by Bill Mellinger
Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) says:
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What motivates you to action? The oatmeal started to boil over on the stove this morning, and we were motivated to action. My pager went off about the same time, informing me that someone had just hung himself. I was motivated to respond. A friend of the young man who died walked in on our Worship Team, and they were moved to listen to love and to pray. Interestingly, our Worship Team also meets as a cell and the topic this week was “Sharing Jesus” from I Corinthians 15:1-11.
It is one thing to be moved at hearing of a tragedy like a murder, an accident, or a hanging. It touches you personally when you know the person affected. One really has to work hard not to feel the pain of a young man who is crying in front of you. Every member of our team will remember last night’s rehearsal. Do you think they were motivated?
As I reflect on Acts 2 and the incredible moving of the Holy Spirit in the primitive church, God impressed on me how he “added to their number daily” because the people were worshipping, studying, serving and eating with one another and the unchurched daily. Their relationships with other believers and their relationships with their neighbors were blended together through a cell. Do you see it? As they met in their “oikos” households, they connected with people in need and the people in their “oikos” came to Jesus.
The young man who came to the worship rehearsal said he was an agnostic. Then he said that he believed in Jesus but did not like the Bible. He was heartbroken over the death of his friend, especially when he learned that his friend had called him three times in the hour before he hung himself. You can probably imagine the questions and interest of the youth on our team who cried and listened as the cell leader and others cared for this young man. This was a growing moment for everyone.
As I see cell ministry, it is about the Body of Christ being a force, a presence “out” in the world with the love of Christ. When we are “out there” God gives us new relationships and one day we pray they will be added to the Body of Christ. Interesting, when we are “salty” (Matthew 5:13), “light” (Matthew 5:16), and loving our neighbor (Luke 10:27, Galatians 5:14), God will add to our number.
Think of the “daily” opportunities we have to connect to people and to invite them into our lives, our “Oikos.” What motivates you? I believe that those same things that motivate you will motivate your cell leaders and supervisors.