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Joel Comiskey Group
Resourcing the Worldwide Cell Church 
November 2013 Newsletter

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Comiskey's November schedule:
-November 6-10. Cell seminar on coaching at Bethel International Church in Newark, New Jersey (lead pastor Byron Straubbe). Contact person: Byron Straubbe.

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

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--Biblical Foundation for the Cell-Based Church, is now available for $10.95 (discount of $4.00)
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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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Youth Cells

Time flies so quickly, Just this month, Celyce and I began to experience the empty nest. Many of you are going through the same thing. You know as well as I do that there's just a brief moment between childhood, youth, and adulthood.  

Sadly, many youth drift away from the church for lack of interest and involvement. I'm convinced that if a young person is intimately involved in cell ministry, there's a far greater chance that he or she will continue to follow Jesus. So how do we get our young people involved in cell ministry? And an even more basic question is, "What is a youth cell?"  

A youth cell is like a normal adult cell. It meets weekly. It focuses on evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication. It must remain small and intimate, and it's normally led by a young person that's a bit older than the majority of the group members (there are always exceptions to this rule). One common youth cell order is: 

  • Refreshments (15 minutes)
  • Greetings and Announcements (5 minutes)
  • Ice Breaker (10 minutes)
  • Brief Testimony (3 minutes-optional)
  • Vision Sharing (5-10 minutes)
  • Worship (10 minutes)
  • Discussion (limit to 25 minutes)
  • Prayer Time (15 minutes)

It's best if the youth cell meets outside the church building. The best place is the home. Some youth groups have taken the first step of transition by breaking up in smaller groups within the church after the larger youth meeting, but this should only be a transitioning step and never the ultimate goal. The class-room atmosphere of the church doesn't compare to the family atmosphere of the home. Many cell churches encourage the youth cells to meet in homes during the week and have a corporate youth gathering at the church facility on a regular basis.

Those planting a cell church will most likely begin with family cells that will eventually give birth to a youth cell. The first youth cell leader would be cared for and discipled by the family cell group leader, becoming part of his or her leadership team. The youth at Dove Fellowship (Larry Kreider) attended the inter-generational cells until God birthed in them the desire to start their own youth cells. Brian Sauder and Sarah Mohler describe Dove's experience:

Youth cells became an informal, casual place youth could take their friends. We were careful not to imply that these youth cells were better than the adult/family cells. As they expanded, we did not require the youth to attend youth cells. They were given the freedom to go with their parents to the family cell or get involved in a youth cell, whatever met their needs best. We felt it was important that the youth felt affirmed and not forced into one pattern. Eventually, however, most of the youth got involved in the youth cells, along with some of their friends who got saved. A cell group of peers was just too exciting to pass by! (Youth Cells and Youth Ministry, p. 20).

Many conventional churches already have separate youth ministries. To start youth cells in this setting, the best way is for the youth pastor (or key youth leader) to ask the first batch of potential youth leaders to meet with him for about six months. From there, the new youth cells would form and these new leaders become part of the leadership team of the youth leader.

During the month of November on the JCG blog, we'll explore the topic of youth cell groups. Experienced cell church pastors and coaches will write twenty blogs on this topic in the month of November. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:  

  • Week 1 (November 03-09). Scripture base. Paul told Timothy not to despise his youth (1 Timothy 4:12). Like in the case of children's cells, we need to develop young people to lead cell groups (often the adolescents who have led children's cells can also lead youth cells).
  • Week 2 (November 10-16). Practical tips for youth cells. Some family cells might have youth present. Eventually a youth cell might form. This week, we'll talk about practical aspects of youth cell groups. 
  • Week 3 (November 17-23). Avoiding pitfalls in youth cells. Like children's cell groups, youth cells have their own inherent dangers. We'll identify some of those dangers and discover ways to avoid them. 
  • Week 4 (November 24-November 30). Catching a vision. When we realize that that children and youth are the future of the church, we'll prepare now to prioritize them. Many simply don't have a vision for youth cells and need to be encouraged to take the initial steps. 

What have you observed about youth cell groups? Feel free to share here.

Joel Comiskey