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RedSalt
Starting Member

25 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2004 :  11:36:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've found that the greatest weakness that our cells are experiencing is lack of evangelism. How do you help those who struggle in confidence to share Christ and excitement in reaching out to others?

We've seen some success recently through "Friendship Events" that focus on bringing "friends" (unsaved or seekers) to non-threatening activities.

But I know that there must be more! Love to hear your thoughts on this.

Joel Comiskey
Moderator

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2004 :  08:17:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EVANGELISM must top the list of cell activity. It's not easy to evangelism in a post-Christian, secular culture. it does help, however, when the group gets involved. One of the greatest problems is when the leader thinks he has to do all of the evangelism rather than seeing it as a group event. But like you said, the leader also has to exemplify what he wants others to follow. What has worked for our group is prayer walking mixed in with sharing our faith and inviting to our group. For several weeks we did this in a row. We had to follow up one person who said he was going to come and didn't show up on a continual basis. I really don't know any other solution besides persistent hard work. in my new book on the cell church in North America, I write the following:

Persisting

Cell evangelism in the western world is about pressing on in the face of difficulties and obstacles. Emphasizing evangelism and refusing to be deterred by the lack of fruit isn’t easy. It requires persistence and diligence. One pastor from England wrote saying, “One of the things that strikes me is that evangelism in Latin America and several other nations seems to be much easier through cells than here in England and in Europe.” My response was simply one of encouragement, telling him to persist amid unbelief and resistance.
The reality is that church growth in general is much slower in North America. Rick Harrell, a pastor in Redlands, California, faced many depressing moments when adapting his ninety-year-old church to cell ministry. Cell evangelism didn’t happen naturally. His cell leaders tried evangelizing and reaching out continually but saw little fruit. I constantly needed to encourage Harrell to press on through the dryness. As the months passed, his church began to see the fruit of cell evangelism and multiplication. But it wasn’t easy.
God wants to do great things through cell ministry, but the key is persistence. Brock, one of the leaders under my care, faithfully invited non-Christians week after week. People said they would come but didn’t show up. Brock persisted, although discouragement and doubt resided not far from the surface. What a joy it was when Brock came to my house one evening saying that two of his invitees had shown up on the same night.
I was reminded of the man who attended my cell seminar in Canada. During the seminar he raised his hand and said, “Joel, I appreciated what you said about persistence in cell evangelism. I work for a direct marketing company, and we’re taught that every no we receive on the phone is just a step closer to a yes. How much more should we persist in the cause of winning lost men and women for Jesus Christ.”

ACTUALLY, RIGHT NOW, MY CELL HAS THE OPPOSITE PROBLEM. WE HAVE TOO MANY IN OUR CELL. THERE'S NO ROOM FOR EVANGELISM AND THIS IS CAUSING ME GRAVE CONCERN. I HAVE TO MOVE ONE OF THE FAMILIES THAT HAS SEVEN MEMBERS INTO SMALL GROUP LEADERSHIP BECAUSE THIS ONE FAMILY IS SUFFOCATING THE NEED FOR EVANGELISM! BLESS YOU, BROTHER.

JOEL


Joel Comiskey
www.comiskey.org
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RedSalt
Starting Member

25 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2005 :  10:18:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the encouragement and thoughts... After I had written you I began to pray that we would begin to see more people come to Christ in our cell... I believe many times we have to have the faith prior to things happening and it happened. A couple in the church that had been on the fence finally fell in love with Jesus and the changes are so evident.

Our cell group was so energized last night that we went very long talking and sharinf with this new couple about the change in their lives. Some immediate changes that have occued are sumed up in what one of the mom's little children "Mom, what happened to you, you are so different." It is wonderful to see God's hand moving in this precious family!

To think it took prayer... who would of thought!
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Joel Comiskey
Moderator

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  00:27:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You asked for a few suggestions:

For our cell group, this primarily meant regularly walking the streets to pray for people in the neighborhood. When we saw people outside, we greeted them in a friendly, loving way. Sometimes one of the members felt led to speak about Christ and invite the person to our cell.
Other group evangelism strategies include barbecues, picnics, friendship dinners (instead of the normal cell meeting order), evangelistic videos, special outreaches at Christmas and Easter, and placing an empty chair in the cell meeting and praying for someone to fill it.
One cell leader who attended my seminar near Portland, Oregon said, “Our cell group plans evangelistic outreaches every six weeks. We’ll go to a Portland Trail Blazers basketball game or something else at least every six weeks. In this way, we’re constantly reaching out and befriending non-Christians. The consistency prevents us from neglecting small-group evangelism.”

for more information, go to my web site: www.cellchurchsolutions.com. I have a couple articles on evangelism there. bless you,



Joel Comiskey
www.comiskey.org
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