“And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread AT HOME, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart…” – Acts. 2:46
“But the multitudes perceiving it followed him: and HE WELCOMED them, and spake to them of the kingdom of God, and them that had need of healing he cured. And the day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages and country round about, and lodge, and get provisions: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy food for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each. And they did so, and made them all sit down. And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake; and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they ate, and were all filled: and there was taken up that which remained over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.” – Luke 9: 11-17
One of the things that was predominant in the times of the early church was the home church, also referred to as the small church; and mostly known now as Cell Fellowships or Groups. Aside from days that they gathered in the temple, they also gathered together at home or in small or large groups in open spaces.
Luke 9:11-17 shows to us that Jesus was always concerned and cared for the people that always gathered around Him. When He was alive on earth, He was the man of the people; He was always interested in the welfare of the people. For this reason, that Jesus cared and still cares, the church exists to extend this concern and interest to the people and their needs. The needy and the hurting should be taken care of by the church, BUT before needs can be recognised and met there must be proper order! In the text above, Jesus asked that the people sit in 50s so that everyone can be fed and no one be left out. Same should apply in the church; order must exist for needs to be met. Order precedes help and multiplication. This is where the importance of the CELL GROUPS come in.
What are CELL GROUPS?
Cell groups are small groups that meet once weekly with the purpose of developing their personal growth centred on the word of God.
It is a small teaching centre where the Scriptures are taught in a simple and practical way; where people are one for God.
MAKE-UP OF THE CELL GROUP:
- The Host, that is, the person that opens up his door so that his home might be used for cell.
- The Cell Leader.
- One of two people who are learning or are being trained to lead for days when the cell leader will not be available.
- The Participants
WHY CELL GROUPS EXIST
- Cell groups are Biblical. Matt. 9:10. Jesus continually ministered in houses and people came to listen.
- Healings and miracles took place in houses that Jesus went to minister. Matt. 9:23, 24 tells us of the damsel that was raised from the dead in the ruler’s house.
- Jesus used houses as training centres for His disciples. Mark 9:31-37. Practical teachings take place in house fellowships and there is room and time to share experiences and solve personal problems.
Therefore we see that cell groups exist, not just because they are Biblical, but also because healings and miracles take place and there is adequate time for training and sharing of experiences. Anyone who does not attend or belong to one of the cell groups made available in the church is depriving himself of all the good things that takes place there.
Being a part of a cell group helps relieve some of the burden on the Pastor, as cell leaders can monitor and are aware of their cell members’ activities. Cell leaders help to hold up the hands of the Pastor, just like Moses’ hands were held up by Aaron and Hur; which enabled the Israelites to win the battle against the Amalekites.
Opening the door of your house to host a cell group is like having them bring the Ark of God into your house. It invites God’s presence into your home. Relationships are formed in cell groups; sense of belonging, identity and responsibility exist. It is an effective care system. Spiritual gifts are identified and used. It is also a way of evangelism, as you can easily invite your neighbours.
Acts. 20:20. Even though teaching publicly and in the church is very important, so is teaching in houses. The house church is part of the deal of having a healthy church. It is an integral part of the church life. The success of the church greatly depends on the cell groups and how effective they are.
If you still think the cell/home/house fellowship is not important to you, check out HOW SIGNIFICANT THE CELL GROUP IS:
- Matt. 26:17-19 – The Passover night/last supper took place in a house. It was a fellowship with Jesus’ disciples IN A HOUSE!
- ACTS. 2: 2-4 – The first out-pouring of the Holy Spirit took place IN A HOUSE!
To be a partaker of the many blessings of miracle, teaching, love and filling of the Holy Spirit, don’t just be a church member, be a cell group member also! God bless you.