Ellen came to my cell group the first time with her neighbor, one of our cell members. She was an older woman who was recently divorced. While she came with mixed feelings, she was hungry for God and glad for the invitation. She trusted the new friends who had invited her, but she had never heard of a cell group. "Perhaps this was some kind of cult!" Ellen thought.
Cell members greeted her warmly when she arrived at our home and took a genuine interest in her. The songs were new, but there were song sheets and she liked their lively tempo. Later in the meeting, however, she was puzzled when I announced that we would "prayerwalk" the neighborhood. I didn't realize how this would come across and didn't notice that she was uncomfortable. Thankfully, Ken—an alert cell member—noticed her discomfort and remained at the house and spoke with her about recent changes that had taken place in her life while the rest of us walked around the neighborhood praying.
When the meeting was over, she enjoyed talking with others over refreshments. She left thinking that this would be a nice group of people to have as friends and that they didn't seem to be a cult. She was unsure, however, if she would come back. Did people like her? Would they be glad for her to return? My wife and another cell member called her on the phone that week, and her friends invited her back. She became actively involved in the group and began to receive healing for the past and support for the future.
Through my years in cell, I have learned a few simple things that make a big difference in making visitors feel more comfortable when they come to your cell. Here they are:
Introduce your non-Christian and new Christian friends to as many cell members as possible. ...