Biblical Foundations for the Cell-Based Church (PDF)

Biblical Foundations for the Cell-Based Church (PDF)
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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.” 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.

Joel Comiskey has been studying the cell church movement since 1991 and has discovered 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 covers the Trinity, the model for all small group community. The good news is that the Trinity works within believers to mold and shape them into his image. This section explores God's emphasis on the family, starting from Genesis, Christ's formation of a new family, and then the early church's focus on family. Comiskey believes that family is the principal image of the church in Scripture. The last chapter in this section explains Jesus and his kingdom and more specifically how Jesus trained his disciples to evangelism through home-based outreach.

Section two reveals how the early church met in homes. It explores what they did in those home meetings, the size of the house churches, and how home evangelism took place through ancient oikos relationships. Comiskey looks at how New Testament leadership developed naturally through the house church structure and how the early church connected the house churches into celebration gatherings (large group meetings).

The last section applies all eight chapters to the church today. This last section draws out the New Testament insights that are applicable to the 21st century church.