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Cell Church Strategy at the Republic Church

Published in C&MA Cell Net, October 1999

The Republic Church cell church experiment has been going full-throttle since August 1997. I use the word experiment because we have not arrived. John Kotter in his excellent book Leading Change says: Until changes sink down deeply into the culture, which for an entire company can take three to ten years, new approaches are fragile and subject to regression.  This is where we are right now. Cell church values still must sink deeper into the culture of the church.

Surely, weve come a long way. For example, In 1997, we were a church with twenty-one weak cells. Now we are a cell church with 140 reproducing cells. Our goal is 250 cells by the end of the year. Will we make it? Its going to be close. If each pastor on the team fulfilled his goals, we would be right at 250:

NETWORK

#1 

FAMILY  & YOUNG PROFES- SIONAL CELLS

Joel Comiskey

NETWORK

#2:

FAMILY CELLS

 Vinicio Gonzalez

NETWORK

#3: 

YOUNG MARRIED CELLS

Javier Silva

NETWORK

#4: 

FAMILY CELLS

 Porfirio Ludea

NETWORK

#5: 

YOUNG PEOPLE'S CELLS

Denis Fiallos

NETWORK

#6: 

CHILDREN & ADOLESCENT CELLS

Hans Vera

GOAL: 60  

GOAL:  22  

GOAL:  34  

GOAL: 34  

GOAL: 72  

GOAL: 28  

             The national pastor who was going to replace Pastor Richard Reichert in Network #2 suddenly informed us that he had other plans. That hurt because it left Network #2 without a pastor for several months. On the October 14, 1999, the pastoral team and board of the Republic Church officially called Vinicio Gonzalez to pastor network #2. Pray that he would have a smooth integration into the pastoral team at the Republic Church.

Just as important as the number of cells at the Republic Church is the system weve developed to support those cells. We are using a modified G-12 philosophy. Each staff person is responsible for those cell leaders (disciples) under his care. Since weve adapted the G-12 philosophy to our own context, its working well.

We also have a clear cell leader-training track that has one objective: train church members to become cell leaders. Richard Reichert, fellows C&MA missionary,  was the driving force behind developing our training track, and he did an excellent job. All four manuals integrate the cell church philosophy with Biblical training. This material can be purchased from the Republic Church and can be distributed throughout your church.

Were also excited about the recent commitment to prayer in the church. Every Friday the church prays for 20 hours. Each pastor takes one four-hour segment, starting at 4 a.m. in the morning and going to 12 p.m. Members can come and go as they please. Weve succeeded in decentralizing prayer in our church and were excited about what God is doing. 

I think that our biggest challenge is summed-up in the word concentration. Will we concentrate our cell church philosophy or will we be swept away with the myriads of exciting programs. I cant answer this question. As a missionary, Im only temporary. Much of my energy since 1997 has been spent on developing the cell church system at the Republic Church. Now, I feel like God is telling me to leave it in the hands of the nationals. Long-term changes in a foreign culture require the adoption and vision of the national  workers, and more specifically the senior pastor. Please pray for this transition. For more information on the Republic Church, please see: http://geocities.com/joelcomiskey/ministry_news.htm

        Both Steve Irvin and I want to welcome you to International Cell Church Conference, scheduled for Quito, Ecuador next year, May 8-11. Our desire is to host representatives from each Alliance field. We believe that God is going to use this conference to help clarify the cell church strategy among the Alliance and give us a new vision for the future. See you there!