Key Principles of Cell Church Planting

Church Planting

by Joel Comiskey

Summer 2011

by Joel Comiskey

While more people can lead smaller cell church plants, there are still key principles to follow when planting a cell church. Here are a few of them:

Calling of God: The calling to be the lead pastor of a church plant is beyond leading a single cell. A cell leader answers to the supervisor or pastor of the church. The church planter has ultimate responsibility before God for a particular local church. I believe God’s calling to plant a cell church includes both husband and wife. I’ve seen several church plants fail because the wife was not 100% committed to make it work. On the other hand, I find great joy watching church planting couples work side by side in whole-hearted devotion.

Fervent prayer: Spirituality really does matter. Techniques and strategies won’t sustain a church plant over the long haul. Fervent prayer and dependency does. I’m not only referring to the devotional lives of husband and wife but also to the emphasis on corporate prayer in the church.

Contact : Study and prayer are essential but effective church planters get out of the closet / office and on to the street. As a coach of church planters, I like to hold them accountable for the number of outside contacts made each week, whether in the neighborhood, Starbucks, or the local auto repair shop. Bivocational church planters are especially blessed to have a network of non-Christians with whom they can build relationships.

Persistence and patience: These two words go together. Most church planters want to see more growth than they are currently experiencing. Yet, I’ve seen church planters fail by demanding too much of their people too quickly. One church planter quit in frustration becuase his people didn’t respond quickly enough to leading new cell groups. He gave them an ultimatim, and when they didn’t respond to his promptings, he left the church plant. Don’t do this. Church planters should patiently persist until God gives the growth. I’m not referring to sitting around and waiting for God to move. Rather, a church planter should do everything possible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reach out while ultimately trusting God to stir hearts and give growth.

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Joel Comiskey