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FOUNDATIONS FOR THE CELL CHURCH MOVEMENT

FOUNDATIONS FOR THE CELL CHURCH MOVEMENT

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cell church
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Published by: nadrull on Apr 22, 2008
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06/24/2010

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FOUNDATIONS FOR THE CELL CHURCH MOVEMENT
Compiled by Enoch Rull 
By Joel ComiskeyThis article appeared in C&MA Cell-Net #36What is the core concept in the cell church? Community? Evangelism?Church growth? Steve Irvin and I debated this idea over dinner onenight in my home. We batted around a few commonly heldassumptions about the main theme of the cell church. Then I sprangon Steve a growing conviction of my own heart. "I believe that theessence of the cell church is preparing leaders who are sent out toreap the harvest. The cell church is a leadership strategy," I told him.As I’ve studied, practiced, and reflected on the cell church over the lastfew years, I’ve concluded that the cell church is all about developingand releasing leaders to reap the harvest. The perfect environment forleaders to begin and thrive is the cell group.
The Leader-Driven Church
Rick Warren’s best selling book The Purpose Driven Church providesimportant principles for the church at large. I’d like someone to write abook for the cell church called The Leadership-Driven Church. Raising-up a continual flow of healthy multiplying cell leaders is the heart of the cell church. Cells are leader breeders. Cells breed new leaders. If you catch the awesome power of raising up an army of leadersthrough the cell strategy, you’ll succeed.Some cell churches do better than others in producing and sustainingthe leadership flow in their churches. Some transitioning cell churchesstart out well, but as soon as the already prepared saints are taken,their cell church begins to sink. Such churches fail to understand howto develop and supervise new leaders. It’s a leadership strategy.What are some of the key Biblical principles behind leadershipdevelopment in the cell church?
Christ’s Choice of the Twelve
It’s surprising that Jesus did not choose key, prominent men to formpart of His twelve. None of Christ’s disciples occupied importantpositions in the synagogue, nor did any of them belong to the Leviticalpriesthood. Rather, they were common laboring men, having no
 
professional training, no academic degrees, and no source of inheritedwealth. Most were raised in the poor part of the country. They wereimpulsive, temperamental, and easily offended. Jesus broke throughthe barriers that separated the clean and unclean, the obedient andsinful. He summoned the fisherman as well as the tax collector andzealot. Jesus saw hidden potential in them. He detected a teachablespirit, honesty, and a willingness to learn. They possessed a hunger forGod, a sincerity to look beyond the religious hypocrisy of their day, andthey were looking for someone to lead them to salvation. In calling thedespised to Himself, in sitting down to a meal with publicans, ininitiating the restoration of a Samaritan woman, Jesus demonstratedthat even these people were welcomed into the kingdom of God.
Look at the Heart
Most of the leadership problems can be solved if you are willing todevelop the lay people within your own congregation. True, this willrequire that you open your heart to a broader spectrum of lay peoplein your church.A study of three hundred highly successful people such as FranklinRoosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, MahatmaGandhi, and Albert Einstein, revealed that one-fourth had handicaps,such as blindness, deafness, or crippled limbs. Three-fourths hadeither been born in poverty, come from broken homes, or fromexceedingly tense or disturbed situations.Sometimes we fail to see emerging leadership because we are lookingfor the wrong things. We often look for those who mesh with ourpersonality but pass over those who follow a different drummer.Samuel misjudged the Lord’s choice for the second king of Israelbecause he focused on height and stature: "Samuel saw Eliab andthought, ‘Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.’ But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or hisheight, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the thingsman looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORDlooks at the heart’" (1 Samuel 16:6-7).Jesse was just as surprised that his older children were not elected. Hehad not even considered inviting shepherd boy David to the ceremony.But even though David was a "ruddy" young boy, ". . . the LORD said, ‘Rise and anoint him; he is the one!’" (1 Samuel 16:11-12)
 
God tends to use the "ruddy, young boys" that are fully committed tohim. Our tendency is to hang educational nooses around buddingleaders. Yet, the harvest is so plentiful and the laborers are so few thatGod would have us look at all leadership possibilities around us.
Characteristics of Leaders
What kind of characteristics should the perfect leader possess? Don’tworry too much if you get as many answers as those attending yourgroup. Most authors do the same. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to findan exact definition of leadership. The study of leadership is broad andvaried. The numerous definitions of leadership provide validity to thisquote by Bennis and Nanus: ". . . leadership is the most studied andleast understood topic of any in the social sciences. . . .Leadership islike the Abominable Snowman, whose footprints are everywhere butwho is nowhere to be seen." These experts in the field of leadership goon to say:Literally thousands of empirical investigations of leaders have beenconducted in the last seventy-five years alone, but no clear andunequivocal understanding exists as to what distinguishes leaders fromnon-leaders, and perhaps more important, what distinguishes effectiveleaders from ineffective leaders and effective organizations fromineffective organizations.If you’re contemplating future leadership, be encouraged. God uses allkinds of leaders. There is no such thing as the perfect leader. Nor isthere one mold labeled leadership. God wants to use you in youruniqueness. Leadership has many personalities. Although the Bibledoesn’t promote one "personality type" for great leadership, it doesgive us the characteristics of effective leadership. The followingprovides clues to Biblical leadership.
Old Testament Principles
When I do cell training, I know that I need to share the followingleadership requirements because God requires them. Several of thesetraits can be summarized in one phrase: dependence upon God. God islooking for leaders who have the right heart attitude. The followingBiblical reference actually mention what God expects of a leaders:
Exodus 18:25
o
VirtuousDelegates responsibility

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