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Myths And Truths Of The Cell Church: Key Principles That Make Or Break Cell Ministry

by Joel Comiskey
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Product Details

  • Publisher: CCS Publishing
  • Publishing date: 20111031
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780984311071
  • ISBN: 0984311076

Synopsis

The modern day cell movement began in the summer of 1964 when Yonggi Cho, a young Korean pastor, collapsed on the platform of his church. Then 27 years old, Cho had reached a point of utter physical exhaustion. After being rushed to the hospital and examined, Cho was told that he needed total bed rest because he was physically exhausted and his heart was extremely weak.

As Cho recuperated over a two-year period, he searched the scriptures to see how the early church met from house to house in small groups to worship and fellowship. Likewise, he observed how Moses in Exodus 18:13-26 divided the millions that he was responsible for into divisions and small groupings of ten people.

Following these biblical insights, Cho launched twenty home cell groups, led by women. From the twenty groups, the church grew to 25,000 cells and 250,000 people attending the mother church--easily the largest church in the history of Christianity.

I wrote my Ph.D. on the cell church movement and noticed that all of the largest worldwide cell churches received their inspiration from David Cho, even though many of them have surpassed Cho’s cell based system.

The definition of a cell church is simple. It is a church that not only meets in a large Sunday gathering but also meets in small groups in homes during the week. The purpose of these cells is to build up believers in their relationship with Christ and to evangelize others. The goal is to raise up future group leaders, so that new groups can be formed either by multiplying the initial group into two groups or by planting new groups from the mother cell.

I was one of the founding pastors of a new church in Ecuador that grew to 280 cells. I then returned to North America where I planted a cell church and eventually handed it over to another pastor. I now coach pastors from various denominations in cell ministry.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of false conceptions about cell group ministry. I compiled what I observed, knowing these insights would be helpful to others. I first began blogging about these myths/truths and received lots of positive feedback.

Then I began to speak on them in my seminars and once again was encouraged by the positive reception. I’ve now compiled these myths and truths into this current book.

Here are a sample of the myths-truths I cover in the book:

CHURCH GROWTH MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: if I choose to become a cell church, my church will grow
Truth: only Jesus can grow the church
Myth: if my church doesn’t grow, I’m not successful
Truth: success should be measured by effort, rather than results
Myth: Culture must determine how we do ministry
Truth: The Bible, not culture, must determine our strategies

MEGA-CHURCH MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: cell churches are megachurches
Truth: relatively few cell churches will reach mega church status
Myth: it’s desirable to grow to mega church status
Truth: it’s better to plant cell churches at a smaller size

MODEL MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: models bring life and growth
Truth: models have no life; they only contain seeds of God-given growth.
Myth: the number twelve brings life and anointing
Truth: there are many great numbers in the Bible

LEADERSHIP MYTH-TRUTHS
Myth: try-out cell church to see if it works for you
Truth: count the cost before entering the cell church strategy because you might lose people
Myth: all a pastor has to do is believe in the cell vision and start the model
Truth: a pastor needs to concentrate to make cell ministry work

ATTITUDE MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: tell the church how wrong it is and how great the ideal cell church is
Truth: people need to see it worked out. Don’t oversell the cell concept. Just do it and then let them see it
Myth: if you fail once, don’t try again
Truth: you need to be willing to fail several times to get it right
Myth: asking everyone to be in a cell will stifle creativity and the use of the gifts
Truth: the cell group is the best place to discover spiritual gifts

CELL DEFINITION MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: cells should be whatever you want them to be—small and a group
Truth: define your cells with a quality definition in mind
Myth: you must have one type of homogeneity in cells—men and women cells, for example
Truth: define your cells with a quality definition in mind and then realize that any type of homogeneity is great
Myth: cells are an extension of the program of the Sunday service
Truth: the cell is the church

COMMUNITY MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: cells equal community
Truth: community is an essential focus but cells also emphasize evangelism, spiritual growth, and multiplication
Myth: the cell leader should develop all the relationships in the group
Truth: individuals within the group should share the relational commitment

EVANGELISM MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: the cell leader does the evangelism
Truth: each member of the cell must be involved. Remember net fishing

MULTIPLICATION MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: all cells must multiply within six months. If not, they might be closed
Truth: multiplication rates depend on the receptivity in the particular country (e.g., the soil)
Myth: cells can multiply at any time
Truth: cells multiply when a leader has been trained. The training track is the key to multiplication.

TRANSITION MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: jump into cell church immediately
Truth: it’s better to have a long-term transition plan

CHURCH PLANTING MYTHS
Myth: The church starts when the celebration service starts
Truth: The church starts when the first cell begins
Myth: Open the celebration service as soon as possible
Truth: Wait until there are 10 cells and approximately 70-100 people for weekly celebration
Myth: you must start a weekly celebration service
Truth: Some cell churches will never meet weekly in celebration

HOSTING MYTHS-TRUTHS
Myth: one person should be the permanent host
Truth: it’s great if the host house is shared-- even better if someone has the gift of hospitality

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