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Developing Missionaries and Church-Planters
By Joel Comiskey
God wants to reach unreached people and develop missionaries to take the gospel around the world. I often travel to Latin America and Brazil, and it could be argued that this region has already been reached or at least are blessed with nearby churches that could reach the unreached in these regions. Yet, what excites me about ministering to cell churches in these areas is the opportunity to prepare leaders for the harvest who will plant cell churches in the most difficult places on the earth.
I see these large cell churches as schools or universities to prepare disciples who make disciples (team leaders) who will plant churches anywhere in the world. We in the cell church world believe that the cell is the church. A missionary church planter first starts with a single cell (the church) and then multiplies the first cell several times while coaching the new leaders. Eventually, the missionary church planter will gather those cells into a larger gathering. I believe the cell church strategy is the perfect equipping model for future pastors and church planters. Those who are fruitful in leading, multiplying, and coaching leaders in their home church can repeat that process anywhere in the world.
One Chinese church planter in Bangladesh showed me his plan for reaching his city. He told me he had rented a home, was gathering the people into his house church, and was planning on multiplying his house church as he equipped future leaders. He would be the coach of the new leaders. He knew he could do it in Bangladesh because he had already done the same thing at Grace Fellowship Church in Hong Kong (Ben Wong’s church) before leaving for Bangladesh. In Hong Kong he was a cell member, cell leader, multiplication leader, and supervisor. Eventually, he was sent off to Bangladesh to do the same thing over there.
Developing leaders from within is not only to bless your church and make it larger. Yes, you’ll need multiplication leaders, coaches, and new staff members. But remember that God wants to use your church to plant new cell churches. I encourage you to envision those in your cells as church planting missionaries in training. While it first happens in your church, also envision sending forth missionaries and church planters all over the world.