Verify the Kind of Church or Cell that Will Multiply Among those God Has Given you to Serve
Yes, new worker, you are free to start a church or cell group without money or restrictive educational requirements. Just do what Jesus and His apostles said to do, in the way they did it.
Yes, Lord, we will worship as you modeled, and speak to one another to strengthen, exhort and console, as Paul instructed.
Picture what might have occurred in Lazarusâ€™ home the day following Pentecost as a group assembled to worshipâ€¦
Martha asks, â€œBrother Peter, shall I turn the chairs toward the front as in the synagogue, so everyone focuses only on the rabbi and Torah?â€
â€œThereâ€™s been a change, Martha. We will worship as we twelve did at our Last Supper with Jesus; He broke bread and passed the cup so we could participate in His body and blood. We faced each other at the table, and everyone took part in the dialogue. Your little home group is a family now.â€
At first believers enjoyed a â€œlove feastâ€ but gluttonous Corinthians gave more attention to the roast lamb and chick pea soup than to the sacramental bread and wine. Paul told them to eat the big meal at home, which set a precedent for churches after that.
Sometimes conditions favor churches, sometimes cells. Consider prayerfully what the new churches will be like, to avoid laying foundations that will stifle multiplication. Pray for families that need Jesus, and provide a church experience in which they can meet joyfully with close friends.
The irony of our age: many people who avoid the big brick church down the street crave precisely what Scripture requires but most traditional churches denyâ€¦
Obey Jesus. Compromise on this and you dethrone Christ as head of the new church; it will be lame, partially apostate, from birth. Churches that obey Jesus before all pass on DNA that reproduces Christâ€™s Body as His parables show. Churches and cells that cling to popular but non-biblical Evangelical traditions rarely multiply.
Memorize Jesusâ€™ basic commands that include all that He commanded, that the 3,000 new believers obeyed from the start in the first churches in Jerusalem (Acts 2:37-47):
Churches fail to multiply when a congregation or cell group made up of mature believers swallows up seekers and new believers before they have sown the gospel seed among their friends and started cells among them.It is usually best not to bring a new believer into an existing church, but rather to starta new gathering among the ne w person’s family, friends and co-workers. Multiplication comes almost entirely from new believersâ€™ groups whose leaders encourage sharing Christ with friends in homes.
Â Resources For While You â€¦
Decide between apples and oranges. Determine whether you should multiply churches, cell groups, or both. Some field conditions favor multiplying churches, others favor cell groups.
Release the rabbits. Discern the kind of church or cell that can multiply in the normal New Testament way.
Party with pagan pals. This fun skit illustrates how to start a seekersâ€™ group:
Administer the apostlesâ€™ antidote to ailing assemblies. Help a conventional church become a cell church, preparing its people and adding a second track in a painless way.
Shrink heads. Help urban workers think small:
Impart the â€œaha!â€ moment to those who want to multiply cells. Visualize good and bad routes that churches take to grow by multiplying cells:
Learn what lets groups multiply:
Shift from NO! to YES!. Flocks in the West multiply by making a radical shift in key areas:
Probe beneath the glitz. Replace stereotypes with proven truths. Several popular myths stop rather than start church multiplication:
Overcome fears of multiplying too fast. This question inevitable arises. Be ready for it.
Dive deep into church multiplication literature. Upgrade multiplication skills with documents for mature leaders eager to do extensive reading:
Overview, Patterson and Scogginâ€™s Church Multiplication Guide:
Common Traps To Avoid
Form independent churches or cells.
A group or church small enough to heed the New Testament â€œone anotherâ€ commands is too small to have all the gifts needed to do everything that the New Testament requires of it, by itself. A local, functional body of Christ is not an isolated cell group or congregation; it is the closely-knit, interacting cluster of cells or congregations, as seen in the New Testament.
Wait for financial resources, before simply obeying Jesus.
It costs far less time and money to gather flocks that multiply in a widespread movement than it does to plant a conventional church with its heavy, costly, non-biblical traditions. Wealthy church planters rarely start a movement; their methods and equipment are usually too heavy and costly for new believers and small churches to acquire and pass on.
Making oneâ€™s own â€œhomeâ€ church or cell the only model for new churches or cells.
If a church or cell has not been multiplying, neither will a church or cell patterned after it.
Imitate worship styles of large or famous churches.
This aborts many church planting movements in embryo. Develop a style that fits a small group, with strong emphasis on the New Testament â€œone anotherâ€ commands.
Introduce an activity into a church,Â because you enjoy doing it or you do it well.
Avoid imposing a pet activity or overdoing it. Very often such practices fail to match a young congregation and new leaders cannot, or prefer not, to imitate it and pass it on to their apprentices. Common examples: certain kinds of music, monologue sermon, and arty decor.