by Steve Cordle
One of my favorite book titles is Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. What a great description of discipleship and of ministry!
Some pastors who consider cell-based ministry are drawn by the fact that most of the world’s largest churches are cell-based. Desiring growth, they turn to the cell model. They may or may not see short-term growth.
Other pastors hear that cell-based ministry “won’t work here,” wherever “here” may be. So they shy away from it.
Numerical growth is an inadequate basis for a decision about ministry philosophy. It’s not irrelevant, it just doesn’t hold up over time. When adopting the cell model, we will only persevere through the ups and downs if:
1. We are convinced it is biblical.
We cannot go the long haul in cell ministry until we are convinced that it is biblical. How convinced are you? In his book, Biblical Foundations for the Cell-based Church, Joel Comiskey thoroughly lays out how the cell-church operates on biblical principles and patterns. I enthusiastically commend it to you.
2. We are committed to the process.
Nearly 13 years ago I was praying about whether to adopt the cell model. After researching contemporary examples and biblical foundations, l asked myself, “What kind of church do I want to give my life to?” I knew that I wanted to do a lot more than run an organization; I wanted to invest in reaching and truly discipling people in to the image of Jesus. That’s what a cell-church does most effectively, and that’s why we are still committed to the cell model today.