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November 2015 Newsletter

Children in Cell Ministry

In 2002 a five-year-old boy named Carlos came to Marisol's home cell group-one of the hundreds of Elim's children's cell group meetings in neighborhoods throughout San Salvador, El Salvador. Although he was only a child, Carlos was rebellious, disturbed the other children, and created havoc in the group. Marisol was patient and continued to invite Carlos to the group, gently correcting his discipline problems.

The other children told Marisol not to invite Carlos because his family was involved in crime. The parents of the other children also warned her that if Carlos continued to attend the group, they would not allow their children to go to the cell.

Christ began to change Carlos and as Marisol observed those changes, she allowed him to lead parts of the group. As he assumed more responsibility, his behavior changed even more. As the years passed, Carlos grew in faith and his character became more Christ-like. Eventually, he joined a youth cell and was baptized in water. Carlos is now eighteen years old. He loves Jesus, is respectful of others, and has graduated from high school, something that no other family member has ever accomplished. He currently plans on studying physical education at the University of El Salvador with the goal of becoming a P.E. teacher.

Children, like Carlos, are being transformed around the world through churches who prioritize children in cell ministry. Yet, it's easy to neglect children and only focus on adults. In fact, books and seminars abound on small group dynamics, multiplication, coaching, church planting, and many other cell topics. Yet, the focus usually lies on adult ministry and the discussion of children takes a back seat-or is not discussed at all. Children are the silent majority that can't argue their case and are often overlooked because they are not a source for revenue or immediate church leadership.

This needs to change.

When I do seminars around the world, I have mainly talked about how cells apply to the adults. I might get one or two questions about children in cell ministry, but it has not been my main focus.

I have needed to change.

I hope that you also will envision a new place, a new role for children's ministry, and that you will be able to say, "My church needs to change. We need to prioritize children."

But what are the steps to prioritize children? Perhaps children in cell ministry is a completely new concept to you. You are not ready to start children's cells because you first need to grasp the vision yourself. But don't stop there. Make the necessary steps to go from the vision stage to the planning stage to actual implementation.

In the month of October, we'll be exploring the topic of children in cell ministry. I will spend the first two weeks presenting excerpts from my new book, Children in Cell Ministry: Discipling the Future Generation Now. Then I've asked key leaders in children's cell ministry to present blogs on this topic. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up  HERE. Here are some of the topics we will cover: 

  • Week 1 (November 1-7); Foundations for children in cell ministry. Children in house to house ministry is biblical. Jesus prioritized children and so much we. Effective churches start with children in the discipleship process.  
  • Week 2 (November 8-14); Discipling children in cell and celebration. Cell churches disciple children both in the cell and celebration. Children receive ministry on Sunday and in the cell. Intergenerational cells and children only cells are the two main ways to disciple children in the cell group.    
  • Week 3 (November 15-21) Those who are doing it. Various experts in children's ministry will blog about why we need to start with children and how cell ministry makes this happen. 
  • Week 4: (November 22-28) Stories from the experts. During this week, we'll receive counsel from those who are have written about children in cell ministry and those who fruitfully developing children through cells and celebration. 
  • Week 5: (November 29-December 05). Fine-tuning the details. We'll look at equipping the children and the parents to prioritize the children. We will also talk about what not to do in children's cell ministry. 
What is your experience with children in cell ministry. Please feel free to comment here.

JCG news

New book: Children in Cell Ministry now available

Major 2016 JCG Event 

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New:  27 videos on cell church from Joel Comiskey

  • There are 27 videos on all aspects of cell church (with downloadable resources) on Ministry Grid. Check it out.

Free Ebook byJoel Comiskey and small group health assessment

  • Free Ebook from Joel Comiskey (Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church). Joel's book is available at the end of the Thriving Small Groups Assessment. There is no catch to this. We are not asking for your contact information or trying to up-sell anything. At the end of the assessment, you will also discover the health of your small groups. I think you'll find both of this free resources extremely helpful.

Joel Comiskey's new book: 2000 Years of Small Groups 

Bill Beckham's new books

Audio books (Click here)