Being "Souled Out" for Christ to Build a Better Cell Church
Principle Scriptural Guidelines: Matthew 7: 7-12; Mark 12:28-31, 33; Acts 2:42-47; 20:20; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14-22
The Call for a good Cell Church is Simple: to follow the Will of God and His Precepts and Glorify Him in all Things that we do!
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as your self." Mark 12:30-31
What is a Cell Church? It is placing the majority, all who will go, into small groups with trained and equipped leaders who operate in the Fruit of the Spirit for worship, biblical instruction, fellowship, prayer, encouragement, and ministry. This can be a standalone small church or a network of cells interconnected where the Sunday service is the weekly convention to praise and worship Christ the Lord and be further taught from the Word. Small groups can be the primary structure, care, and teaching machines in a growing healthy church, but only if it is focused on Christ and His Word and not on faulty and ever changing trends!
The Positive: Small groups are essential, and every Christian should be involved in one! This is a great model for knowing and growing in Christ! We can dig out an abundance of good stuff here and implement it for Christ's glory.
The Negative: Many of the popular writers and visionaries on this are losing site of the main thing, Christ! Some of the emerging paradigms on this focus on unbiblical rhetoric such as humanistic philosophy, Word of Faith, Positive Confession, and Third Wave:
· Seeking signs and wonders without the substance of Christ
· Emptying minds for prayer instead of filling it with Scripture and Spirit
· Downplaying the authority of Scripture or watering down the sermon instead of preaching Christ and His precepts
· Focusing on false doctrines and disregarding the historic Reformation and biblical Christianity
· Making God into a cosmic bellhop and not surrendering to His Lordship!
Such things miss the point and even slap our Lord in His face, seeking trends in the business community and modern social sciences or misguided research rather than the Word of God. This will be a fatal error to your spiritual growth and your church. This de-emphasizes biblical theology which leads to faulty spiritual growth and thus, discipleship and essential doctrine is left out and brings in a filling of fluff that emphasizes subjective experience and meeting "felt-needs" instead of our real need to know and grow in Christ and make Him truly known by our transformed lives. Do not to this to our Loving Lord and His Church; rather be a "Fruitful Bride." (For more, see my uncle's book, True Spirituality!)
Another problem in this cell church model is poor leadership. Unless the leaders are adequately trained, and good teaching and curriculum are used, the groups will become social in nature, and no real discipleship will result. Effective care and ministry will not happen. This model also over-emphasizes small groups to the detriment of other areas, such as other essential ministries and calls of the church.
Essence of a Healthy Cell Church
The cell is not to be independent-rather interdependent, in Christ and then in one another. It is basically a more intimate structure that can be a small church or a network of many cells to make a larger church or a larger church more effective.
- Focused on Jesus over all else!
- Focused on the Bible, not Personalities
- Focused on Discipleship and Spiritual Growth
- Developing Positive Relationships
- Empowering People for Life
- Participation in Ministry
- Developing Leaders
- Outreach and Missions
- Networking with other Cells
As with developing any healthy church, this is about seeking and applying biblical principles rather than just models for ministry:
· Christ rather than Inclinations
· Biblical Principles rather than Trendy Models
· Life in Christ rather than Methods
· Godly Goals rather than Techniques
· Essence of Discipleship rather than Systems of Structure
The basic philosophy of the Cell Church is the priesthood of all believers:
· The people are not to be "pew-sitters;" they are to be trained and empowered to participate and lead in the ministry and the lives of one another.
· The Pastor is the equipper and trainer, not the one to do the entire ministry; rather, he is to be the "asset to assist" others to do it.
· Equipping and empowering are the foundations that rest on Christ and His Word
· People are not just being trained; they are being empowered by the Holy Spirit and encouragement and instruction from the pastors and leaders--trusted to be released.
The basic heart of the Cell Church is everyone actively growing in Christ, serving Christ by reaching the lost, and seeing the reproduction of their faith. Here are some "buzz words" that facilitate this:
· Servant Leadership
Here is an acronym to put it in perspective: LOVE
To Love and Care with passion and conviction for the people that God brings us, for us to be the people of God so we can do the work of God, and that we are growing and, in turn, helping others grow!
· Lead the people of your church to faith in Christ and the furtherance of their faith: 1 John 3:7, "Dear children do not let anyone lead you astray". Let this be our first principle.
· Offer the path for spiritual growth: Phil. 3:10, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing…" Our second principle.
· Validate personal relationships in one another: Gal 5:22, "But The fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." Our Third Principle.
· Equip Believers to grow in and serve God in purpose and call here and in the world: Eph 1:9-10, "And He made known the mystery of His will." For us to seek God's purpose to be our every principle!
Our LORD powers us to exist and to make Him known to one another and non-believers with the life-changing message of JESUS CHRIST. To mature the Believers in their faith, so they can go and do the ministry, and so they can be the disciples to the non-believers to the LORD….and so it goes….
Be "Souled Out" to God, that we do all things to the glory of Christ our LORD!
· Souled Out is a mid-week Prayer, Accountability, and Bible study.
· Souled Out is a small group program.
· Souled Out is worshipping Christ our LORD.
· Souled Out is a Discipleship program.
· Souled Out is home-based rather than meeting at a church.
· Souled Out is an adventure to prepare others for life in Christ.
· Souled Out is an avenue for ministry.
To establish the groundwork of growing in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20):
BUILDING IN CHRIST
· Building a relationship with God daily
· Denying yourself, putting Christ first
· Serving God
· Building relationships with others
· Loving others as you love yourself
· Sharing your life with others
· Loving the lost
· Building a relationship with the lost
· Praying for the lost
· Sharing with the lost
· Serving the lost
What Needs to take place to make a Cell Church:
· The primary role of the pastor and leadership is equipping the people.
· The goal is not to be a building or a collection of programs, rather a platform for spiritual growth and effective ministry for the Glory of Christ.
· The small groups will be a place for biblical instruction, accountability, nurture, and encouragement, as they provide the structure for spiritual growth.
· The discovery, development, and deployment of spiritual gifts.
· The need for a Spirit-filled life of service and witness.
· The motivation and mobilization of the laity to share the load and responsibility for the ministry of the kingdom of God.
· The emphasis is on relationships, first with God, then self (maturity and accountability), then others, and finally, the world.
· The children and youth are of extreme value and worth and a part of the church.
· The need to abandon any methods or trends that do not treat the person as a person in Christ
· The need to abandon any methods or trends that do not come from Scripture or are contrary to Scripture, or that do not honor Christ.
· The leadership keeps tabs to offer help, reorganize potential problems, and problem-solvers to maintain order and intimacy.
"But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."
This is also called the "Meta Church (the biblical version)." This was partially developed at the Fuller Institute in Pasadena, where I was on staff. I am one of its original researchers and founders. I took material from the Early Church and the Book of Acts, and also based this on Serendipity, Son Life, and Campus Crusade materials. The purpose was to seek a more effective and intimate way to embrace His Way. (Meta means small).
© 1993, 2008, Rev. Richard Krejcir, originally developed for the Fuller Institute and Glendale Community Church, Ca www.churchleadership.org
The materials in our Small Groups Channel are also designed for developing a Cell Church. All the resources of this ministry also apply… Small Groups