CellChurch Magazine

Volume Five - 1996


PUBLISHER'S NOTE-RALPH W. NEIGHBOUR, JR.

This issue focuses on South Africa and the awesome development of the cell church movement in that nation. Bringing change to the traditional churches of South Africa required the destruction of the satanically-inspired apartheid government. It was on the crest of that political tidal wave that the cell movement was introduced.

Martin Hopkins read Where Do We Go From Here? and telephoned me in Singapore having many questions. He pastored a medium-sized church in a medium-sized town. He also supervised about forty regional churches in the International Fellowship of Charismatic Churches, a young organization which pioneered accepting people of all ethnic groups during apartheid, while the rest of the church organizations were totally segregated.

We held regional seminars in May and June of 1993, introducing cell concepts to churches. They were attended by thousands of church leaders from all denominations. With only twenty hours of instruction, over a hundred churches instantly began to transition. Aware they did not know what they were doing, we immediately sent invitations to pastors interested in enrolling for The Year of Equipping. The training brought them together, one week every three months, for intensive guidance and walked them through the process of changing the values of church members and moving into the new paradigm. This idea of one week of training every three months, for church planting evangelists, came to me from observing a pattern used in India. This pattern resulted in the formation of thousands of cell-based churches in that nation. Would it work in South Africa? Yes!

I developed extensive manuals for them. The Year of Equipping materials were flown in and sold by the thousands. A team of pastors from the Dutch Reformed Church translated the books into Afrikaans. It was exciting to see the concept penetrate all the groups.

That first year of training gathered over four hundred pastors- the first time in the history of South Africa leaders from different streams sat in the same room and dialogued with each other. The Dutch Reformed, Pentecostals, Methodists and Presbyterians were some of the hundreds present. Zulus, Causas, Indians and delegations from Tanzania, Zambia and other surrounding nations added to the excitement of the assembly.

I met the President of the Dutch Reformed Church who was not receptive to the concept and neither was the solemn assembly of traditional congregations. However, there were many of the pastors from that communion who attended my weeks of training and began to transition in spite of pressures from above.

As we closed the first year of training, Dr. Isak Burger asked me to explain the cell concept to key leaders of the 600,000 member Apostolic Faith Mission. For three days, I outlined the theology as well as the methodology of the cell church movement. On the final day, Dr. Burger told the men, including their seminary President and the presidents of two other colleges, "We must now seek the Lord about this matter." In a time of prayer, lasting most of the morning, we had the Day of Pentecost in that room! Weeping and sobbing, men of influence stretched out on their faces, crying out to God for the manifestation of His Spirit to return to a declining church structure.

In August of 1994, I addressed several thousand pastors of that denomination and made the same presentation. This resulted in the second Year of Transition, which I am now completing in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Hundreds of other churches are now transitioning in that denomination and will install a full time worker in the headquarters office to give further guidance to black, colored and white churches adopting the cell church concept. Under the direction of Tim Salmon, Touch International, South Africa now has five full time staff members and will give indigenous leadership to the cell church movement there. Praise the Lord!


GLOBAL INPUT- BY TIM SALMON, SOUTH AFRICA

A Journey Of Purification

"The cells are the kidney of the church . . ."

As senior pastor, I was an effective communicator and loved people. I saw how my pulpit ministry moved hearts, and welcomed visitors with true concern. But as good as it appeared, I knew that my charisma and performance was not making disciples of every member. While many did not see the problem, I knew the growth of a local church cannot be dependent on one man. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that every member must minister and disciple others for real growth!

Owning up to my situation and my need for a solution, I discussed the revelation with my wife. She had just finished reading a book called Where Do We Go From Here?, which she raved to be a solution for my anxiety. I listened to her counsel and read the book- she was right! Embracing a cell structure would equip every member of my church for ministry, outreach, discipleship and spiritual maturity. Our church's success would not be dependent on me alone.

At this same time, a colleague of mine, Martin Hopkins was learning about cells. He was enthusiastic with the possibilities, and we spent hours discussing and planning the next steps toward a transition to cells from our traditional structure. Needing direction, Martin contacted Dr. Neighbour and asked him to help us move into cell life. Thus, South Africa's journey into cells had begun.

It was during these months of our local struggle that Ralph developed a year-long training called The Year Of Transition. Pastors from all over South Africa gathered for a week every quarter to learn about the paradigm shift he wrote about in his books. He traveled here quarterly to teach, and Martin formed a new ministry called TOUCH International - a resource center for the necessary materials and conferences.

The intensive training produced hundreds of cell churches the first year. Pastors and their denominations were moved to cast off their dying structures and adopt a new wineskin. Presently, all are at different stages of transition, but are moving rapidly with the new ideas and methods. Time spent with Ralph shifted my own paradigm and gave me a new sense of purpose as a pastor. My own church-in its third year of transition today-is very different from the anxious days of my past.

Value shift

From my new paradigm, I challenged the members of my church to examine their values. Through months of casting the vision of basic Christian community and lifestyle evangelism, a new body of believers emerged. No longer does the church depend on one man. Each member entering cell life has acknowledged and accepted a responsibility to other believers and the lost around them.

Purification and Love

The cells are the kidney of the church. There is much purifying that takes place. Cells have challenged the believers to maintain intimacy through conflict, and have brought a new closeness, accountability and cleansing within our members.

Cells have cultivated a strong sense of God's love among my church. This was exemplified when one of our members had a serious accident. Her car hit a farm tractor, and she was seriously injured. The cell sprang into life, serving her and her family by cooking meals, praying and showing God's love. It was Body life in action!

Growth

Why has the cell church grown so rapidly in South Africa? Oikos relationships and outreach is the answer. This alone filled a great vacuum which existed in our ranks. God brought this new understanding and took our church across a learning gap and into a new dimension. Although we have not arrived, many painful lessons show the fruits of our united labor. The church as a whole is changing here, and the growth is exciting.

Lessons learned

Can the outside world learn from South Africa? Yes! We can all learn from each other's growth process and mistakes. Our greatest mistake was over-preaching the cell church concept before living it. Through this we learned values must be imparted before vision. Don't be afraid to start small. We wanted to start too quickly with too many groups. This lends itself to a leadership drought and not enough time to struggle with the adoption of new values. Starting small is vital to overcoming many obstacles.

AN INVITATION

In April of 1997, the first South Africa Cell Church Conference will be held with Dr. Ralph Neighbour, and Pastor Dion Robert, Senior Pastor of Eglise Protestante Baptist Oeuvres et Mission in the Ivory Coast as our key speakers. I invite everyone to come and join us in this life changing and nationally impacting event. We pray that this conference will fan the flame of cells in South Africa!

Tim Salmon is one of the leaders of the International Fellowship of Charismatic Churches. He greatly contributes to relationship building among the many churches related to IFCC. Tim has taken a new responsibility as the Director of TOUCH International South Africa, where he is responsible for cell church training and planting. He previously pastored a small church in Klerksdorp, South Africa which successfully transitioned and grew from 60 members to over 400. It is still growing. He may be contacted at: TOUCH International (SA), Box 1223, Newcastle, South Africa 2940; International Phone: 27 (343) 128-126; International Fax: 27 (343) 124-211; e-mail care of: frankh@lianc.lia.co.za


MY SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI BY RANDALL G. NEIGHBOUR

(Intro: Kruger Game Park reminded me of rural Texas-a explosion of deciduous and desert vegetation. The terrain inside the park had survived a six year drought and was glutted with the results of recent floods. The elephant grass was taller than I, and every female animal at the park was pregnant. The coats on the impalas and other game stock were shiny and seemed as if they had gone through careful grooming. Awed by this second stop in my travels, I discerned the significance of this scene to the cell church movement and made a mental journal of ...my South African Safari.) My first visit pioneered many experiences and uprooted many misconceptions. I expected to see South Africa as a barren desert, for much of my American perception was carved by segments I caught on television. I was excited to see them challenged.

South Africa is not the rural, deprived nation the western world perceives. For twenty days I was itinerant, visiting three major South African cities and developing a new understanding of their thriving cell movement.

My journey began in Johannesburg, a world class city that resembles Los Angeles-traffic, smog, skyscrapers and construction. Though the two cities are similar in appearance, the spiritual climate was obviously distinct.

I joined the TOUCH International staff for the second round of The Year of Transition. We gathered at a local Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church, a denomination that has completely embraced the cell church vision. I was delighted to become reacquainted with first year attendees and meet their new staff as well as their pastoral and missionary friends.

Church of the Way adopted a church in Malawi, the Holy Cross Pentecostal Church, as a part of their mission work, and the fruit is plentiful from cell-based ministry and evangelism. Joshua Churchyard, Senior Pastor of Church of the Way, introduced me to three pastors from Malawi. These men hitchhiked five grueling days to attend, walking and riding in the back of trucks. They sat through the training, eyes locked on "Uncle Ralph" and the video projector's image, whispering to one another in their native dialect when they needed clarification. The three pastors arrived with first-hand accounts of commonplace miracles-healings, deliverance and the raising of the dead. When I asked them to share about the incredible signs and wonders of God's power in their city, they confessed it had been weeks since they saw anyone raised from the dead. They sought a fresh anointing. I prayed for a fresh anointing for them and asked them to pray that God would give me their old one.

My next stop-two days and nights in Kruger Park, the largest fenced game reserve in the world. I verbalized an interest in experiencing Krueger, and Charles Barry, a cell pastor from Ermelo, heard the call of the wild and threw me into his car. Less than a half hour later, we were on our way. On the four hour drive to the park, I realized that the typical South African will make any excuse to get to a game park. Charles was eager and knowledgeable, and we enjoyed this impromptu vacation.

Fifteen minutes inside the gate, a pride of lions walked across the road and plopped down for a rest five feet away from our car. A mother giraffe nursed a newborn, unafraid of us, as we drove ahead. While that mother wasn't threatened by us, a mother elephant wasn't at all happy with our company. She began to charge! It was a paralyzing experience seeing an elephant stomping toward our car at incredible speed-especially through binoculars. Charles had to peel me off the upholstery. He kept repeating the same phrase over and over, "Animals are not as close as they appear."

Cape Town was next on my itinerary-a two hour trip by air. This seaside city reminded me of San Francisco. Once again, we trained in an AFM church, pastors pouring in from all the southern areas of South Africa. While in Cape Town, I conducted a Cell Leader/Intern Seminar for a Dutch Reformed church, one of the oldest denominations in the country but one of the last to fully move toward cells. Philip Buerta, the pastor of this local body, impacted his church of three hundred members by transitioning to cells. His congregation, a traditional remnant of 30, conducts quiet services in Afrikaans, while a cell-based group enjoyed praise and worship music along with an English service. God has honored Philip's genuine love for his people. The Dutch Reformed church has seen Philip's growth through cells and cautiously monitors his progress. Pray for them. Renewal is coming to teach one of the denominations in South Africa, and prayer is the powerful key to open that door.

Cape Town also accommodates the largest printing company in the southern hemisphere. Cape Town Printers (CTP) is currently printing TOUCH materials for the local market. I dropped by for a plant tour and saw millions of Bibles and calendar diaries being printed for a particular press. CTP wanted a contract to print long documents last year, but this press wouldn't work fast enough to turn a profit. The press operator suggested an unconventional process that would increase the press speed and the yield by 15%. They called the factory in Germany, and the seasoned engineers said, "It can't be done at any price!"

The shop manager was not pleased with their quick answer. South Africans had been left to their own resources when technologically advanced countries boycotted goods and services because of apartheid. The plant manager recruited a recent engineering graduate and gave him a blank check. The 26 year old redesigned the delivery system, with little money and time, because he didn't know it couldn't be done. The factory in Germany was stunned. They sent a team to inspect it and left befuddled and amazed.

I then visited the Lighthouse Christian Centre, a thriving cell church in downtown Cape Town. It has crowded an old theater numerous times for celebration services. Walty and Coleen Snyman, the Senior Pastors, testified to over 350 baptisms from their first John 3:16 weekend. They were overjoyed that these baby Christians came to Christ through oikos relationships with cell members, not through a large auditorium altar call.

During that visit at Lighthouse, I made two important observations: the church is comprised of many nationalities and colors; the pulpit ministry is shared by many with the same vision. These are significant paradigm shifts in religious life for South Africa. I did not often see mixed groups of people worshipping together in the churches. The common goal of worship and ministry transcending the races is a new and wonderful thing. I also thought it both odd and innovative that much of the preaching and teaching is done by the church staff, freeing the Snymans to minister to the staff and members on different levels.

I left the southwest shores of Cape Town for the warm waters of the east coast-my last stop. Durban is hot and humid, bringing back my missionary kid memories of Southeast Asia. I used this week to consider all I had seen and heard.

South Africa is not an undeveloped third world country. Cities with towering buildings, traffic, industries, smog and urban dilemmas echoed those of my hometown, Houston. The Western excuse-"It works in underdeveloped countries, but not here."-no longer holds.

South Africa is showing America the possibility and attainability of cells. Our South African brothers and sisters never heard from the "idea factory" that it can't be done. They did it! The growth among transitioning churches in Cape Town alone is proof.

Symbolized by the terrain of Krueger Game Park, the spiritual drought of apartheid and other satanic oppressions have been washed away by the flood of cells. The Holy Spirit has impregnated many leaders and congregation members with the vision of the cell church movement. The patches of dryness in remaining PBD churches are becoming wet from the outflowing of spiritual revival throughout South Africa.

The mixture of various types of vegetation in the park is representative of the mixture of the races communing together in the cells. Racial harmony and broad vision casting have created a new environment for the Holy Spirit. As I spent time with pastors at The Year of Transition locations and at a prayer breakfast in Johannesburg, I heard them all voice the same concern-to close the prejudice gap in South African society with a common goal of making disciples for the kingdom of God. I believe the shift to cell- based churches was brought by the Lord at the perfect time. The abolition of apartheid and a new constitution have made every day an adventure in faith.

I anticipate future visits to South Africa. The indescribable countryside pales in comparison to the beauty of Jesus Christ in the believers I met and the strength of their desire to build the kingdom within an unstable environment. They have a willingness to grasp a new lifestyle in the midst of change and a sensitivity to God's call to be a unified body, regardless of the struggles.


CHILDREN'S MINISTRY- BY EVELYN COLLINS

To Whom The Kingdom Belongs Integrating children in "adult" cells

The cell church movement itself is countercultural. It forces people to enter into relationships with others, despite fears and trepidations. We are required to confront and resolve differences. In addition, we are also forced to break personal, religious and societal bulwarks through the cell church movement's most countercultural attribute- intergenerational cells.

The culture in the United States views children as an inconvenience, an irritation and a distraction. We respond to normal childlike behavior with repression and control of their behavior, attempting to mold them into miniature adults. Contrary to this conditioning, cell life requires us to welcome children as equals. Unfortunately, programs such as Sunday School, Children's Church and Day Care, though needed, have caused more to separate children from adults. As a result, adults have become accustomed to learning, playing, working, praying and worshipping with children out of sight and hearing. However, Jesus told us to welcome children and not hinder them. Do we forget that to welcome someone is to gladly receive them? We revert to referring to children as problems in the cells. There is no denial that children can be distracting and even irritating, but perhaps the real problem lies in our own attitudes rather than the children's behavior.

Of all the worldviews we must evaluate upon entering cell life, children must be fundamental instead of an afterthought. What value do we place on our children? Do we really see them as a burden, a challenge, a project or a "ministry"? Are they a blessing, a strength, a crown and the ones to whom the kingdom of Heaven belongs, as the scriptures suggest? Until we begin to see children as Jesus sees them, we neglect an entire dimension of cell life.

In God's Word, children are always integrated into community life. We are given numerous examples of children being used by God in the Old Testament, from Samuel to Josiah. In the New Testament, we are given the greatest examples of all. Before He was a teenager, Jesus discussed the scriptures with the elders of the temple. As man and teacher, Jesus used the gifts of a small boy to feed the multitude. He was welcomed by a celebration led by children as He paraded into Jerusalem.

In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus modeled and taught his disciples how to receive children. In verse 14, Jesus even became indignant when the disciples hindered the children! We then see His heart in verse 16: "And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them." He valued them closely and personally, not from a distance.

Events in the Bible have a direct application to our cells. There is power in simple obedience. When we receive our children gladly, we obey our Lord and humbly allow our children to model obedience to us. I recall when one child in a small group taught me how to receive the Holy Spirit's blessing during ministry time. I watched her walk to the leader, close her eyes and simply receive. It freed me to do the same.

The presence of children seems to allow a freer flow of the Holy Spirit in prayer and worship. I have seen children walk into a room, go to a person and pray the needed words into that person's life. I have seen children give their whole hearts in worship, challenging adults to dance, raise their hands and cry.

Do we want our cells to have a more powerful ministry, more effective prayer and more intimate worship? Include the children. God does speak through our children as he did through Samuel. He will minister healing through their simple, child-like faith. He will give them powerful words of truth which they freely speak with love if we allow them to come as Jesus said.

Allow the children to be who God made them. Jesus takes all of us as we are. Normal children are active and inquisitive, and they must be allowed to be children. Our role is to give them security and freedom to be who God created them to be. We only set ourselves up for frustration if we expect them to be anything else.

In cells, release small children from structure which demands they be still and silent. Allow them to move freely around the room. When they sense and are secure of other's acceptance they will be surprisingly calm.

A Childlink is essential to any cell with children. This cell member serves as both an advocate and organizer for all the children. The Childlink is responsible for assisting the cell in implementing and planning activities for our children by enlisting the participation of all members.

Many children enjoy the worship and teaching time. However, it is difficult for them if they have pent up energy. Ten to thirty minutes outdoors or a game can release their energy and enable them to appropriately participate in cell.

We must get to know the children. Talk to them just like you would to anyone else. Listen to them, and hear their hearts. Experience and learn from their sensitivity and openness to the Lord. Be willing to see the world through their faith-filled eyes. We must take responsibility for their growth and well being. Avoid looking at them as their children but our children. We must embrace them as part of our extended family. We all need to share the responsibility of welcoming children, as we saw in Mark 10.

hildren are close to God's heart. When we seek His presence at our cell meetings, we need our children with us. Because Jesus refused to hold them back, we should be more than willing to enfold them. Receive the children gladly and rejoice when Jesus manifests His presence.

Obviously, wisdom and discretion must be used. However, the core of the matter is whether we are willing to make children an integral part of our cell's life. They are not a problem to be solved, but a gift from a loving father who asks us all to come to him as children.

Evelyn Collins has over twelve years of experience in children's ministry. She has provided counseling and discipleship to children of all ages and all socio-economic backgrounds. She desires to see children of all ages valued in all societies as individuals and important to the edification of the church.


Youth Ministry- BY MARVIN JACOBO

Investing In Your Youth-Why not if you've got greater returns?

The young people of your church will catch the cell vision and principles sooner than the adults. Experience has taught us that the older the person, the greater their allegiance to program-driven institutions. In contrast, the young generation has no emotional ties to conventions and agendas. The youth will grab new ministry ideas- keep what works-and throw out what doesn't.

What can you as the youth pastor do to build your cell church through the youth? For starters, consider the idea! Why not? Church history has proven the Holy Spirit brings revival through young people. They gathered in small groups, praying for themselves, the salvation of lost loved ones and global impact through the Gospel.

Your church of today is your youth today! Plan your investments for a greater return. As your teenagers grow in Christ with cell life values, they will influence their parents. They will challenge adults, lost and saved, by what God does in their lives. They will launch vision and enthusiasm in the adults.

Light a passion in your youth leaders for the cell life values. Invest in them. Expose them to conferences and mentors to help them build an effective youth cell ministry.

Empower your youth leaders to make the tough decisions in thrusting your youth ministry into cells. Help them implement. This means cutting and reshaping programs to edify the cells. Help them overcome their fear of change.

Protect your youth leaders from pressure and criticism. Don't allow parents and other adults to intimidate your youth leaders to regress to the '70's. Enforce an effective and relative ministry for the '90's! Champion your youth and student leaders in the same way you'd want them to back you up. Confront and uproot any dis- couragement within the ranks. Pray with your youth leaders constantly and consistently. Give them plenty of opportunities to pray with you personally. Your leaders need to hear your heart for God. In doing this, the Holy Spirit will implant your passion and zeal into them.

Discern and hire the called. Volunteers will quit. You need leaders who own or are able to adopt the cell life values. Don't settle just to fill a position. Pray hard and search for the called of God to work with the youth, whether they be an adult or a teen. Pursue them, and they will commit to you for the long haul.

Mentor your youth leaders. You must personally invest in their lives. Don't neglect contributing to their calling by your excuses or lack of time. Your relationship with your leaders is vital to the edification of the youth cell ministry.

Model a healthy living for your youth leaders. If you work 80 hours a week, they will. If you take care of your family, they will. If you are faithful to your Sabbath rest, they will. Your influence will trickle down to the health of the cells by reflecting the health of the leaders.

Learn your senior pastor's heart. Know his dreams and desires for the church. Do you understand his deepest ministry concerns? Are you communicating your own ministry values to him? Are you in sync?

Transitioning a program-driven church can also take its toll on the relationship between the youth pastor and the senior pastor. Satan uses poor communication, lack of trust and questioning of motives to undermine the leadership team of any church.

Godly submission will challenge you to align your vision with that of your pastor's. Your calling is to be his under-shepherd, caring for his adolescent lambs. There is no place for hidden agendas, undisclosed dreams or selfish goals. Pray for your senior pastor daily, supporting him 100%.

Keep the big picture in perspective and avoid tunnel vision. Don't become prideful, possessive or territorial. Work toward an "our ministry" mentality with servanthood and a team approach.

Success in youth ministry is longevity. Transforming a church takes a minimum of five years. You must give your people time. Each person has their own process of understanding. Most people in your ministry are not rebellious and disobedient, they just don't understand. Be patient with them. Keep loving them and praying for them. Learn how to articulate the pastor's vision for the church. Your vision has worth only if you can communicate it.

If you want to build an effective cell church through your youth ministry, you must empower the church. Coach, equip and release your adult and student leadership to live out their calling. We must remember that the church is the Body of Christ working together. Every person is a minister. Every student is a shepherd.

Marvin Jacobo has over 20 years of youth ministry at First Baptist Church in Modesto, CA, achieving over 33 student-led cells and 250 teens. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for 18 years and have two daughters.


NUCLEUS- BY LARRY KREIDER

Are You Bored?

Mario Murillo exhorted, "To do anything below what you were created to do will bore you." We were created by God to be ministers. Apart from this, we lack a sense of fulfillment and dignity.

A few years ago, my friend Ibrahim Omondi knew his people were bored. Having a keen interest in the cell church concept, my journalist friend from Nairobi, Kenya sought for a working model and wanted to "tag along" as I served in our new cell church.

Our new church was birthed a few years earlier with three cells, but instead of multiplying, one died. We desperately pleaded for God's help as we reminded His people, "The Bible says you are a minister, and God desires to use you!" Eventually, faith rose in their hearts, and the Lord used them. People were saved. New believers came to the cells. New leaders were trained. At last-multiplication. It was fun!

Two cells became four. Four became eight. Eight became sixteen, and sixteen became thirty-two. The church had grown. As pastor, I spent most of my time meeting with cell leaders and discussing the needs and potential in individual cell members. I and each leader regularly spoke simple faith-filled prayers for each believer in each cell.

Ibrahim had been watching and listening. One day, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my African brother open his heart. Weeping, he unburdened, "Western evangelists come to my nation and hold massive crusades. The TV cameras are rolling. When the evangelist asks my African brothers to raise their hands to receive Christ, many respond. The next week, another western evangelist comes to town, and many of my same brothers come to the crusade and raise their hands again. My people need a sense of dignity, where every individual believer understands he is important to God and to His purposes. Will you come and help us? We need a new model of church life."

Today, Ibrahim has a vision to train leaders to start cells and celebrations throughout Africa. He and his wife, Diane, have opened their home for cell ministry. Neighbors and friends have received the Lord, and many found a spiritual family. Cells were birthed in neighboring areas of the city, multiplying throughout Kenya and into Uganda. Ibrahim's people have received a new sense of dignity!

Recently, I was asked to share the vision of New Testament cell ministry in Auckland, New Zealand. There, I met Robert. He listened intently as I spoke about Jesus spending most of His time with the twelve disciples-His cell. I discussed God's call on every saint to be a minister as stated in Ephesians 4:11-12. I also looked at Acts 2 reflecting the New Testament model church meeting and casted a vision for effective cell-based ministry in today's church. After thirty minutes, Robert spoke, filled with emotion. "When I was 13 years old, the Lord called me to be a minister. For more than 20 years, I tried to find doors that would open for me to fulfill this call. I attempted to enroll in two different seminaries. I just wanted to be a minister, because I knew the Lord had called me. And as I understood it, the only way to be a minister was to be ordained after completing years of theological training. Sometime back I led a man to the Lord. I discipled him and watched him grow. It was so fulfilling. I realize tonight, I am a minister!"

A heavy load dropped off Robert's back. The truth had set him free. Robert realized he could fulfill the Lord's call to minister by discipling new believers in a small group. He did not need a title or a degree. He did not need to try to become a minister. He was one!

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, believed one out of every five persons was a potential leader. Through his exhortation, the Wesleyan movement spread massively throughout the nations. God's people worked out their calling as ministers and opened their homes for class meetings, similar to cells. Each person had a sense of fulfillment and dignity.

This is a universal problem! People in your town are not living their potential as ministers. "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-not of the letter but of the Spirit," claims 2 Corinthians 3:5-6. We become spiritually rusted and paralyzed when we do not strive to fulfill our calling. Ministry may have been confined to a few in a church building, leaving limited opportunities for true ministry. However, consciously being passive in a church service every Sunday and staring at the back of someone's head is nullifying. Cells remind us of our calling to do ministry and provide the opportunities.

The harvest is upon us! Every saint must capture the revelation of the call to minister. Cells are the ideal places to train and experience effective ministry. It is an opportunity to get over boredom and regain a sense of dignity!

Larry Kreider is the International Director of DOVE Christian Fellowship International and author of several books, including House To House, a practical manual for cell leaders with spiritual insights for the church of the 21st century. He and his wife, LaVerne, have been married 25 years and have 4 children. They currently live in Lititz, PA.

End of Issue.

Cell Church V5 I1 Cell Church V5 I2 Cell Church V5 I3 Cell Church V5 I4

 

 

Volume One - 1992 Volume Two - 1993
Volume Three - 1994 Volume Four - 1995
Volume Five - 1996 Volume Six - 1997
Volume Seven - 1998

Contents Copyright 1999 by TOUCH Outreach Ministries, Inc.