6. I believe that charismatic cell-based Christian communities are the most effective means of accomplishing mission today
I have to say that I believe this is true with all my heart. I think there is a place for larger gatherings, absolutely, but for the real nitty gritty, week-in-week-out Christianity, face to face accountability, study, worship, prayer and pastoral support its the way forward. So yeah, benifts in all those areas big time. Also, a small group working together in mission is effective.
We get hung up about leadership. Good leadership is important, and it does need to be a facilitating leadership, but small groups help the leadership challenge the church is facing today. Basically, mission isn’t sustainable if the church is led by a priestly class…thats not how the body of Christ was designed to function.
How many people do you know think they can lead a mega church? How many people do you know who think they can lead a congregation of 100? How many people do you know who think they can lead a church of 50? How many people do you kno who think they can lead a group of 10? How many people do you know who can help facilitate a group of 3? See, as the numbers get smaller, more an more people think ‘yeah, no problem.’ The smaller the number the more flexible you can be and the easier it is to gather people to form the basis of a larger body of people. You see, the more complicated the form of ‘church’ we run, the more complex the leadership, training and theological education needed to keep the thing goin. We are currently doin our own heads in because we’re working with a model of church that isn’t cutting it and becoming more and more difficult to sustain.
In our corps, we have just started our 4th small group. Call it what you like. Our cells meet weekly. We then meet monthly for celebration, encouragement and to impart larger vision of who and what we’re about, with all the cells plus a few more invited for good measure.
Salvationists need to re-discover our pioneering spirit in the area of church planting by planting small outposts all over the place. It doesn’t need any money, doesn’t need a building and doesn’t need a theologically trained, highly skilled leader to lead.
Here is a great link to get you started. http://www.all-nations.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=48
Also check out simplechurch.co.uk – simple church is a newish phrase to describe these simple expressions of being the church which is taking an identity of its own, currently.
Books to read: the section on Wards in SA301, available at armybarmy.com
‘You See Bones, I see and Army’ by Floyd McClung
‘Organic Church’ and ‘Search and Rescue’ by Neil Cole
‘The Forgotten Ways’ by Alan Hirsch
You can do it! Lets start winning the world for Jesus using the best known strategy in history…plant churches, loads of em, small ones, everywhere.