Unit 5: The Fourth Wave of Cell Innovation
Consider for a moment what we have seen in the cell church movement. First, the mathematics of an explosion of converts to the faith; how can we bring that home? Second, the incredible conflicts when we attempt to change traditional churches into cell churches. How can we bring these two realities together without an explosive reaction to change?
Third, our evolving model of a church system as a faith community with two wings: on one side the structured, left brain traditional church with its administrative support subsystems. On the other the relational, right brain discipleship system, sometimes with support subsystems of an equipping track and networked management structure. One cycles in familiar, comfortable patterns that repeat the past indefinitely; the other moves people through a process of specific, graduated levels of changes from a new disciple to a better disciple and finally to become a disciple maker. When cells truly mature persons to start new cells, they belong to the discipleship system as they move people through graduated levels of spiritual maturity.
How is it possible to join cells together with the traditional church so that both flourish?
One is to follow the metachurch approach and create cells which have the goal of membership care but not the goal of evangelism or multiplication. In this way the cell is made into something that fits into and is almost a miniature of the traditional church pattern; it is an attractive Acome@ structure, nurtures its members, conducts weekly small group events, and grows numerically by inviting people to these events. This is a process of addition, usually by adding people from those who attend the worship service; the worship service has to be very good to attract seekers. Often these people are at first strangers that soon become friends due to the hospitality of the cell. When one cell is full, another is started; cells do not typically multiply. It operates as a tool of sanctifying grace and produces better Christians. It is a Aleader breeder@ for the institutional church of small groups.
Another approach would require us to find an example of a fully functional discipleship system entirely unattached to a “worship wing.” In order to do this, the discipleship system would have no public worship service, no church bulletins, no church building, no budget, no paid staff, no programs, no committees
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
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