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Discipleship in Groups of Three

by Jeff Boersma

[Jeff Boersma planted a cell church in Michigan with the Christian Reformed Church. He now serves as a coach.  He has served as a Senior Pastor, Co-Pastor, and Church Planter]

We call our micro cells “triads.” We have used triads (groups of three) to prepare people for leadership. In fact, most of our folks have come to Christ through our cells, and then we have used triads for all those considering cell leadership. We believe the most important and foundational experience a person can have in preparation to birth a cell group is this: Establish, Grow, and Multiply their Triad. Here’s why: Everything you need to do on a larger scale as a cell group leader happens in your triad.

1. You learn how to start a group with one or two others before you have to start a group with 4 or more others.

2. You learn how to spiritually care for other people and teach them how to care for you so that the group is not leader-dependent but inter-dependent

3. You learn how to feed yourself God’s Word in preparation for feeding others God’s Word.

4. You learn how to prepare for sharing with others what you are learning from God’s Word. Even though cell lessons are prepared for you, weekly preparation is a must.

5. You learn how to invite others and make them feel comfortable and welcome at a first meeting.

6. You learn how to communicate expectations such as confidentiality, participation, preparation, and involvement.

7. You learn the challenges of being responsible for consistently meet every week.

8. You learn how to grow through multiplication: learning how a group of 4 becomes 2 groups of 2 prepares you for the multiplication of a cell group.

9. You learn how to pray for people disconnected from Jesus Christ and his church- something you will lead the group in doing as a cell group leader

10. You learn how to live in accountable relationships where leadership goes hand in hand with weekly character conversations with others.

11. You learn how to stay on track on how to make sure everyone has an opportunity to share and be cared for

Our cell groups and our triads meet weekly. It is an expectation that all cell group leaders be involved in a Triad. And it is also an expectation that those considering cell group leadership first demonstrate the skills needed to effectively facilitate a triad before becoming a cell group leader. Jesus pointed the way by focusing on his three within his cell group of twelve. We also see triads as a great way to get people involved, prepare new leadership, and prepare for new birth.