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Cells and Missions
by Joel Comiskey
Often when I speak in other countries, I receive more than I give. During last month’s trip to Argentina, I was challenged by the way Marcelo Abel, pastor and mission leader in Cordoba, organized the conference around cell church and missions.
Life-giving cells should breath God’s passion for missions, both in Jerusalem (next door neighbor) and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). God is a missionary God, and He wants us to catch His big picture for the world.
I was reminded during the conference about different ways to connect cells and mission. One church testified that it took missionary offerings in their cell groups. That is, the sole purpose for the cell offering was to give to missions.
Other churches will multiply cell groups internationally. Donnie and Shannon Tyson, for example, at one time were two members in a really good cell group at Cypress Creek Church.
They heard stories of God’s activity around the world and became curious about what life might be like in a different country. Eventually, they began to lead a cell at CCC and were exposed to more and more life changing stories from around the world.
The time came for them to leave it “all” behind and plant a cell church in South Korea. They did multiply their cell group at CCC—it just wasn’t within city limits. Because this has become a habit at CCC (senior pastor Rob Campbell), the church now has sixty-seven worldwide church plants and partner churches.
The cell groups at York Alliance Church in York, PA, go on short-term mission trips. The cell groups plan the trip and go as a group. When I was with them, I heard exciting testimonies of cell groups ministering in El Salvador, Macedonia, and Germany. They then report back to the church what God has done.
Other cell churches reflect on missions during the WITNESS time in the cell. When I visited a cell group at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, Louisiana in 1996, the cell leader passed out a pamphlet on a particular unreached people group during the WITNESS time. We asked God to raise up missionaries among them. This is a great way to remind cell members that Christ is concerned for all peoples of the earth. We must always remember, however, that God’s missionary activity starts next door! Some churches are great at focusing on overseas missions, but they do very little to reach out to those around them. Let’s do both for the glory of God.