Biblical Foundations for the Cell-Based Church New Testament Insights for the 21st Century Church

ISBN-10: 0984311033

ISBN-13: 9780984311033

Edition: N/A

Authors: Joel Comiskey

List price: $14.95
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Why cell church? Is it because David Cho's church, the largest church in the history of Christianity, is a cell church? Is it because someone said the number twelve will bring blessings and growth? Is it because cell church is the strategy that many "great" churches are using?Ralph Neighbour repeatedly says, “Theology must breed methodology.” I’ve arrived at the same conclusion. This book sets forth the biblical theology for cell based ministry. Without biblical truth, we don’t have a firm under-pinning upon which we can hang our ministry and philosophy. On the other hand, we can plod through most anything when we know that God is stirring us to behave biblically.Cell church is not the latest, greatest church growth strategy. If it were, it would simply be a passing fad until the next hotter, more relevant strategy comes along. In fact, in many places around the world, cell church transforms the church through a purification process. Church growth is slow but cell church helps Christ’s church go deeper.I’ve been studying the cell church movement since 1991, and the more I travel on this cell church journey, the more I see that the cell church strategy doesn’t produce rapid growth in itself. God reserves growth for himself. He wants to receive the glory for all church growth.The first section of this book will bring out what the Bible says about small groups. I will start in the Old Testament with the Trinity, family, and how the nation Israel divided into groups of ten. Then I’ll explore how Jesus started house churches and gathered together his own small group of twelve. I will cover extensively how the early church met in homes and then gathered those house churches together. We’ll look at the images of the church and how New Testament leadership naturally developed through the house church process.In the second section I’ll cover what I believe is the main reason for small groups: to make disciples who make disciples. God has ordained small groups to develop followers of Jesus. Cell groups are leader breeders. They prepare future disciples to be more like God, and He uses the small group atmosphere in the following areas:Community: Our God is a social God. He’s in constant unity with the other members of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is not an individualist. Jesus demonstrated this same unity while on earth. He never did anything that wasn’t perfectly pleasing to the Father and Spirit (John 5:19-30). He then told his disciples to walk in that same unity. He said the best witness to an unbelieving world was the love and unity that existed among the disciples (John 17:6-26). The small group helps believers to grow in community and to be like the Trinity.Evangelism: God took the form of a human being, so he could reveal his love and character. Jesus said that he had come to seek and save the lost. His ministry on earth was to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free. Following Christ’s example, cell evangelism is primarily relational. Cells penetrate society, bring good news of the gospel to the hurting and needy, and continue the process through multiplication. The cell atmosphere helps believers to evangelize together and to practice ‘net fishing.’Priesthood of All Believers: Some churches grow large through filling pews. Yet, scripture teaches that all believers are priests. Cells value the participation of every believer. Part of the priesthood of all believers is the use of spiritual gifts. I’ve written various books on this topic and believe that cells provide the best atmosphere for spiritual gift use. In fact, all of the New Testament gift passages were written to house churches.Multiplication: Christ’s last command to his disciples was to make disciples of all nations. I believe the essence of cell ministry is making disciples who make disciples. Cells are leader breeders and the best place to prepare disciple-makers. Multiplication is at the heart of cell ministry because new cells provide the environment for making new disciples.The goal of the cell church is to develop an army of leaders to continue the work of Christ’s church.As I’ve focused on the cell church for the last twenty-one years, my thinking has radically shifted from the question, “How can cell church work?” to “How can we obey scripture that tells us to live in community and do life together?” There’s a huge difference between the two convictions. One is based on pragmatism, the other on scripture.This book focuses on what the Scripture says and the biblical basis for the cell church.
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Book details

List price: $14.95
Publisher: CCS Publishers
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 210
Size: 8.50" wide x 5.50" long
Language: English

Establishing a Strong Foundation
Foundations: Sand and Rock?
God's Trinitarian Nature
The Family of God
Revelation: Jesus And His Method of Ministry
Understanding Early Church Practices
Ecclesial Practice: The House in the New Testament Church
Ecclesial Life: The Oikos That Met in the House
Ecclesial Leadership: Developing Ministers from the House Structure
Ecclesial Networks: How Churches Were Connected Beyond the Home
Ecclesial Life Today
Cell Church Ecclesiology Today
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