Cells and Neighborhoods

by Mario Vega, http://www.elim.org.sv/

A while ago, I went to visit a friend of many years in a crowded neighborhood of El Salvador. As we talked, I heard Christian songs from a nearby meeting. I looked out the window to see what was happening and my friend explained to me that the singing was coming from a cell group that gathered almost directly in front of his house. Then I realized that it was Saturday, the night that Elim cells gather.

My friend then told me that another cell would soon start down the street from his house. I inquired about the “other cell,” and he said that a new cell had multiplied down the street and this group was going to meet at a slightly different time, so that it wouldn’t interfere with the one already taking place. Then I asked why the new cell didn’t meet in another neighborhood, and my friend explained that there were already cell groups meeting in those neighborhoods around his house.

After talking to him, I realized that all the neighborhoods around his house were completely filled with Elim cell groups. People see cell meetings as something completely normal that every week meetings are conducted in the homes of neighbors. People are invited, children attend, and people know where they can find prayer and guidance.

After 27 years of cell work, new generations are being born in those communities where the cells are an integral part of the neighborhood. The cells are part of the neighborhood’s culture and framework. That is, a new culture, the culture of Christ, is being forged in the city. As neighbors reach out and win people, they are then added to the cell groups and see cell life as normal and natural. In fact, even before their conversion, the neighbors hear and witness cell activity. After their conversion, they become connected to a living body of Jesus Christ.

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JCG is a tax exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to helping complete the great commission in this century by providing resources and coaching to plant new cell churches and transition existing churches to cell-based ministry.