How It’s Done: Faith Communities
Cho writes, “the number one requirement for having real church growth – unlimited church growth – is to set goals” (158). Without goals to bring a teleological focus, trends lapse into cycles of stability in church systems and numeric growth halts. Without the organizing power of goals, the interest in making disciples wanes, the interest in training laity as disciple makers wanes and the network of cells falls apart or shifts focus to fellowship. Cho uses goals to keep the church focused to bring thousands of lost sheep home to the Shepherd (73-74, 158). As the church grows, relationships remain intimate and personal; each new Christian is personally known to their cell leader and lovingly supported by the faith community of the cell. Cells prosper under the careful management and leadership development of the mother church.
Yoido as a faith community evolved to fulfill goals set in motion by the pastor. The four common priorities of the cell church evolved to meet Cho’s goals for growth:
Priority #1: If Jesus is Lord, then specific goals result from prayer and reading scripture.
Priority #2: The Great Commission is for every Christian; all church activity is subordinated to it.
Priority #3: Christians are trained to be obedient disciples and then disciple makers (Mt 28:20).
Priority #4: Cells are the preferred and primary means of making disciples.
Yoido has created a faith community
that makes disciples and disciple makers as standard operating procedure. There is no need for a “revival,” or special
emphasis, Cho declares; with the cell approach, there is revival every day in
every neighborhood. All that is needed for an increase in conversions is to
just motivate the cell leaders (80). The constant threat of a communist
invasion of South Korea also helped motivate the development of a decentralized
church functioning as a network of cells under capable leaders (82).
These priorities were introduced and explained in more detail in the Unit 1 lecture, Faith Communities, Discipleship Systems and Healthy Core Groups. They are the topic of Module Two in Seminar One: Diagnosis found at www.disciplewalk.com/resources, pp. 10-23. Cell churches vary on their implementation of the priorities.
NOTE (my response)
The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html
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.