Evaluation is what helps us improve. We are constantly challenging our cell group leaders to become better and better at shepherding their flock of five to fifteen. Since a cell church ministers to its people through the vehicles of cells, we can only become a better and stronger church as our cell leaders increase their abilities to shepherd. At a recent cell leaders training time we encouraged them to evaluate how they are doing based on these three key aspects of cell leadership:
Key aspect #1: The Cell Group Meeting
The actual cell meeting is not to be taken casually. It's not just a "meeting"! Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." For the longest time I interpreted this verse as sort of a generic verse that said when you get a group of believers together Jesus is watching over you. But now I believe this is a verse about the small group gatherings of the New Testament church (and today!) It is a promise that when the church gathers in small groups there is a dynamic of experiencing Christ's presence like no other time for the church. This means that cell gatherings are not to be taken casually, without being fully prepared and anticipating the reality of God showing up!
Our cells can often gravitate to being mostly Bible studies, but when that happens, we have lost the dynamic of Matthew 18:20. We do discuss the Scriptures—yet the real focus of a cell is ministry time: sharing about what's really going on in our lives and becoming serious about praying and caring and ministering to one another.
Our cells have to be safe places where our people are given opportunity to share honestly and vulnerably—and then everyone in the group is allowed ...