THE EMPTY CHAIR
BY RALPH W. NEIGHBOUR, JR.
An empty chair for a special person can significantly impact a cell meeting. Many cell leaders use an empty chair during times of sharing vision. The chair helps cell members to focus on unbelievers whose hearts need to be opened. The names of unbelievers can be written on slips of paper and placed on the seat of the chair, which becomes a focal point for intercession.
Cell members can be invited to sit in the empty chair and share their burden for an unsaved friend or relative. After the burdens are shared as person after person sits in the chair, cell members can surround the chair and pray for all those who were mentioned.
The Holy Spirits Chair.
In most Korean churches, there is a special chair on the platform for the Holy Spirit. The senior pastor sits on the right of it, others sit on the left. Often there is a golden pillow placed on its seat. Sometimes it is larger than the other chairs or elevated on a small platform. A sense of God’s presence is symbolized as the people meet for worship and prayer.
The same impact can be had in a cell. Whenever you celebrate the Lord’s Supper in your cell, place an empty chair at the table for the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of the meal, you might sing the chorus, “Holy Spirit, You are Welcome in this Place.” The presence of the chair will significantly influence the time spent around the table.
Chair for the Hurting.
Bill and Betty had a group for parents of retarded children Sometimes the pain in these parents was so great they could no share with the group. A white velvet chair in the living room was designated as the “silent chair.” Any member who sat in it was treated with gentleness and special love. Thus, they could be nurtured within the cell without feeling guilty that they could not help others. This empty chair became very important to the group. Try this if you have a group where one or more people are going through a crisis, or experiencing deep emotional pain.
Be creative with this idea. Think about other ways an empty chair can symbolize important spiritual concepts. Implement them in your cell.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY TOUCH OUTREACH MINISTRIES, 2000, “CELLEBRATING” CELLCHURCH MAGAZINE, PAGES 233-234.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.