Worldwide Cell Churches
The Role of the Associate in Cell Multiplication
by Joel Comiskey
How valuable is it to have an associate leader in the cell group? I’m referring to starting a group with someone who is committed to start the next group when the time comes. In the heyday of the G12 movement there was a lot of talk about planting new cells. The leader would go out by himself or herself and plant a new cell from scratch. Most of us in the cell movement were impressed with how many new cells were started through the G12 process of cell planting. But is this a healthy practice?
I was coaching a pastor recently who was ready to officially transition to the cell church strategy. He had practiced prototyping principles for about a year, and he was ready to start several new cells. He wanted to start ten cells, but as we talked, we both agreed that it was wiser to start five groups that each had an associate leader to assure multiplication in the future.
I’ve noticed more and more how easy it is to talk about cell multiplication and never actually do it. Often the problem is that no one is willing to lead the new group. Many cell groups languish for years without giving birth because there is simply no one to take the new group. Stagnation can easily settle in over time and koinonia eventually turns into koinonitus.
The Elim Church (senior pastor Mario Vega) does a great job of establishing a team in each cell group which helps prepare the next cell for multiplication. Most cell churches, however, don’t measure up to Elim’s standard.