George Whitefield and John Wesley were contemporaries in seventeenth-century England. Both dedicated themselves to God's work in the same small group at Oxford University. Both were excellent in open-air preaching. Both witnessed thousands of conversions through their ministries. Yet John Wesley left behind a 100,000 member church, while George Whitefield could point to little tangible fruit toward the end of his ministry. Why? Wesley dedicated himself to training and releasing small group leaders, while Whitefield was too busy preaching and doing the work of the ministry.
Yes, it's exciting to lead a cell group. But what will your group look like when you leave it in the hands of your current intern? Will it continue to meet or will it fold? Will you look back at your leadership with joy as you recall the cell groups that you left behind, or will you wonder how so much effort could result in so little?
We all know the tyranny of the urgent. The cell lesson needs fine-tuning, someone must bring the refreshments, John needs a ride, and on and on the list goes. Cell leaders can be overwhelmed with worship choruses, ice-breakers, calls, visits … . Everything demands immediate attention. Or does it? In the midst of a fast-paced life, are there priorities? Can a cell leader confidently say, "This one thing I do"?
Yes, successful cell leaders look beyond the urgency of the present to the importance of future daughter cells. Because of that, they spend priority time training new leaders. This passion to raise up new leadership drives successful cell leaders to spend quality time with potential leadership. As a result, common cell members become visionary leaders.
Leadership success in the cell church is clear: How many leaders ...