Ralph Neighbor’s Crying Member Parable

B. Ralph Neighbor’s Crying Member Parable: Sunday school class has started. About ten minutes into the lesson, class members begin to notice that a woman in the back row is crying very softly. When her weeping becomes obvious to everyone, the class leader gently asks what is wrong. She shares that her husband left her the night before and continues to cry inconsolably. What would happen next in your church?[1]

            Cell groups are relational rather than task oriented. A cell is identified by its priority on people. There is no other task and no agenda more important than the needs of persons in the present moment; that is why cells are most like families.





[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]Ralph Neighbor, Jr., “New Wineskins for Future Churches,” Audio and Video Training, http://www.touchusa.org/web/AVTraining/avtraining.html (accessed June 15, 2007).

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