Unit 3: The Second Wave: South American Innovations
Lecture: Introduction to the Second Wave
Pastors from all over the world were going to Seoul, Korea, to learn about the cell system at Yoido Full Gospel Central Church. They came home filled with fire and enthusiasm and began to adapt the cell system to their own cultural situations. In South America this led to sufficient new forms of cell life that I believe that it is correct to speak of a second wave of cell innovation taking place. Three churches will serve as examples of the second wave in our class: the Elim Church of El Salvador, the International Charismatic Mission (ICM) of Columbia and the example in the United States of Bethany World Prayer Center of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The primary authority on the second wave is Joel Comiskey. Joel was born in 1956 and grew up in Long Beach, California. After pastoral ministry in Long Beach 1982-1989 that included pioneering an inner city church plant, Joel and Celyce Comiskey left in 1990 for missionary service with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Ecuador, South America, to work as a church planter, pastor and teacher. He established a cell ministry in El Batán which added 450 new members, planted a daughter church from El Batán in 1994 that grew from 150 to 1000 in 6 years (10 cells to 200 cells), and joined the pastoral team of the La Luz Church as consultant in 2000, where church attendance grew from 120 to 200+ and cells from 10‑50+. While continuing to serve as a missionary, Joel earned a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1997 and taught graduate seminary level classes in Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú. His first book, Home Cell Group Explosion: How Your Small Group Can Grow and Multiply was published by Touch in 1998 and has sold over 90,000 copies. In 2001 the Comiskeys returned for ministry in the U.S. and planted a cell church in Moreno Valley, California. The Joel Comiskey Group was started in 2002 to Aequip churches to complete the great commission by providing resources and coaching to plant new cell churches and transition existing churches to cell-based ministry.@
I was privileged to meet Joel in
2002 when he taught our Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry cell church planting
class for two days. A vast amount of Joel=s
research and writing is available online at http://www.joelcomiskeygroup.com/
and I appreciate permission from Joel to quote directly from that material
in these presentations so that you may hear these ideas in their most authentic
These direct quotes from online materials will usually be identified by printing sentences in italics with the source usually identified in the context or by footnote. Sources for Joel=s quotes will be found in the original.
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.