Becoming More Obedient to God's Word . . . Not Just Smarter

The big difference between large-group gatherings and a small group is accountability.

People regularly ask me about the role of Bible study in cells. To understand my answer, you need to know that a true cell church is more than just what happens in the cell. I like to talk about the New Testament church as a "two-chopstick church." If you've ever eaten with chopsticks, you know that both sticks are important for this mode of eating to work. Likewise with the balance of large group and small group in a "two-chopstick church." Acts 5:42 says "Day after day, in the temple courts (large-group gatherings) and from house to house (small-group gatherings), they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ" (emphasis added).

A cell church incorporates both large and small group gatherings to accomplish the combined effect of being a true New Testament church. That is why when you gather in a large group your purposes are different from what you can accomplish when you gather in a small group. This is the mistake the church made when it stopped meeting in small groups and instead started gathering only in large-group venues. A large group is a terrific place for worship to occur, but it is a lousy place for accountability! Thus, when you gather in large-group structures as a church, the purpose is to do things that happen best in a large group, like worship and Bible teaching. But when you gather in a cell, your purpose is to accomplish the things that happen best in a small group, like accountability, community, discipleship, and evangelism.

I can gather in a group of 20 or 20,000 and be taught the Bible. But in the large grouping I can't interact with the Word in a way that allows life application to be discussed that is specific to me. So when we want to do Bible study in our church, ...

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