Churches and Cells Serve Each Other as a Regional Body of Christ
Yes, new shepherd, you and your flock are loved and appreciated as a part of the regional body of Christ. We serve you and you serve us.
Yes, Lord, we will practice body life between our flocks as well as within them, in obedience to your command.
Let churches in an area serve each other and hold occasional, united, joyful celebrations. Let churches serve each other and communicate as New Testament churches did.
Mutual care among churches and cells is as crucial as care within each one. Arrange for nearby flocks to unite for fellowship and celebration at regular intervals. During these gatherings, agree on plans to start churches, to extend pastoral training, and to commission leaders. Let each group report what it has done and let them all rejoice together. When a church or cell has a weakness or other needs, arrange for other flocks to help it, as New Testament churches did.
Continue mentoring an apprentice until that apprentice’s flock is doing all ministries that the New Testament requires.
Let regional leaders meet regularly to pray and discuss each other’s needs
Regional leaders should meet together to share what God is doing, what is going well, and how they can help and strengthen each other.
Resources For While You …
Set up regional church bodies. Let churches in an area carry out mutually-edifying activities.
Practice regional church body life. Use proven guidelines to work closely with other churches, to avoid common causes of friction, and to see joyful, edifying synergism in action.
Reach across oceans. Bless new churches in pioneer fields without making them dependent on your church:
Common Traps To Avoid
Let churches pride themselves in being independent and self-governing.
New Testament churches worked closely together, as in Acts 15. New churches made up of immature believers should not try to govern themselves; these need an overseer from the outside, such as Titus who prepared and named leaders for new churches in Crete (Titus 1).
Expect new churches in pioneer fields to behave as adult churches from the start.
New congregations with immature believers are like newborn babies; they cannot behave like mature believers, so they need patient instruction and coaching.
Expect new churches in pioneer fields to behave as baby churches for years.
New churches mature rapidly when they have proper disciple-making, and they can take on serious responsibilities within a few weeks. Some church planters stay around too long and then control too much.
Let proud leaders refuse to let an outsider advise them, even when their church is struggling.
Letting a problem fester in a church stagnates its ministries. Accept help from outside, with gratitude.