A Vision for Cells
A Vision for Cells
Pastor Keith Hassell
Foundation Scripture: Matthew 9:36-38; Ephesians 4:11-12
I. The North American Church in crisis (McAlvany Intelligence Advisor)
A. Four thousand churches close in the U.S. each year.
B. Three thousand five hundred people leave the church every day, committed not to return.
C. Eighty-five percent of churches in the U.S. have reached a plateau or are decreasing.
D. Twelve percent are growing by means of transfer growth from people of other churches.
E. Three percent are growing by conversion growth.
F. One-half of all churches failed to add one person to their membership by conversion.
G. One-half of all ministry students leave the ministry within five years of graduation.
H. One hundred sixty-seven to one hundred eighty-seven million non-Christians live in North America, making it the fourth largest mission field in the world.
I. The Church is growing on every continent except North America.
II. There is a misconception that is going around today. It says that there is no one wanting to get saved. The truth is: The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. If the church does not experience growth, then it is not because sinners do not want to be saved, but it is because saints are not doing the work.
A. Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge held a three-day drama called “Heavens Gates and Hells Flames” that ended up lasting three weeks. During that time over 18,000 decisions were recorded. They did their best to connect these people into their few cell groups and into other churches. Their church only retained five percent of the harvest. The point was clear: We are not ready for the harvest. Either we prepare for the harvest or we get run over.
B. If we believe that God is going to send us the harvest when we pray for the harvest, then do we demonstrate our faith by preparing for the harvest?
C. Noah was warned about a coming flood and prepared an ark of salvation. God has told us that the fields are white unto harvest, yet no one seems interested in preparing the vessels that can contain the harvest when it comes.
III. The Harvest is coming
A. The lost will be saved
B. The backsliders will come home
C. The broken will be healed
D. The captives will be delivered
E. The spiritually blind will begin to see again
F. The oppressed will be liberated
G. The barns will be full. The nets will be filled.
IV. The Church is not prepared
A. To activate every member into the work of the ministry
B. To work together as a team
C. To minister to the needs of the harvest when they come
D. To follow up on visitors and new converts
E. To connect members, newcomers, and visitors into meaningful relationships.
1. Eight weeks is the life span of a visitor in a church if relationships are not developed
F. To disciple new converts
G. To minister effectively to existing members
H. To train and develop new leaders
V. Our Purpose Statement: Our purpose is to know Jesus and to make Him known.
VI. Our Mission Statement: Our mission is to win souls and make disciples.
VII. What must we do to fulfill our purpose and accomplish our mission?
A. Recognize that the traditional church model is not working.
B. Recognize that if we do not change then we will miss and lose the harvest
C. We must discover a new model for ministry (new wine skin)
1. It must be Biblical
2. It must be simple
3. It must be practical
4. It must incorporate the entire Body
5. It must be effective
6. It must be able to survive a hostile culture
7. It must be reproducible
8. It must enable us to fulfill the Great Commission
D. We must prepare leaders for the new model
E. We must transition from the old into the new
F. We must do it NOW!
VIII. A look at the Early Church
A. Matthew 28:16-20 (The Great Commission) Jesus tells eleven disciples to preach the Gospel to all the world
B. Acts 1:8 Jesus reminds the disciples that the Holy Spirit will come to empower them. 120 receive this power to be witnesses in the upper room in Acts 2:1-4.
C. Acts 2:41 Three thousand people were saved in one day! (Harvest time!)
D. Acts 2:46-47 Over three thousand new believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit are meeting together daily in the temple (public worship) and in their homes (fellowship and discipleship).
E. Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
IX. Our Vision Statement: Our vision is souls and cells.
A. Winning souls without cells is as irresponsible as having babies and leaving them on the front porch to live on their own.
B. Cells are families of believers. Psalm 68:6 “God sets the solitary in families.”
C. Cells are not another program in the church. They are the church.
D. Cells do not exist to support the church organization. The church organization exists to support the cells.
E. Two Components:
1. Cells during the week (soul-winning, discipleship, fellowship, raising up new leaders)
2. Celebration services on Sundays (Corporate worship, word, corporate anointing in ministry, and prayer)
X. God’s plan is to use the saints to reach the harvest (Ephesians 4:11-12)
A. God has raised up apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip you to do the work of the ministry.
B. The equipping is taking place now
1. Every morning and evening service.
2. Every corporate prayer time we hold.
3. Every cell group that takes place.
4. Every outreach opportunity that is planned
5. Every clean up that takes place here at the church.
6. Every Christianity 101 Lesson that is completed
7. Every Encounter Seminar that takes place
8. Every Discipleship 201 Lesson that is completed
9. Every Discovery Seminar that takes place
10. Every Leadership 301 class that is attended
11. Every Champion’s Retreat we go on
12. Every leadership meeting we hold
C. God is equipping those who will to be equipped
XI. The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:36-38)
A. The harvest will be won or lost based on the labor force that is raised up.
B. Time is running out.
1. Souls are slipping into hell without Jesus
2. Families are failing because there was no one to help
3. Lives are wasted because no one was willing to disciple and train others
4. Night is coming when no one can work
C. We must pray for God to raise up laborers.
D. We must be willing to be those laborers.
E. We must begin NOW.