OBSERVATIONS, QUOTES AND ASSUMPTIONS: Agree or disagree?
A. The world’s largest churches are built around networks of small groups called cells. Joel Comiskey defines a cell church as “‘a church that has placed evangelistic small groups at the core of its ministry.’ The word ‘evangelistic’ is crucial to this definition.” Organizing in this manner seems to be necessary for growth over 20,000 members to occur. Cell churches are highly organized to accomplish their evangelistic task and work in both prevenient and sanctifying grace. While each cell will differ, the common purpose is always to directly help people find Christ, grow in spiritual maturity and make their own disciples.
B. Cell Churches are highly organized and disciplined. This raises the level of quality and competence, and the church grows to fill that capacity. Cells are far more than small groups. Cells are linked by a highly effective supervisory structure that carefully manages growth and overcomes resistance to change. If this supervisory structure is not built, growth will plateau due to a competency limit. The larger size of a gigantic cell church requires that it be organized in a different way in order to function at a high level of quality.
 The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.
   
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.
Steve Cordle, Church In Many Houses: Reaching Your Community Through Cell-Based Ministry (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005), 22. Steve Cordle is pastor of Crossroads United Methodist Church, http://www.crossroadsumc.org/ (accessed June 14, 2007).