Christian Church     we preach what the Bible teach       

                                                                    

                                                          BIBLE STUDY -  HOME CELL COURSE.

                                                                 ONE MONTH COURSE - 1999

A home cell is a group of approximately 12 Christians in a community who are members of a congregation and is very serious in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The whole congregation is made up of cells like these. The home cell has meetings once a week in a house of one of the members of the congregation.

 

1.   LEADERSHIP:

 

1.1 Our vision and goal is to bring the people to Jesus Christ. John 1:45. Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, “we have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth”.

 

1.2 In the church context the vision and direction of the Church must always come from the Senior Pastor, through the church leadership to the people. “Fire in the pulpit - fire in the pew”.

 

“When God has a plan, He finds a man”.

 

1.3 Leadership is not dictatorship, never to manipulate people or to dominate them. Leadership is never to bull - doze people with position. Leadership is rallying people to pursue a vision. A good leader has a purpose to teach others to be able to help themselves. A leader is not one who merely complains he corrects. He puts his money where his mouth is.

 

1.4 A good leader gains the trust of his people by virtue of his character, his integrity, his resourcefulness, his zeal, his good judgment, his people skill and most importantly his anointing from God. As a result, the people grant him the freedom to decide and the authority to supervise and control.

 

“Whenever God wants to do a work, He chooses a man”.

 

1.5 Leaders that do not attend services regularly are not in one accord with the goal and vision of the Senior Pastor and leadership. They should never be excused or compromised with, there is no excuse, what so - ever. Such leaders should step a - side or give up their office, for others to take over.

 

1.6 If such leadership is provided by a group, it is because with - in that group there is someone who can provide such strong leadership first to the group and through that to the rest of the body. A committee or a board can never provide leadership.

 

2.  THE PURPOSE OF A HOME CELL:

 

2.1 What is a Home cell.

The home cell is the tool or vehicle whereby evangelism in the Church must be done. “If you do not evangelize you will fossilize”. It is also the way to incorporate and to develop new Christians to spiritual maturity and into the church. It provides fellowship, follow - up and nature of new Christians. The home cell operates through a home cell leader with one assistant home cell leader.

 

2.2 To equip the saints.

The home cell is the place to equip the members for the work of the ministry. To train and release every member as a missionary. “The choice is yours; you are a missionary or a mission field”. The cell leader also reduces pressure and responsibility on the pastor or minister. If members have a problem this can be sorted out on cell level. The home cell leader in conjunction with the pastor serves as a spiritual father.

 

2.3  It has a Biblical Foundation.

Churches were started out of houses. The New Testament uses the term ‘church’ for a gathering of Christians, the word ‘church’ appear 79 times in the New Testament. The word ‘church’ does not appear once in the Old Testament for believers. The Old Testament uses the term ‘congregation’ and this word appears 331 times in the Old Testament. Romans 16:5, ‘Likewise greet the church that is in their house’. Colossians 4:15, ‘Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea , and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house’. People went from house to house serving each other, Acts 2:46. 1 Corinthians 16:19, ‘The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house’.

 

2.4 Not a threat for spiritual growth.

The home cell and its leaders have a non - threatening environment for spiritual growth. It is a place to build strong, life changing relationships and is also a place for accountability. It initiates growth in the church; therefore the home cell attempts to multiply every 6 months. It is a place where the unsaved person is given the opportunity to see God’s work in the life’s of true believers and to establish Christian values and morals in their own lives. The cell meeting is a place of fellowship, ministry to one - another and outreach. Therefore relationships are of vital importance for cell growth and functioning.

 

DIFFERENT MODELS OF CHURCHES EXIST TODAY.

 

All churches are divided into two groups:

 

A. The program - based church.

 

B. The Cell - based church.

 

A.1 In a program based church the emphasis is on programs and getting people to enroll in church meetings and one Pastor runs the whole show, thinking he is in the will of God. As we will see God has never sent out one person alone to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have different denominations today. We are all to form part of the body of Christ. We must ensure that our denomination is not an abomination to God.

 

A program - based church has a 12% or no annual growth.

 

A.2 The program - based church has the idea that the church building is the ‘house of God’. This was based on the fact that in the Old Testament God had Priests and Prophets, He gave them instructions that a temple was to be build for Him. The nation had to go up to the house of God, so that the Priests and Prophets of God could speak to them. The Roman Catholic Church started with this idea again, in the year 1897. All the traditional churches followed. This concept has no Scriptural foundation in the New Testament. This is one of the main reasons why the church members are sitting, waiting for the Pastor to go and preach the Gospel to the unsaved. They are living in the groove of tradition. The Spirit of God dwelled in the Holy Ark that was with - in the temple. The believer is a type of the Ark.   The Spirit of God did not dwell in the building. “Are you living in the Book of Numbers, or in the Book of Acts”. Read your Bible - things have changed.

 

The seven last words of a dying church were: “It was never done this way before”. It was said, that the congregation of a church became so small when the minister said, “Dearly beloved” in his opening line of sermon, the old widow that sat on a pew thought that he was proposing.

 

A cell - based church have a 50% plus, annual growth, if there is proper home cell training and guidance.

 

B.1 The cell - based church believes that the believers are the ‘house of God’ and the ‘ temple of God ’. He makes His abode with - in us, permanently. We, do believe, that we have to have a building, or a place where we can have fellowship. The building is to keep us from the weather and to accommodate a multitude. This teaching has a solid Scriptural foundation as can be seen from the following Scriptures.

 

a.   a.  1 Timothy 3:15. “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God”. The Greek word for church is “ekklesia” 

        which means; gathering of the believers, congregation or His dwelling place.

b.   b.  Hebrews 3:6. “But Christ as a Son over his house, who we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope, firm to the end”.

c.   c.  1 Peter 2:5. “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house”.

d.   d.  1 Corinthians 3:9b. “You are God’s building. etc. No one can lay a better foundation, than Jesus Christ”.

e.   e.  John 2:19. “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”. He spoke of His body. This was the point when Jesus made the change.

f.    f.   1 Corinthians 3:16. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you”

g.   g.  1 Corinthians 6:19. “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God.

h.   h.  2 Corinthians 6:16b. “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, I will dwell in them and walk among them.”

i.    i.   Acts 7:48. “However, the most High does not live in temples made with hands, etc.”.

j.    j.   Acts 17:24. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

k.   k.   John 14:23b. “And We will come to him and make Our home with him”. This is what Jesus said.

       

There are many more Scriptures to proof what the Bible teaches. We are a house of living stones, built and woven together by the Holy Spirit of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. We are members and part of the body of Christ of which He is the head. No person must ever think that he or she is the head; the body does not have two heads. If we do not function in the body we are dead, we will be cut - off and thrown away. Jesus Himself said so.

 

B.2 Life and growth of the body is in cells + cells multiplying. Just as a human body consist of cells a cell - based church consists of home cells. As families are the basic building blocks of any community so the home cells are building blocks on which the whole church grows. The life, growth and support of the church take place in the home cells.

 

B.3 In a cell - based church the emphasis is on equipping people to do the work of the ministry. Jesus Himself gave instructions that every believer must go out and preach the gospel. Or am I missing something?

        

“A tree cannot live without branches and leaves”.

 

B.4 A cell - base church is more effective than program base churches because every member in a cell - base church will be engaged in the task required to make the church function. A cell - based church is based on the Scriptural concept of community. The essence of community is a sense of belonging. There is a powerful Christian camaraderie when people belong to each other in a home cell and the church. People look after one another and they share the ministry of reaching the unsaved as a community task.

 

B.5 The people in a cell - based church penetrate into the city, reaching people in more personal way than the program base church will ever be able to do. The cell - base church have a vision for reaching the entire city, not just a part of it. They seek to insert a home cell in every neighborhood. Their evangelism includes the powerful witness of Jesus Christ working within His body.

 

3.   REQUIREMENTS OF A HOME CELL LEADER:

 

The home cell leader must understand the concept with - in the Church. The leader must complete this home cell course. The Senior Pastor or the zone home cell leader can only appoint a home cell leader. It will happen that people in a Sunday meeting will be interested in joining a home cell, and then the cell leader of that area or zone will have to visit the person or people.

 

He or she must:

 

a.    Have a shepherd’s heart.

b.    Be a person of Godly character.

c.    Must live and understand the vision of the church.

d.    Must love and adhere to the leadership and pastor.

 

3.1   Portfolio of a home cell leader.

 

a.    He or she must be a leader.

b     He or she must be a pray - er.

c.    He or she must be a worshipper.

d.    He or she must be a local church member.

e.    He or she must attend all Sunday services.

f.     He or she must be a Bible believer and student.

g.    He or she must bond to the local Church and submit to authority of the Senior Pastor and leadership.

     

3.2  Typical week of a home cell leader.

 

 

       Weekday

Responsibility

Monday

Salvation follow up

Tuesday

Family night/Bible School

Wednesday

Home cell meeting

Thursday

Visitation

Friday

Youth night

Saturday

Family night

Sunday

Attend Sunday service

 

 

3.3  The home cell leader.

The home cell leader must be able to facilitate home cell meetings, focusing on discipling of cell members by sharing the Word, praise and worship, ministry, fellowship and the vision of the local Church.

 

3.4  The home cell leader must be a bonding agent.

 

a.   Bonding to Jesus Christ.

b.   Bonding to the Scriptures.

c.   Bonding into the home cell.

d.   Bonding to the Church.

 

3.5  The home cell leader must be able to see and raise up future cell leaders and to train them to take responsibility for new believers. The home cell leader must be able to facilitate growth and multiplication at least twice a year by establishing new members continuously.

 

The Leader must be able to facilitate evangelism through the home cell by targeting unsaved people and inviting them to Church meetings and home cell meetings.

 

4.   HOW TO START A HOME CELL:

 

4.1  The senior pastor or preacher must divide the town or city in - to zones.

 

4.2  The senior pastor or preacher appoints a home cell leader for each zone. If someone has the desire to start a home cell, this person can share his/her plans with the pastor or preacher. Make sure that you are able to be doing this. Do not be afraid that you will not have the necessary knowledge to do this. There are many Bible studies and material available to use.

 

4.3  Facilitate evangelism through the home cell by targeting unsaved people and inviting them to home cells and Church meetings. Each of us has a primary group which includes some of our relatives and some of our friends who relate to us through work, recreation, hobbies and neighbours. There are the people we talk to, relate to and share with, for at least a total of one hour per week.

 

4.4  The home cell is a Christian community. We must begin by recognizing that the primary assignment in a cell based church is to develop ‘basic Christian Communities’. Community takes place when there is a share life, allowing common goals and commitments to develop between members of a home cell. Community is the highest form of live in the universe. Even God as a Trinity lives in community. Because we were created in the image of God, we have an inherent desire to live in community. Satan’s desire is to destroy community. “Community brings unity”.

 

4.5  No community no Church. With the birth of the Church in the Book of Acts the people did not listen to sermons, neither did they organize Bible studies. There was no formal agenda. They had each other, their fellowship with one another was the essential ingredient of their time together. There ten days of sharing together was God’s way of helping acquaintances become a family. There could not be a Church until there was a community.

        

5.   HOW TO RUN A HOME CELL:

 

5.1  Preparing for the cell meeting.

Always spend 30 minutes pre - meeting prayer time with the Lord. Your assistant leader must also attend this prayer time. Remember: “To be prepared, one must always be pre - prayed”. Make sure that you always have your home cell hand book available. Make sure you have the admin forms required.

 

5.2 Do not leave everything for 30 minutes before the cell meeting starts. It is of vital importance to arrange chairs, music etc. before the members arrive. Spending time with God preparing your heart for a cell meeting is more important than preparing the lesson. Never preach mini sermons - talk to your members, do not put up a show.

 

6.   THE HOME CELL MEETING:

 

6.1 The purpose of the home cell meeting is four fold:

 

a.     To have people to feel welcome.

b.     To worship God in song and praise.

c.     To listen to God’s Word and grow spiritually.

d.     To become close friends with fellow brothers and sisters.

 

The cell meeting is a place of fellowship, ministry to one another and to reach out to each other. Therefore, relationships are of vital importance for cell growth and functioning. The home cell is a place where the members develop a passion for the lost. There is no excuse for a person to think that it is the Pastor’s duty to bring in the lost.

 

6.2 The function steps of a home cell.

 

1. Welcome  

Allow people to relax

People to people

2. Worship

Praise and Worship

People to God

3. Word

Sharing the Bible

Word to people

4. Tea and Coffee

Host and Hostess

No cake or snacks

 

6.2.1 Welcome - 15 minutes.

The purpose of the welcome step is to allow newcomers to feel at ease. The home cell leader may allow members to give short testimonies for the newcomers not to feel threatened. You might have only one chance to draw the attention of newcomers.

 

6.2.2 Worship - 15 minutes.

The cell leader or cell assistant must lead the praise and worship. Use two or three songs that you are familiar with. Worship is to release the manifest presence of the Lord. As we pour out our hearts to glorify the Lord, He inhabits those praises and reveals His presence in a very special way among His people. In His presence we find new strength, new hope, restoration, salvation and deliverance. A time of worship will provide an atmosphere for the manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and consequently for dynamic ministry to take place, for the purpose of edification.

 

6.2.3 Word - 30 minutes.

The main purpose in sharing the Word is to grow spiritually and to glorify Jesus Christ. If the cell leader did not prepare something to share he/she can discuss the previous Sunday service message. You may also answer questions that some members do not understand. If the cell leader is not able to answer certain questions someone more experienced can be called in.

 

6.2.4 Works - 15 minutes.

With this time members can learn to know each other better on an open level. Do not suggest cake or snacks. Sometimes this can turn into a competition.

 

7.  CHARACTER OF A HOME CELL:

a.   The home cell is like a family unit.

b.   There is real love for one another.

c.   The Holy Spirit is welcome and the Gifts operate.

d.   Members have respect for the cell leader and assistant.

e.   The members have respect for each other and share each other’s problems.

 

7.1 The working of the Holy Spirit in the home cell.

The work of the Holy Spirit is always attached to needs. In a home cell it is important for needs to surface so that the Holy Spirit can minister unto us. If the heart and motive of the home cell leader and members are not in tune with God it will only lead to a social gathering. It is the cell leaders responsibility to see that all things be done in the right order. Be aware of people wanting to do things in the flesh, example; ‘falling in the flesh’ etc.

 

7.2 The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

There is no better place for Spiritual Gifts to be developed than in a home cell. Spiritual Gifts transport the power required to perform a task. The home cell must never be viewed as a social gathering or group with Scriptural knowledge simply sharing emotional needs with some form of Bible study. They must function on the level of the Spirit and that means they must operate through the activity of the Spiritual Gifts. Uninvolved people do not reach Spiritual maturity.

 

Before Spiritual Gifts can be manifested in the home cell for building up one another, members must be able to hear the voice of God in their hearts. The members must not only talk to the Lord in prayer, but also hear from Him in the process. The Spiritual Gifts are provided in order that the body of Christ may grow. The home cell must become completely dependent of the Holy Spirit.

 

7.3 Handling challenges in the home cell meeting.

Most challenges occur in the beginning of the life of a home cell. They may include the following:

 

a.    People are not punctual. Start on planned time, with or without late - comers.

b.    Do not allow people to walk around once the cell meeting has started. Unless very urgent.

c.     Have people to forget about anything outside to distract their attention.

d.    Serve, if, refreshments, only after the cell meeting. This is to save valuable time.

e.    You might have someone in your cell that wants to take over because they are power hungry. ‘People under authority are people of authority’.

f.     There might be sin in the camp. One person’s sinful habit might affect the lives of everyone else in the cell. Identify the sin. Hate the sin, not the person. Call for repentance in the whole cell. Once the

       sin is dealt with, forgive, and forget and move on. If any person does not want to adhere ask him/her not to come back to the cell meeting. If the meeting is held in such a person’s house, have it

       somewhere else.

g.    Prepare your members from the beginning that the cell will divide after six months. If your cell does not want to get to the point to want to multiply. They might say, “but we’re only getting to know each other”. Tell them that each one of them must be prepared to have their own cell one day.

 

7.4 Know the plan that the enemy has.

Satan’s strongest weapons against God’s work are of the following:

 

a.   Scriptural ignorance.

b.   Illegitimate relationships in the congregation. Be very careful here.

c.   Poverty. Remember to be broke is temporary, poverty is a state of mind.

 

8.  CARE GROUPS IN THE HOME CELL:

When to give special attention, inside your home cell.

    

     a.    When member does not attend Sunday meetings, find out, why. Phone or visit them.

     b.    When members are ill or in hospital - visit them.

     c.    When needs arise - food shortage, petrol money etc.

     d.    When a marital crisis arises - counsel couple, or inform Senior Pastor.

     e.    When you receive a death call - visit them. Support the family emotionally. Inform other church

            members and senior pastor. Support family with meals and accommodation of family members.

     f.     On birthdays, stork teas, kitchen teas or weddings.

 

When to give special attention, outside your home cell.

     a.    When other home cells needs help.

     b.    When social welfare in the church needs help.

     c.    When senior pastor has a request for, follow up - visitation.

     d.    People that are divorced or widowed.

     e.   Sexually/physically abused people.

     f.     Drug addicts/alcoholics.

     g.    Prostitutes/sex - workers.

 

9.  HOME CELL MULTIPLICATION OR SPLIT:

Home cell ministry must lead to home cell multiplication and so church expansion. The assistant leader is the one to branch of starting his/her own home cell. The main purpose of each member of the home cell is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to invite people to the home cell and Sunday services. The home cell must raise up future leaders and to train others to take responsibility for new believers.

 

Home cell must multiply. Home cell ministry must lead to cell multiplication and ultimately to church growth. It is therefore important to set measurable goals at both the Church and cell levels. The home cell must multiply every six months. If you aim at nothing you will definitely hit nothing. For the church to grow the members must be vision and goal oriented.

 

9.1 Maximum membership.

The home cell membership must not exceed 12 members, including the leader and assistant leader. This excludes children up to 18 years. The key principal is that every cell member is seen as a potential leader.

        

9.2 The life cycle of a home cell.

The life span of a healthy home cell is 6 months.

 

Phase 1:  Birth and infancy. 2 Weeks.

Members focus on the idea of a home cell and multiplication.

 

Phase 2:  Childhood 2 weeks.

Members focus on what the home cell can do for them. Spiritual growth. 

 

Phase 3:  Teenage. 4 months.

Members lay aside and down personal needs and focus on Jesus Christ.

 

Phase 4:  Maturity. 2 weeks.

Turn the attention of the people in the home cell outwards. Invite new friends or family to home cell and Sunday meetings.

 

Phase 5:  Old age. 2 weeks.

Multiplication must take place. Assistant leader must branch off or take over. 

 

10.  HOME CELL ADMINISTRATION:

 

Filing system.

Having a good filing system is vital to function effectively as a home cell leader. There are certain forms and information that you will need to have in a file to ensure that names, addresses and important data and dates are not lost.

Have the following in your file.

 

     a.  Cell member data list - new members.

     b.  Attendance register of your cell members.

     c.  Welcome and journey guide pamphlets or tracts.

     d.  Home cell leader’s notes of Bible study or sermon preached in church.

 

Submit weekly attendance register and new member data list, on home cell, to department leader. Have home cell leaders meeting once a month.

                                                            Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

                                                               Order in the Congregation

                                                                   Ministry Department

                                                                      THIS PAGE TOP