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March 2014 Newsletter

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2014 JCG Events 

--We had 748 registered guests at the JCG event last Saturday in Reseda (see photos) We hope you can be with us next year at the same place on February 28, 2015 at Elim Church in Reseda, California (greater Los Angeles). 


---We will have a second JCG event in the Elim Church in Houston, Texas on May 17, 2014. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering in Spanish and simulaneous English translation will be available. Place it on your calendar and register today for special deals. More information coming. 
Trip to Israel on July 18- 28, 2014
--Daphne Kirk (Generation to Generation) and Joel & Celyce Comiskey (Joel Comiskey Group) will lead a team to Israel July 18-28, 2014. You are invited! Please click here for more information or email us here

March 2014 ministry of Joel Comiskey

--March 21-23, 2014 in London, England. Joel and Celyce will be conducting a cell seminar at  Cathedral Revival Church Ministries. Contact person: Roberta.

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--Read parts of Comiskey's new book, Biblical Foundation for the Cell-Based Church

2014 Seminar Schedule

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Micro Cells

Jesus had three within his group of twelve. This group of three was Christ's inner circle or micro cell (Luke 9:28).  The Elim church in El Salvador practices something similar by asking each cell to form a core planning group (the nucleus from within the cell). This core meets weekly to pray, plan for the Saturday night cell group, distribute cell responsibilities to each member, and envision future multiplication. 

Ralph Neighbour, key guru and strategist of the cell church, has always emphasized one-on-one mentoring relationships within the cell as the first step in the discipleship equipping process. These micro groups within the cell strengthen the quality of relationships. 

One of the fastest growing cell churches in the world is located in northern Brazil and called Igreja de Paz (pastor Abe Huber). This church asks each cell member to form micro "one-on-one" groups that meet weekly and statistically report on their micro meetings. This church's strategy is called MDA, and it stands for Micro Discipleship Accountability groups.  

So how much priority should we give these micro groups within the cell? Should we highlight them on the same level as the cell group?  We in the cell church  movement have always prioritized cell and celebration (small groups and larger gatherings). Discipleship equipping (i.e., training track) and coaching (i.e., supervision) are also indispensable principles that all cell churches practice. So should we now add micro relationships as a requirement? Or should we simply encourage those in the cell to form these intimate, more in-depth relationships? 

I'm convinced from Scripture that Jesus chose the group method to disciple people. He told his group of disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) to make new groups of disciples. They did so by starting house churches. I believe that discipleship in the New Testament happened in a group context, and that this is the best way to make disciples today. Is there a place for micro relationships within the cell group? Certainly. But should they be a requirement on the same level as the cell? No.  

As I prepare for my next book on the history of cell ministry, I'm reminded of Wesley's class (cell) meetings. All Methodists were required to attend a cell to be members of the Methodist movement but only encouraged to belong to a smaller band from within the cell.  Cell churches follow a similar pattern. While we should encourage micro discipleship relationships within the cell, we should not require them. But you might think differently, and for this reason we are going to explore this topic in-depth during the month of March. 

We will write twenty-five blogs on this topic in March. Our special guest bloggers, Abe Huber and Jim Egli, will explore both sides of this theme, so that we can understand it better. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover: 

  • Week 1 (March 02-8; due date: February 28). The general theme of establishing smaller groups within the cell, like Jesus and his three. 
  • Week 2 (March 09-15). History of micro cells in the cell movement. Ralph Neighbour has always encouraged the training track to begin one on one. Neil Cole wrote a book called, Cultivating a Life for God, in which he encourages smaller groups from within the cell. The Methodists used "bands," which were smaller groups from within the cell. In Wesley's movement,  everyone had to be part of a cell but the smaller bands were voluntary. 
  • Week 3 (March 16-22). Dangers. The cell church prioritizes cell and celebration, and we shouldn't allow anything else to compete. In the U.S., one-on-one discipleship is very important, but it seems to flow from the cultural norm of individualism. Jesus discipled mainly in a group and the early church was formed in house churches. While one-on-one can be useful, it should never be prioritized above the cell.
  • Week 4 (March 23-March 01). Creative ways to get people more involved in relationships. Some ideas:  Break up within the cell, encourage people to meet during the week. Offer the training one-on-one.
  • Week 5 (March 30-April 05). The cell leader should not feel that he or she needs to develop all the relationships. Give people the liberty to form their own relationships

What has your been your experience with micro cells? Please feel free to comment HERE.