Successful home cell groups
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Author Biography. Otherwise, by expanding the building we would only worsen the problem of superficial involvement in the local church. New Testament principles surrounding the issues of body life, spiritual gifts, and the fact that real spiritual ministry is the business of every member in the local church can not be effectively brought into practice in a large group setting. Only then will they be able to meet those needs on an individual level. Unfortunately, when churches attempt to initiate a small group ministry, they sometimes fail to teach and persuate their people that the purpose of the meeting is to practice these biblical principles.
The result is sometimes a wrong impression on the part of most participants. The first order of business in beginning this kind of ministry is to launch a teaching offensive in the church. The goal would be to establish an understanding and a vision of the New Testament model and the spiritual goals associated with lay mobilization in the minds of the participants.
The Bible teaches that spiritual criteria must be used to select leaders. Too often, however, the church will designate men and women for leadership on the basis of secular abilities, job status, levels of financial giving, or seniority in the church. The result is usually a meeting that is not very spiritually edifying or appealing.
After leaders have been selected on the basis of character and knowledge, they should also be evaluated on the basis of actual function, or role. In many of our churches, it may be very difficult to determine who our authentic leaders are. This is because they have not had ample opportunity to try their hand at leadership. In these cases, we will have to pick leaders on the basis of the best criteria possible.
Later, when lay-led groups are in place, it should be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the work done by the more committed members of the group. Other things being equal, the more effective workers should be the first to be moved forward. If the home fellowship is to be fashioned after the Biblical examples of house churches, then the leaders of the groups should be allowed to run their groups the way the leaders of the New Testament house churches ran theirs.
Since the New Testament instructs readers to respect their leaders and to follow their lead in the running of the home church, we can assume those leaders had many decisions delegated to them.
S2 EP. 001 – Dr. David Cho, How To Create The Largest Church In The World!
I Corinthians ; Hebrews ; I Thessalonians Sometimes, churches impose a structure upon the small group that is too restrictive. This structure may include a pre-planned curriculum for study, and a long list of policy restrictions. The effect is usually to stifle initiative and sap motivation. The leaders realize very quickly that they are functioning as agents for the existing leadership of the church, but that they themselves are leaders in name only. When the church requires the home group leaders to check in on virtually all decisions, it clearly suggests that they are incompetent to make their own decisions.
Sometimes they are incompetent, but the church must see the challenge in this, rather than accepting the status quo. Similarlly, pre-planned curriculum often actually scripts the meeting and requires little creativity or expertise on the part of group leaders. Indeed, the main reason for scripting the meeting is usually the feeling that group leaders have no expertise of their own. Such lack of expertise points in turn to a weak equipping ministry in the church.
Failure to train leaders to a sophisticated level results in leaders who must be led by the hand at all times. When this happens, leaders often highly competent and educated at their secular jobs realize that anyone could follow the simple script, and consequently, they are not challenged. They lose interest in leading, and begin to call on the leadership to be passed around the group.
They fail to take possession of the role of home group leader as a worth while life goal.
Successful Home Cell Groups PB - David Yonggi Cho
We believe churches are often too impatient when trying to move from a program-based model to a home group model of church life, and therefore they grossly underestimate the level of training and equipping needed to develop effective leaders. Impatience may also signal lack of commitment, because in-depth equipping is expensive in both dollars and man hours for the church's leaders. See 7 below.
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We don't believe the central leadership of the church should forsake all control over the actions of home fellowship leaders, because lay leaders are usually not as well trained as seminary graduates, or as experienced as the church's top leadership. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully weigh which areas are left to the discretion of the home leaders, and which areas need to be cleared with the higher authority of the church.
Successful Home Cell Groups, Book by David Yonggi Cho (Paperback) | sionodcamecoo.cf
The point in making this decision is to arrive at a balance that will prevent serious errors from occurring even though we never have a guarantee that all problems can be prevented , while delegating real decision-making authority to the home fellowship leaders. While quality fellowship and support is one of the rewards of small group ministry, it is an inadequate basis. If we have only fellowship as our goal, the group is corporately self-centered, or self-focused. Thus, it's no surprise that such groups are prone to division and discontent.
This is because outreach and mission are the natural context within which fellowship should occur. When a group of people occupy themselves with each other to the exclusion of the outside world, discontent is sure to follow. We should be unwilling to consider the option of handling outreach at the large meeting and limiting small groups to a fellowship role. The group may not engage in outreach at its weekly meeting, but they have to work together and pray together on some shared mission.
Acts says that the Jerusalem church was "breaking bread from house to house" but does not mention evangelism.
However, this is a moot point, since the passage does not mention where evangelism did occur. On the other hand, in I Corinthians , Paul clearly contemplates "unbelievers" entering a meeting which is an interactive meeting-- apparently a home church see vs. In cases where home fellowships are set up with no provision for church discipline, a very distressing and familiar pattern emerges. Some people are attracted to small groups for the wrong reasons. There are those who come to exploit others, or simply to use the group to become the center of attention. The impact of such people is greater in a small group than it would be in a large meeting.
As a result, the whole character of the group can be altered to such an extent that it becomes difficult to attract new people, or even to hold the interest and loyalty of the productive members. The New Testament provides a solution to this kind of situation. If they are not responsive, a legitimate amount of pressure can be applied—even to the point of removing them from the group. The application of discipline should be gracious and suited to the needs of the individual as well as the group.
In order to prevent abuses or legalism, the eldership should be consulted in cases where an ultimatum may be issued. Churches worry about angering people if they practice discipline. This concern is legitimate. But while we will anger some by exercising discipline, we endanger all by failing to exercise it. Worst of all, those being disciplined miss out on one of the important provisions for growth in the New Testament. Small group attendance is a privilege in the church. Participation should have conditions attached, such as no anti-social or disruptive behavior.
Otherwise, the small groups become soft, unruly, and unappealing. For some reason, churches generally devise and execute a plan for small groups that features only one kind of group.
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Now we see that family aged people need a different type of group than students or singles, etc. Why should a large church or even a small one have only one type of group? Every church should be different. The Bible does not allow the local church the option of telling its people to go away for their training. According to Ephesians ,12, it is the responsibility of the leadership of the local church to provide quality training in Christian work "the work of service" to its own people.
When the leadership of a church decides not to have a small group ministry because its "laymen" are too ignorant, this is not an excuse - it is an admission of guilt! We find that most churches try to get by with a five or ten week training series which is inadequate for sophisticated leadership responsibilities.
People will take longer training courses if they can break up the training into modules, and if they view taking these classes as fun. This is why we need to put our best communicators and leaders in as teachers in this training. If a church already has an adequate supply of leaders who have some biblical knowledge, it would be preferable to hold this training while small groups are in progress, so they can immediately use the knowledge they learn.
- Successful Home Cell Groups, Book by David Yonggi Cho (Paperback) | sionodcamecoo.cf.
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This prevents the accumulation of "dead knowledge" and also avoids creating the impression that Christian work is more difficult than it really is. At the same time, we should be clear that completing the training course will not necessarily result in an assignment as a home group leader.