Focus on specific people: The cell group chooses specific individual people to reach out toward. Yoido Pastor Yongii Cho: You know, we don’t do evangelism in Korea the way you do it in the West . . . We have 50,000 cell groups and each group will love two people to Christ within the next year. They select someone who’s not a Christian, whom they can pray for, love and serve. They bring meals, help sweep out the person’s store— whatever it takes to show they really care for them. When a person asks, “Why are you treating me so well?” our people answer, “Jesus told us that we’re supposed to do good to all men, and we want you to know that we love you, and so does Jesus.” After three or four months of such love, the hardest soul softens up and surrenders to Christ.
Christ commanded his followers to love their neighbors; Yoido Church practices this command literally. Cells are generally homogenous but begin through ministry visitation among strangers in a micro-mission field. Persons who have been displaced from their former networks of relationships are psychologically ready to form new networks in their new environment. Cells take advantage of this opportunity by inviting displaced persons into their small group community. Ministry visits make strangers into friends. A focus on existing relationships in one person’s oikos network soon exhausts the potential of those relationships. The local neighborhood focus in a transient society provides a never-ending stream of potential converts as cell leaders build increasing relational influence in their neighborhoods.
Persons are assimilated into the
discipleship system by home ministry visitation prior to becoming Christians or
even attending the cell. Participation in the cell is the outcome of
visitation. When the person finally visits the cell, he or she is not a
stranger. The focus in neighborhood visitation is on ministry to the simple
needs of individuals, not the insoluble problems of the community as a whole.
Carl F. George, The Coming Church Revolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1994), 93-94. Note the similarity to the Moravian humility that so influenced Wesley on January 25, 1736. John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, 3rd ed.(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979), 1:21-22.
For a discussion of people movements and ministry to displaced persons, see Craig Miller, NextChurch.Now, 37-54. Individuals approaching individuals as geographical neighbors overcomes racial, ethnic, and class barriers according to Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2002), 35. Cf. Rodney Stark, Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), 8-13.
NOTE (my response)
The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html
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.