March 2016

JCG Newsletters

The War Room: the Priority of Prayer

The War Room: the Priority of Prayer

My daughter Nicole and I were in Reynosa, Mexico in January and noticed that the movie War Room was playing in Spanish in a major theater. This movie about prayer and spiritual warfare is now making an international impact after breaking Christian box office records in the U.S. It’s amazing that God is using such a deeply spiritual Christian movie to remind people that prayer changes lives.

Prayer is essential, both personally and corporately as a church, and I often forget this fact. My wife Celyce often says to me, "Joel, remember to tell pastors that commitment to prayer is the main thing." Celyce knows from experience that prayer power drives successful cell churches. She also knows that I can easily forget this truth and start overemphasizing the technical side of cell church ministry.

Prayer is like oxygen. To breathe normally, we must be permeated with prayer. It doesn’t matter whether a pastor is starting a cell church or is in transition to the cell church strategy, prayer has to be the first step. Prayer dependence should be seen in the cell as well as in the larger body-not just one or the other. Cell prayer and church-wide prayer provide the one-two punch to the cell driven church.

Many churches feel little need for prayer because the programs and techniques are so effective. As long as the worship team performs, the pastor preaches a relevant message, and the administration flows without a hitch, everyone feels satisfied. As you examine these churches, however, you’ll notice a fatal flaw: the lack of transformed lives. There is no power. Even God seems scheduled on the church calendar.

The first and foremost solution for personal growth and church-wide transformation is prayer–a humble, radical crying out to God for help. Commitment to prayer obliterates pride and forces us to rely solely on God Himself. It teaches us to depend on Him before looking at strategies–even cell ministry

In the month of March, we’ll be exploring the topic of prayer and the cell church. Experienced cell church pastors will be blogging on this topic throughout the month of March. If you’d like to receive these blogs daily in your email, please register here. We’ll be covering the the following themes:

• Week 1 (March 06-12). The movie War Room. We will talk about how this movie has brought spiritual warfare to the attention of many.
• Week 2 (March 13-19). The leader’s personal devotions, whether pastor or cell leader. Spending time with Jesus each day was the main correlation in my Ph.D. study for cell leader effectiveness.
• Week 3 (March 20-26). Prayer shield for leaders. Peter Wagner’s book Prayer Shield is an essential book. Wagner promotes asking people to form a prayer shield and then nurturing that prayer shield through prayer requests and communication. Forming my own prayer shield was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
• Week 4 (March 27-April 02). Prayer in the church; church-wide prayer is powerful. I was just listening to the audio version of Heaven is for Real and rejoiced in God’s answer to church-wide prayer for healing of the 4-year old boy (main character in story). We need to be constantly reminding the readers about the importance of church wide prayer.
How has prayer changed your own life? How are you implementing prayer in your church? Please feel free to comment here.

Joel Comiskey;
1-888-511-9995 (toll free in U.S. and Canada); 1-951-567-3394 (international calls)

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Joel Comiskey’s new book, Children in Cell Ministry, can now be purchased here.  

27 videos on cell church from Joel Comiskey

  • There are 27 videos on all aspects of cell church (with downloadable resources) on Ministry Grid. Check it out

Free Ebook byJoel Comiskey and small group health assessment

  • Free Ebook from Joel Comiskey (Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church). Joel’s book is available at the end of the Thriving Small Groups Assessment. There is no catch to this. We are not asking for your contact information or trying to up-sell anything. At the end of the assessment, you will also discover the health of your small groups. I think you’ll find both of this free resources extremely helpful.

Joel Comiskey’s new book: 2000 Years of Small Groups 

Bill Beckham’s new books

Audio books (Click here)