Sharing the vision. The leader reminds the group of the overall vision of making disciples through small-group ministry.
Results from the last planning meeting. Accountability is critical. The leader will ask whether people were visited/evangelized and whether the particular tasks were completed.
Planning for the following Saturday cell meeting. This is the main part of the planning meeting. To ensure that the cell is meeting its purpose, the planning group works through several items each week. First, they delegate the care of group members. It’s important that group members who have not been attending recently are visited, so the team assigns who will visit each person. They also assign team members to any new converts in the group so they can be intentionally discipled. Also, because transportation is such a problem in San Salvador, the team makes sure that everyone in the group has a ride to both the group meeting and the Sunday celebration service.
Second, they plan for the meeting. Together they decide how each team member will participate in the meeting such as leading worship, taking the offering, or leading the lesson. We believe the Saturday night cell meeting will be more productive the more people who are involved.
Preparing for multiplication. The team considers who will lead the next cell, the next step in preparing this person, and logistical information about the new cell (like where they’ll meet). This happens over time.
Personal prayer requests for team members. The team grows especially close, so this is a great time to minister to one another.
General church announcements. This is the time we ensure our core leaders are aware of everything happening at the church.
The Wednesday night meeting is not another edification meeting. We don’t want to replicate the Saturday night group meeting. Rather, it’s primarily about planning. The purpose is crystal clear: get ready for the Saturday night cell by delegating tasks, inviting people, and preparing every aspect of the meeting. In a lot of ways, the Wednesday night planning meeting takes the mystery out of cell ministry.
Keeping the Vision Alive
We’re convinced of the importance of the planning meeting. It helps maintain the excitement level of the cell group and reminds people that anything worthwhile—including a cell group—requires planning and prayer.
We believe that the planning meeting is a key reason our groups continue to reach out and multiply throughout the city. Our goal at Elim is to penetrate our city of San Salvador with multiplying small groups. To make that happen, our people must be proactively involved in the process. The Wednesday planning meetings are the place they get involved.
—Mario Vega is Lead Pastor of Misión Cristiana Elim in San Salvador, El Salvador.