Examples of cell churches in the United States

H.  What are some examples of cell churches in the United States?

            Dale Galloway used the Yoido 5×5 system to build New Hope Community Church of Portland, Oregon, to more than five thousand persons in cells from 1972 to 1990.[1]

            Bethany World Prayer Center, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was inspired by the Elim Church 5×5 system and had a net growth of six hundred families in 1993, their first year of cell ministry. In four years they had gained a net growth of two thousand families. Their average worship attendance in 2005 is eight thousand persons.[2]

            Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church of rural Dayton, Ohio, grew from an attendance of ninety in 1979 to a congregation in 2006 of more than four thousand in weekly attendance.[3] It is still located on a rural county road miles from any large population center and has utilized a cell driven approach since the early days under Pastor Michael Slaughter.[4] Willow Creek Community Church, with an average worship attendance of 23,500, and Saddleback Valley Community Church., with an attendance of 22,000, also meet the definition of a cell church as being built around networks of evangelistic small groups.[5]

            Joel Comiskey lists forty-four thriving cell churches in North America personally known to him, ranging in average worship attendance from 50 to 8,670.[6]





[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 www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. 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 CreateSpace.com.

[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]Elmer Towns, An Inside Look at 10 of Today’s Most Innovative Churches: What They’re Doing, How They’re Doing It & How You Can Apply Their Ideas in Your Church (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 35-41. Cf. Dale E. Galloway, 20/20 Vision: How to Create a Successful Church (Portland, OR: Scott Publishing Co., 1986). Cf. William Easum, Dancing With Dinosaurs: Ministry in a Hostile and Hurting World (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993), 62-66.

[2]Larry Stockstill, The Cell Church: Preparing Your Church For The Coming Harvest (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1998), 22. Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Database of Megachurches in the U.S., http://hirr.hartsem.edu/megachurch/database.html (accessed  October 29, 2007). Bethany is now the primary proponent of the G12 system in the United States. Cf. Bethany Cell Church Network, BCCN: The Bethany Cell Church Network, http://www.bccn.com/ (accessed June 12, 2007). 

[3]Michael Slaughter, Spiritual Entrepreneurs: Six Principles for Risking Renewal

(Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 14-15, 72-75, 122-123, 131-134. Weekly participation in 2006 averages over four thousand with seven weekend worship services. Cf. Ginghamsburg Key Staff Directory: Mike Slaughter, http://ginghamsburg.org/staff/?tx_wecstaffdirectory_pi1%5Bcurstaff%5D=83 (accessed June 18, 2007).

[4]Ginghamsburg does their own version of cell; see Cell Group Community, http://ginghamsburg.org/cell/ (accessed October 29, 2007).  Cf. Easum, Dancing With Dinosaurs, 66-69.

[5]Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Database of Megachurches in the U.S., http://hirr.hartsem.edu/megachurch/database.html (accessed  October 29, 2007).

[6]Joel Comiskey, “Evidence You Can’t Deny,” http://www.joelcomiskeygroup.com/ articles/worldwide/NorthAmerica.htm (accessed October 29, 2007).

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