Making small groups work
The biological cell is a basic building block of life. Healthy cells multiply themselves millions of times in the course of a lifetime. Each new cell looks identical to the original cell because the DNA branded nucleus multiplies itself before the cell reproduces. In this way, the first cell is as healthy and productive as the newest cell formed. The cells work together as organs, muscles, bone and skin to make the body function as a true miracle from God.
A spiritual cell group is very similar to a biological cell. Followers of Jesus Christ worship together, edify one another and increase the kingdom by sharing their lives with unbelievers. New leaders are raised up from within the group to grow and expand the ministry to a hurting world when the group multiplies, and the process repeats itself.
The two dynamics of healthy churches
Cell groups meet weekly in homes and come together with other cells as a local body at celebration services. Both gatherings are vital! The cell meets to experience Christ’s love through others in a small intimate setting. The celebration service is to experience God in corporate worship and to receive teaching from His Word. Both are necessary for God’s people to be empowered and encouraged into a sense of destiny and purpose in what they do on a Monday to Friday basis.
Each small group is based around the following beliefs/values, that:
- Jesus is at the centre of the gathered believers and the individual Christian’s life
- Christian community is fostered through relationship
- Each member can grow in their Christian walk and knowledge of God
- Every member can be released to minister to others in the Body of Christ
- Every member can seek to bring others to Christ
- What is a cell meeting like?
Each small group has a structure within it which enables the leader to be a facilitator. A typical meeting could comprise the following four elements – the 4Ws as they are known.
- Welcome – an ‘icebreaker’ question is asked of every cell member, who in turn all give their response. Each member participates from the outset, hears their own voice in the meeting and feels included from the start rather than spectating.
- Worship – this could be sung worship if there are musicians in the group. If not it could be anything that exalts the Lord in the meeting, e.g. the reading of a psalm and pause for reflection and prayer.
- Word – this section is based around personal application of a teaching, perhaps from the Sunday service or other source. Often at this point there will be opportunity for corporate prayer for those who request it – an opportuity for the cell to minister one to another.
- Witness – based around the corporate aim of making friends with non-believers and seeing them come to Christ, this section is often used for planning strategy and prayer.