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5 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  20:05:12  Show Profile
A simple (I think) question . . .Is Ted Haggard’s Free Market Small Groups a version of cell groups or is it something entirely different? I noticed Randall’s (not entirely complementary) review of the book a few weeks ago but now have a more practical concern in that the pastor of the church in which I serve would like to adopt this model. Frankly, as the small group champion, I feel called to follow a pure cell church model but also want to respect the authority of the pastor. Is this simply another approach to cells or would I be “selling out”?

Michael Beavers, MS LMFT

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119 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  14:16:05  Show Profile
Michael, the free market small group system that Haggard developed are interest groups, not biblical communities or a place a person would call their church the way a cell group can be described.

While I'm not keen on only offering free market groups in a church, I am really excited to see 3-4 cell group members from an existing group form a free market group that lasts 8 weeks and reaches out to unchurched people who have a common interest in something.

The free market group is then an evangelistic and short-term team effort on the part of some of the group members. Each week, they'll do their free market group thing and then come back to the group to experience Christ's presence, power, and purpose in very deep, transformational ways.

Additionally, during the 8 week free market outreach group effort, the group members involved in it should introduce the free market participants to the rest of the cell group. If they do this effectively, the free market folks will visit the cell group afterward because they have been exposed to Christian community and will thirst for more of it.

So I don't like the "either-or" mentality (start a free market group OR join a cell group) but I really do like the "both-simultaneously" approach described above (which is what my dad wrote about in a nutshell).

Randall Neighbour
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