Summary: Training for the leaders of our cell group ministry.
I. The Importance of the Life Groups Ministry
As we face the challenge of establishing life groups, we need to understand fully the value of the life groups, their effect in the growth of the church as well as their place in the extension of the Kingdom of God.
God’s desire is that everyone should come to repentance and come to the knowledge of truth (2 Pet. 3:8-9, 1 Tim. 2:3-5). It is God’s will that His church reaches out to the untold millions and bring them to the faith.
II. Growth in Quality and quantity:
1. God is interested in the individual’s salvation as well as the salvation of the multitudes (2 Pet. 3:8-9, Matt. 9:35-37).
2. Cell church helps the members grow both numerically and also spiritually (qualitatively and quantitatively). – Healthy churches are also growing churches.
3. Usually the groups are made up of 7 to 13 (not more than 15) people, who experience personal care and ministry.
4. “Cells are not just a church-growth technique; they re the key vehicle of the church of Jesus Christ to experience the true church in a living, dynamic way” (Comiskey, 33).
5. In the life groups the new believers are discipled and raised to be strong members of the local church.
III. Operation of the life groups:
1. The church needs to see itself as a life-group church and not a church with life groups.
2. All the ministries in the church need to operate under this principle – Everybody, including the Pastoral team needs to be part of the life groups in the church. We will need to describe the church as a “life-group based church.”
3. As the groups increase the church will need to divide the city into Life-group Districts supervised by one leader. The District will then be sub-divide to smaller zones/sub-districts and then a much smaller group/zone of at least five cell groups.
4. Make the life groups a priority in the church’s weekly calendar or bulletin. Be sure to advertise in the bulletin every detail about the life groups – place of meeting, the leader etc.
5. Make the life groups a priority of the pastoral team as well as of any other church worker – Each leader in the church should also be a life group leader or an assistant.
6. Make the life groups the central focus of all other ministries and ministers within the church – No one can begin and operate any other ministry unless they also are part of the life groups.
IV. Advantages of a life group (Book: Good things come in Small groups, 20-21).
1. The life group is flexible – It can change its procedure readily and meet the needs of its members.
2. Mobility: The members can meet in a home or even in an office – it is not bound to a particular building.
3. It is inclusive: People of all backgrounds find it easier to come a life group. The members are missed if they don’t show up because they have fewer members.
4. It is personal: The leaders as well as the group relates to each other on a very personal level in both times of joy and times of distress.
5. It is risky in that each member becomes quite vulnerable to each other; and yet it is through conflict, care and confrontation that we discover ourselves and also experience growth.
6. It is an excellent way to Evangelize – It is easier to invite unbelievers to the life groups and also introduce them to the Savior.
V. Strengthening the Life groups: (Comiskey, 45-55).
1. Prayer: Prayer is of great importance if the life groups are to succeed.
2. Motivation for the life groups is Evangelism and Church growth. “There is only one way that the home cell group system will be successful in a church, if that system is to be used as a tool of evangelism” (Cho, 107).
3. Multiplication should be the goal of each life group. The cell group leaders must be work towards growth that leads to the multiplication of the life groups. “Group fellowship is always present but is more of a by-product than a goal” (Comiskey, 48). The focus is to reach out to the unchurched and de-churched and bring them to the faith through these groups and then as growth is experience, then the cell multiplies.
4. Designed for Reproducible Quality Control – This means that each life group maintains similar components or characteristics. All the life groups have the purpose of receiving spiritual growth, evangelistic outreach and an intimate connection with the local church.
5. Emphasis on Goal-setting: The goal of each life group should be evangelism that leads to multiplication, and thus the growth of the church. Each year the leadership of the church need to come up with the particular goal they need to focus on.