sites meeting throughout the region. At least three times a year, the church rents a large gymnasium or outdoor amphitheater to come together corporately.

QUALITY LEADERSHIP

Not only does the cell strategy enable a church to meet the human need for tangible love and acceptance, it also develops quality leadership. In 1978, Pastor Frank Bailey of Victory Assembly in Metairie, Louisiana, realized cell groups were the only feasible means for bringing Christians to maturity. He encouraged the 30 believers in his congregation at that time to begin to think of themselves as part of God’s priesthood. The clergy would no longer be a one-man show, he said.

One of the men in the church, Michael-John Gaspard, admits he was terrified when he attended one of Victory Assembly’s first home groups. Everyone can put on their best face on Sunday, he figured; meeting in a home would reveal their hearts. But the consistent caring in that close and intimate atmosphere broke Gaspard out of his insecurities.

He is now Bailey’s assistant pastor.

Potential leaders within Victory Assembly cell groups are handpicked. (Volunteers often come with wrong motives, Bailey notes.) When individual lives show godly maturity, they are asked to be assistant lay leaders. Often there are two or three assistants in a group. The one showing the most promise is given his or her own group when it multiplies. “We haven’t arrived yet, but we keep on pushing,” says Gaspard of the 3,000-member congregation. “We are seeing people grow up in the Lord and be a light to the world.”

MAKING THE TRANSITION

Most experts agree it is simpler to start a church with a cell group strategy than to transition a church from a traditional program-based structure to a cell structure. In fact, for some churches, such a transition is just “not feasible,” says Jim Egli of North Star
Strategies. “In Luke 14, Jesus warns all would-be disciples to carefully count the cost before beginning the venture of discipleship.
If you are a leader who wants to transition a program-based church, hear the same warning. Realize the cost and difficulty before you begin the task.”

Many factors determine a congregation’s ability to change, Egli notes. For example, how old is the congregation? How much permission does the leadership have to actually lead? Is the church creative and open to change? Egli recommends that pastors considering or currently implementing the transition to a cell-based system pay special attention to five factors:

1. Vision. What is God calling you to do? Is God birthing in you a vision for cell church ministry? “Watch out. That vision may not be for the place where you currently minister,” Egli warns. “A seasoned pastor once told me, ‘God always fulfills the vision He gives you, but not necessarily in the church you are now in.”‘ When you start capturing the vision, don’t recklessly run ahead. Seek discernment. Then when you’re sure, communicate the vision to the congregation-and let them capture it, as well.

2. Leadership. Your vision needs a “Dream Team,” a core of leaders moving forward together. This doesn’t happen automatically, but only through communication, struggle and prayer.

3. Values. The things that are important to God must be important to you, as well. The call to change (even to change church structure) is a call to repent and let God’s heart shape your life.

4. Strategy. Once you determine where you are going and what your structure will look like, plan your transitional steps and structures and place them on a timetable-with the understanding that adjustments will be made as you go.

5. Prayer. “If you don’t soak the transition in prayer, it won’t work,” Egli says. “You are going to meet big obstacles that are going to look even more impossible once you get into it.”Are cell group churches the wave of the future? It seems that more and more pastors across the country and around the world-are reaching the same conclusion: Cell groups are the key to the future viability of the church.

As Belmont pastor Don Finto explains, “Our fast-paced society has isolated us. We live in air-conditioned homes so we don’t hear the noises of our neighbors. We drive in cars so we don’t greet each other in our travels. We take many of our meals in public restaurants or eat on the run. Even when we do sit for a meal, it is often before a TV set that talks to us.

“We must break the trend, break out of the isolation and begin communicating with each other. May the Lord restore a spirit of
hospitality to us. Our homes can then be a center of warmth, of communication, of worship, of prayer, of ministry, a place of security for our children and strength for adults.”

Large cell-based churches often tell their success stories, forgetting their difficult early stages. But Ministries Today talked with two leaders currently in the process of making the difficult transition from a building-centered church to one centered around cell groups: pastors Don Finto and George LeBeau of Belmont Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Belmont’s reputation as the full-gospel home to many well-known Christian musicians has put it in the public eye. Now, amid major change, their discoveries and experiences offer help and hope to those who wonder if cells are the answer for their own churches.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Belmont is a successful church. Some would say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” What motivated you to change what you were doing and try the cell system?

DON: We’ve had a number of people who’ve moved to Nashville because they were acquainted with Belmont Church. But within a year, they started to go to church somewhere else. They could never find their way in. I had only erratic direction. I assigned every new pastoral person to small groups because the last guy hadn’t done it well.

GEORGE: I was hired on staff as the latest person to solve all the small group problems and get everyone connected to Belmont so they felt like family. I worked at it for a year-and-a-half. And I’m not sure I did any better than any of my predecessors.

DON: Then I realized the problem was deeper. We had three or four pastors try it, and nothing was working.

MINISTRIES TODAY: George, how did you hear about the cell group idea?

GEORGE: I went to a conference to be with my friend, Happy Lehman. We had lunch, and it was the best pizza I ever bought anyone. He had more material on how to handle small groups than I had seen before. I picked up the material Happy recommended. I got excited and spent one day of the conference in my motel room. I prayed, dreamed and wrote thoughts down. I got so full that day that I called Don on the phone and dumped the load on him. I gave him everything I had been dreaming,
praying, hearing. And he wasn’t ready for it. Don said, “Write it down, and I’ll take a look at it when I get back.” I started weeping on the phone-I was so disappointed. Then, when I got back, my vision ended up in a memo somewhere.

MINISTRIES TODAY: How did you finally get through to Don?

GEORGE: Eleven months later (Tuesday, October 1, 1991), I felt the Lord telling me to stay home and pray Don would catch the vision that we needed. I remembered Happy telling me, “George, you can have all this, but if the senior pastor doesn’t catch it, you can forget it.” That truth sunk deep into me as I prayed. I had been like a four-wheel drive with my wheels spinning in the mud. That’s not to shift blame to Don. It’s just that he is God’s authority here at Belmont.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Don, how did you feel about small groups?

DON: I believed for 20 years that small groups were essential for a church to function well. But we tried everything I knew to try, and nothing worked. I had heard this thing about the senior pastor having to do it before George mentioned his ideas. So, I had a small group of potential leaders meet in my house. We met for six months. I was then to commission them to start their own small groups, and then those groups would start small groups. I envisioned the whole church coming into small groups that way.

We got to the end of the six months, and not one of them started another group. I didn’t give them enough direction. The potential leaders didn’t know how to do it. To tell people to meet every week in a small group and not give them continual guidance on what to do in the groups is not fair to them. The people who are really good leaders are creative enough to find some things to do. But the people who are not that creative flounder.

MINISTRIES TODAY: How did George’s prayers affect you?

DON: God awakened me early on the morning George prayed, and He gave me the missing piece of the small-group vision. If we were to have effective cells, as George had suggested the year before, a ministry guide would need to be given to the leaders every time I preached a message. You see, you can’t bring up that many wonderful teachers.But through the ministry guide, cell leaders can be facilitators of the truth spoken on Sunday morning. The ministry guide was the missing piece.

GEORGE: I came in to work later that day, and a friend stopped me in the hall. He said, “Have you seen Finto?” I shook my head. My friend said, “Whew! Don’s got something this morning.” Then Don burst out into the hall. He couldn’t wait to tell me.

DON: No pastor can lead his church in this until it becomes revelation knowledge to him. Since October 1, 199 1, when I got that revelation, I’ve never looked back.

MINISTRIES TODAY: What, then, would you say is the key to unlocking an understanding of the cell system?

DON: You have to understand that the building-centered church and the cell-based church are mutually exclusive. You can’t have both. You have to choose what’s most important to you.

I saw that the choice to have cells become the life of our church was going to revolutionize Belmont. We are releasing life through our families and homes. We’re preparing our people for the storms that are coming. The church will be able to exist without a building.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Has everyone at Belmont been enthusiastic about the cell system? I’ve heard some say the cell idea is a “Fintoism”-another concept Don is excited about, which, if waited out, will pass.

DON: The senior pastor can never assign cells to somebody else and have it work. He’s the vision center. I knew I had to get it in me. So, I started a cell and am involved.

GEORGE: Don is a visionary. He thinks in visions and stays so focused that, when things start cluttering, he will move away. Try to close Don in, and you will cut off the Spirit to him.

Several weekends ago I did a wedding in Washington, D.C., and the father of the bride was the rear admiral of the United States Navy. He told me his method of leadership. He was in charge of all the air operations of Operation Desert Storm. And the way he led was his was the first plane out. He dropped the first bomb on Baghdad. And he flew all the missions.

The positive side of that kind of leadership is the men follow him, and they’ll die for him. He’s a man’s man, in the trenches with them. The other side is that it drives the upper echelon crazy; they’re afraid he’s going to get killed or shot.

Don leads like that. In military terms, Don is a top gun. In the kingdom, he’s pushing the fastest plane to the edge. And there’s
fallout. People can’t handle that.

1, on the other hand, am a plodder. Even though I initiated this [cell group strategy], I’ve been the lead weight behind Don, thinking it was moving too fast. Yet I’m as convinced as he is that this is the way to go. I can assure our congregation it’s not a “Fintoism.” It’s not the latest idea that he got in a book. It’s God revealing tomorrow’s church.

MINISTRIES TODAY: How do cell groups-close-knit extended families-fit with Americans’ individualistic lifestyles?

GEORGE: We’re a little behind in the church. For years, secular society, motivated by greed, has said, “Let’s get people working
together better so we can get a superior product and make more money.” Our motivation, by contrast, is to have God’s kingdom come. This is the way.

DON: Christians are going to have to become more serious about following the Lord and less influenced by our culture because our culture is becoming more and more godless. Cell groups are godly groups where people can be more vulnerable to each other.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Some who are all too aware of mistakes made in the past in the body of Christ may fear that cell groups are potential breeding ground for unhealthy spiritual control. How do you steer away from manipulation and legalism by layleaders?

DON: Biblical authority is not from the top down. It’s from the bottom up. Authority serves more than it demands. Jesus didn’t
demand. He spoke truth. Truth was demanding. Cell leaders have to have a certain authority, but ultimately I see the cell leaders as servants.

GEORGE: One person is not spotlighted. I think God is saying it’s time to be interdependent on one another. At the same time, many people have had a call on their life and no way to express it unless they go to seminary and are hired onto church staff. Cells allow people to arise to all God has called them to be. They’re able to lead and pastor and share the gospel.

MINISTRIES TODAY: How is a cell meeting different from a Bible study?

GEORGE: A typical Bible study goes through a content and an application stage. Then the leader may take a few prayer requests.
The difference in cells is we summarize the Sunday message in a few minutes and then immediately go into application and ministry.

DON: Cells aren’t a place to just rehash the Sunday message. They’re a place to minister. If the subject of healing was presented
on Sunday morning, the cells talk about the whole healing issue and pray for each other. The message that goes out in the big assembly is facilitated through the cells.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Several cell group churches have an overseer over five multiplied cells. Do you plan on using the one-to-five principle?

GEORGE: Yes. Each cell is begun with an intern [leader in training] to plan for multiplication. Our cells are divided regionally. We like this because it keeps people in a community. The counties around and including Nashville each have zones with an overseer. Overseers contact cell leaders weekly. And the overseers meet with Don and me weekly. There we try to renew the vision and talk about what’s going on and how we can serve them.

We’re also starting specialty cell groups. These groups have their livelihood or a hobby in common. They are made up of people like worship leaders, tennis players and mothers of preschoolers.

MINISTRIES TODAY: How are you sharing this cell group concept with your church members?

GEORGE: For anyone in our church that expresses interest, I encourage them to get in a cell group. Then I encourage them to come to a cell-leader training because they catch a greater vision of what the cells are all about. Pastors from other churches even come to our training because they hear about it through word of mouth. They come at their expense, on their time. We don’t send out brochures.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Do you think church structure must be completely transferred over to the cell system?

GEORGE: I think it’s necessary, especially considering the examples in the book of Acts and the Epistles. This is the way of the church-and we are never to be controlled by any fear except the fear of God. If we’re fearful of losing the people when we dare to try the cell system, then Jesus isn’t Lord of our church. I’ve pastored churches of 400 and less than 100. And I understand that fear. But we have to realize who we are in God and what God has equipped us to be. We need to go out and be that, confidently.

MINISTRIES TODAY: Are you hopeful about the future of your transition?

GEORGE: I can now say, with integrity, that we’re moving toward a solution to our small group problem.

DON: Give us two to three years and we can have the whole church in cells. Right now we’re a church with cell groups. Soon, we will be a cell group church.

WHY SHOULD WE BECOME A CELL BASED CHURCH?

BY DON FINTO

1. It’s biblical. the church of the Old Testament went to the temple and to tabernacles. In the New Testament. Jesus now lives in us through His Holy Spirit. We are His temple. And as a church, we are living stones being built together to become a holy dwell where God lives.

The church had no buildings for the first three centuries-the time of its most rapid growth! It met often in halls for teaching and
celebrations, but the life of the church was nurtured in homes. (See Acts 2:46, 5:42,16:40, 20:20,Rom.. 16:5, I Cor. 16:199; Col.
4:15;Philemon 2.)

2. It’s working around the world. Effective cell-based churches are thriving in South Korea (Yoido Full Gospel Church, pastored by David Yonggi Cho, has grown from five members in 1969 to over 600,000 today); Singapore (Faith Community Baptist Church, pastored by Lawrence Khong and Ralph Neighbour, has grown from 400 to over 4,000 since its beginning in 1988); Thailand (Hope of Bangkok Church, pastored by Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, has grown from five members in 1981 to over 6,000 today); London, England(Ichthus Fellowship, pastored by Roger Forster, has grown to 200 cells in 32 congregations, including three congregations in the Middle East); and elsewhere throughout the world.

Successful cell churches exist in such far-flung cities as Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Johannesburg, South Africa; Brisbane, Australia; and Sanntiago, Chile-as well as throughout the United States, from Portland to Baltimore.

3. There are many points of entry into the body of Christ in the cell based church since every cell is not only nurturing, but evangelistic. Reclaiming the prodigals and saving the lost happens along with nurturing believers and healing the wounded.

4. Leaders are developed from the ground up naturally. In a cell-based church, those who are evangelizing, nurturing and shepherding become the leaders. The building-centered church, by contrast, tends to have artificially produced leadership, identified by the limited scope of a few people-and often ends up with leaders whom no one is following.

5. There are not enough buildings to contain the harvest of souls that is coming. We must not be limited in church growth by the size of our buildings. As we embrace the cell vision. I believe our church will number many thousands within a few years.

6. We must be ready to go underground at any time. The harvest may be accompanied by difficult times-even times of persecution.

7. Every member is a minister. Each week one’s spiritual gifts are used in ministry to the group. The “everyone has a …” of I Cor.
14:26 can become a reality.

8. Every member is nurtured. People are put in families-growing families. Each person has a “support group.””

9. There are many shepherds, pastors, overseers and elders-so there is less emphasis on the person meeting the needs of many people.

10. The Lord has instructed us (Belmont Church) to do it.

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THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY MINISTRIES TODAY, MAY/JUNE 1993, PAGES 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40.

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

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