In a cell just as in a family, the primary focus is the welfare of each person.

C. Cells equip people for holy and healthy relationships with one another. In a cell just as in a family, the primary focus is the welfare of each person.[1]

D. Cell groups are responsive rather than proactive. Honest conversations demand that we respond to others; if we truly listen, we can’t control the conversation.

E. Cell groups are spiritual nuclear families. They learn together, work together and love one another. Spiritual parents help spiritual children grow up to have their own children.

F. Laity who serve as spiritual parents vastly increase the competence of a local church to care for disciples. Often only pastors spiritually parent, which creates abandonment issues when there is a pastoral change.

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

2.39 What groups in your church are working with a focus on non-Christians? How do these groups focus on helping non-Christians becoming Christians? What do they do instead?

2.40 What groups in your church are working with a focus on Christians? How do these groups focus on helping Christians become better Christians? What do they do instead?

2.41 Do your small groups produce people who are comfortable leading others spiritually?

2.42 Cell churches expect every Christians to be involved in a relational group that makes and matures disciples. Is this a realistic expectation for your church? Why or why not?





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]For a helpful definition of healthy nuclear and extended family relationships, cf. Mary Pipher, The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996). Pipher’s work offers insights to how some churches function as families.

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