In Your Bible Read This
Acts 10, 22-48
Here Is Your Memory Verse
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2.46,47.
Afterwards Talk About This
If persecution came to your district what would happen to your church? What can you do to safeguard the people?
Something To Do Before Next Time
Organise one friendly cell style meeting with some food and friendship in one of your homes. Invite the people from the street and see how many come. Tell them that someone will speak for five minutes to explain how he or she came to know Christ. See how many come!
Written Diploma Work
Write a 2 page essay describing the long term effect upon the church when it became the official church in 321 AD and inherited all those temples and robes.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse
1 Corinthians 14.26
Spend a Minute to Change the World
Pray For Italy – 58,000,000 Southern European people. Declining traditional Roman Catholic heartland, 31,000 towns with no evangelicals.
Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.
An evangelist tells the story that his campaigns in an African city were so blessed that the only way he could handle the converts was to shout, “Christians in such and such a district raise your hands. New believers, if you live in this district, meet together next Sunday in the houses of these people.” And he went on shouting out names and directing people. He said it was the only way of keeping such a big harvest safe. What he did was to organise what we call the Cell Church.
What would you do if crowds suddenly decided to follow Jesus? Where would you find the money for new buildings?
The Church In Acts Was A Cell Church
The church did not have any buildings until it became the official church of the Roman Empire in 321 AD. Then it took over all the pagan temples and priestly robes, and has had them ever since. Acts 2.46 tells us that the early church met together every day in Jewish temple courts in Jerusalem to worship God. They also broke bread in homes, and ate together with glad hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of the people. The church was in the street with the people, not yet hidden away inside religious buildings.
Why Cell Churches Do So Well
Cell church usually have 5 to 15 people. This means that everyone is known and genuinely missed if away.
Cell church means that every member has a role like music, organising, teaching, leading prayer, cooking, or looking after children. The joy of serving is not just in the hands of a few chosen ‘professional’ clergy or leaders.
Cell church means that people should never feel lonely in church as the community setting brings them into the bosom of the family of God.
Cell church is a natural setting for teaching with all the freedom and life of a small group.
Cell church meetings are a great place for people to practice their spiritual gifts in the non-threatening atmosphere of home with a friendly leader and the Christian family to encourage and help.
Cell church means that neighbours who would never go into a church building might discover Jesus where He loves to be, among people. With cell church the scope for different kinds of creative evangelism in the home is unlimited.
Cell church allows the gifted ministers to travel to help equip other believers.
In Cell church growth is fast and never limited by lack of money for buildings. When a group grows beyond say, 16 people, it multiplies into 2 homes or rented rooms, each with its own leader. They will soon grow to 15 each and multiply again.
Cell church means more prayer, because more people will pray in small groups, and they can meet anytime. This is better than the weekly prayer in one place which many never get to for work reasons.
Cell church means that sick or needy people can be prayed for quickly without having wait for the pastor.
Cells, Congregations and Celebrations
A cell church has no central building that it owns and pays for, or a big meeting every Sunday because the cells are the church. No central records are kept, so in persecution names cannot be found, buildings cannot be burned, congregations cannot be found and killed en masse as happened in Rwanda. The church is safer.
All the cells, leaders and people alike should come together from time to time in a rented location like a big hall or stadium, for a celebration, and all the cells in a zone could meet as a congregation say once or maybe twice a month. The oversight needs to meet with their cell leaders on a regular basis, and the oversight should visit each cell regularly.
What Do You Do In A Cell Church?
The goal is to be friends of God through the Acts 2.42 model of being devoted to the word of God, prayer, breaking of bread and fellowship, then friends of each other, then focused on being friends with the people in the street so they discover that God’s love is not a million miles away.
Remember To Embrace 4 W’s
Welcome – you to me, me to you.
Worship – us to God.
Word – God released to us, through the Bible, spiritual gifts, prayer and personal ministry to each other.
Witness – God through us to others.
Starting A Cell Church
It is very easy for missionaries to organise cell church simply by having the first meeting in a home and growing in cells. It is more difficult to change an existing traditional church structure because cell church empowers the people to care and evangelise and this can be quite upsetting for professional paid ministers. The change can be quite demanding upon settled and comfortable people as well, but if God directs the change it will be worth the effort.
How To Change To Cell Church
There needs to be adequate lead-in time, prayer, a plan, and agreement:
- Choose cell leaders and assistants for humility, servant heart and loyalty.
- Train them beforehand in pastoral skills, and how to run a small group.
- They need to know the extent of their authority and what to do in difficulty.
- Divide the district into zones, each one with a dedicated area leader.
- Divide each zone into cells, each with a chosen leader and people.
- Select a time to meet, make a start.
- Review progress frequently.
The G12 Vision 2001
This is the latest development of the Cell Church vision that is sweeping Latin America and being introduced into the UK, Spain and Europe. The four principles are Win, Consolidate, Disciple and Release and the plan is that each cell gives birth to 12 more cells. For a full explanation of all that is required for G12 which should be incorporated into this lesson go to these pages:
http://www.mci12.com/english/Home-engl.html which is the church of Pastor Cesar Castellanos en Colombia which has grown from 8 to 120,000 members and has a youth group of 30,000 through G12.
http://www.revivaltimes.org/index.php/213.htm comes from Kensington Temple/London City Church which has adopted the vision for London and is seeing remarkable growth in a very secular environment.
To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name
Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.