What does a multiplication cell look like?
First, we have to go back to what we talked about last time. The purpose of the cell is two-fold: Edification or the building up of one another using our spiritual gifts, and Evangelism of those in our “oikos” through sharing verbally or by bodily action. So, how do we accomplish both edification and evangelism in the cell. It starts with a format and a schedule that we call the 4 W’s. Here is what that looks like.
The 4 W’s
Welcome – Welcome is simply a time when we welcome people into the group. Much like our Sunday morning coffee and snack time. Welcome in a cell, is a place for people to get to know each other. We can use icebreakers, food, fellowship, games, really just about anything to create an atmosphere of beginning to share in each other’s lives and to build quality relationships. Creativity is encouraged and fun is desired, but attention to time is important.
Worship – From the welcome time we want to encourage us to move into a time of worship. Why is worship important? The simple answer is, because worship changes the attitude of the heart and allows us to get prepared for what the Lord is desiring to do in our lives. Without worship in a cell, we will simply carry the weight of the things that we have brought to cell with us into and throughout the entire cell meeting. I believe many times the healing part of the cell starts during worship, as the Lord changes hearts and minds as we focus on Him instead of us through worship. There are so many options for worship, but this will take effort on everyone's parts. We don't all value worship equally due to many reasons but it is a valuable and important part of the cell group. There are computer resources, DVD resources, CD resources, all that can be used. There are literally thousands of videos that can be played right through your TV with a small amount of effort. Be careful that you don’t eliminate worship. It is vitally important to the health of the group. Find a simple way to do this, use the technology available to you, play it loud, use songs that people like. Be committed to worship and watch the Lord change your cell.
Word – From worship we want to share the Word. Sharing the Word is not preaching, or having a Bible Study. We want to avoid one person doing all the talking. Instead, our goal is to bring something, a golden nugget, from the Word to the table and allow the group to share what the Lord is placing on their hearts in that area. Asking lots of open ended questions will encourage this kind of interaction, active listening to others when they are speaking will let them know that we are caring for their hearts, giving wise feedback without becoming a personal counselor will keep things in a healthy position for everyone. We are wanting the Lord to speak into each life through the Holy Spirit and then give room for the Holy Spirit to work. Which brings us to the next phase of the cell group.
Works – Works is all about application and process. There are two stages in the Works process.
We begin the works stage by getting into groups and sharing what the Lord is revealing to our hearts for us personally through the Word part of the meeting. We then minister to one another through the Spirit, me hearing the Lord for you and you hearing the Lord for me. Here is where we have be careful about getting out of balance with edification. Often times we end our meeting here and we never switch the focus to the world outside our group. However, there is another part of Works that we need to consider, Evangelism.
Once we have had an appropriate amout of time to minister to each other or provide edification we switch to evangelism. This is where we intentionally take the focus off of us and put it on others who are not in our group. Encourage people to share names of people that the group can be praying for. Put together a list of those names and everyone commit to pray for them daily. Put an empty chair in the middle of the room and gather around it praying for the Lord to fill the chair using those names. Have people commit to who they are going to invite to and bring to the cell group next time. Make plans for a time of fellowship where everyone will bring a new friend, or make plans for who and how we will be taking some or all of those people to the next retreat weekend. You don’t have to do all of these but you get the point about how we change the focus. Another great thing to do here is to point out things that are happening at the church that we can bring new people to. This is how you intentionally balance out edification and evangelism.Remember we are looking for a healthy balance with edification & evangelism.
Now with all of that said what does our schedule for a cell meeting need to look like. Well let me begin by asking you a question. Do you and your people desire for new people to come to your cell? If the answer is no, that is sad. If the answer is yes, then you will intentionally tailor your cell meeting so that it is inviting to a new person and so that when a new person comes to the group they are not overwhelmed with the length or substance of the cell meeting and actually have a desire to return to the group. I am a firm believer that the actual cell meeting should not last longer than 60-90 minutes and here is an example of what that schedule should and even could look like:
Welcome – (10 minutes)
Worship – (15-20 minutes)
Word – (20-30 minutes)
Works – (20-30 minutes)
We want others to come to our cell groups so let's plan them and organize them so that they are enticing to new people. Let's stay inside the 90 minute time frame for the actual cell meeting and allow for free time after the cell for fellowship and even extra ministry in a safe environment where needed. Let's consider the needs of everyone in the group including those who are not in our groups just yet, and begin to dream and pray for the new people the Lord would want to bring to our groups in the coming year.
Just One More Soul!