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 How to Use TOUCH/Cell Group People Resources
 Member Weekend Retreats
 Are Weekend Retreats Necessary for Discipleship?
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Randall Neighbour

15 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2003 :  13:20:47  Show Profile
TOUCH has a number of weekend retreats for cell members. Encounter God, Touching Hearts, Cell Leadership Introduction Retreat, etc. These "immersion" events were designed to create corporate movement toward the goal of being cell-based in ministry, and to keep the weight of discipleship off the shoulders of the cell leaders, allowing them to minister to the members through relationship.

Lots of pastors ask me if these discipleship weekends are really necessary. When I ask what's behind the question, I hear one or more answers:
1. Our church calendar is packed. We can't fit them in.
2. Our church budget is too tight. We can't afford it.
3. Our members are too busy to give us 3 weekends a year.

All of the above are true, but one greater truth stands out. We always find the time and money for the things that are truly important to us, don't we?

A vast majority of cell-based churches use equipping weekends. They calendar them in before anything else gets put on the calendar, and fund them first so there's enough money to support them. Cell ministry is important enough to be the most important and first thing on the planning/budgeting agenda.

These churches didn't do it in wholesale fashion overnight though. It was a purposeful, dedicated shift from the old to the new, and that's what I suggest for your church.

My advice? Take it slow. Only change 10% of your church's calendar and budget the first year, remembering this is a marathon, not a sprint. The second year, change 20%, and so on.

[If you're wondering exactly how to shift your church's calendar over a five year period as you transition, I'd like to refer you to an article I edited for the Navigation Guide for Making Cell Groups Work. It goes into great depth and gives details to make it happen successfully.]

Randall Neighbour
TOUCH. The Cell Group People.
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