Myth: Cell Church is a Fad
Many look at cell church as a hot trend of the 1990s, but believe that there are now more cutting-edge strategies going on in the church. Some of the newer trends are multi-site ministry, seeker models, video venues, and so many more. Some think the cell church had its day but church life and ministry has largely passed it by; we should now focus on more promising developments.
Truth: The Cell Church Has Deep Roots
I was recently reading a book by Ron Trudinger called Cells for Life: Home Groups, God’s Strategy for Church Growth. The author writes with penetrating clarity about the effectiveness of home cell groups and their power to transform lives and raise up new leaders. While reading the book, I had to keep on reminding myself that Trudinger is now in heaven, and he wrote the book in 1979!
There is nothing new under the sun. Home cell groups have been around for a long, long time. As I reflect on my own ministry, I’m keenly aware and appreciative of the pioneers who have gone before me.
Carl George’s 1991 book, Prepare Your Church for the Future, revolutionized my own vision for cell groups and transformed my ministry. I stand on his shoulders. I’m also very grateful for Ralph Neighbour and Bill Beckham, two cell church pioneers, who have helped so many churches understand the values and principles behind cell ministry. Every time I read Neighbour’s Where Do We Go From Here, I receive new insight and grow in my appreciation for both the author and his in-depth cell church theology.
Going back even further, we see David Cho, the founder of the modern day cell church movement. I have never fully recovered from reading Cho’s Successful Home Cell Groups back in 1984. It lit a passion inside me for the possibilities of home group ministry.
But Cho didn’t start the cell church movement. He stands on the shoulders of John Wesley and the Methodist movement, who were helped by the Moravians, who in turn were heavily influenced by the Pietists. And all of them stand on the New Testament’s emphasis of house to house ministry and celebration worship (Acts 2:42-46).
While we in the present day cell church movement ask God for future insight and direction, we are very grateful that cell church is not a fad. Cell church is here to stay.