Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho of Seoul, Korea made the model of cell groups popular for churches. With a church of several hundred thousands I’m sure it was needed for the people to feel connected. Many churches around the world have taken that cell group model and adapted it to their use.
Some churches have made their cell groups into geographical or neighborhood groupings. Others into “like interest” i.e: parents with young children, parents with teenagers, seniors, business leaders/owners, teachers, etc.
I got to thinking about biblical cell groups and wondered if I truly even wanted to be in one! The first one that came to mind was Paul and Silas. Now that was truly a cell group! Only two. Oh, wait … there were three … Jesus was there! Don’t know that I would want to be in that group. They had been beaten and thrown into the prison cell. Not just thrown but had feet in stocks. What would they have done with a cramp in their leg? BUT … their group was quite successful in that they got out of their cell group! How? They prayed and sang to the Lord and the other prisoners were listening to them. I wonder if they were thinking “how can they sing in this situation?”!
Suddenly there was an earthquake and all the doors were opened and the bonds were loosed! I wonder, did they sing THAT loudly? They didn’t use this as a means to escape but as an opportunity to minister! (Acts 16).
Then there was Peter in his cell group (Acts 12). He was alone, well, not quite. There were sixteen guards watching over him plus a few angels who were keeping quiet until everybody fell asleep. I guess maybe it might be OK to sleep in a cell group meeting? Well Peter did! And so did the guards. I don’t think that was proper guard duty but they weren’t too worried… Peter was sleeping between them, bound with chains and sentries at the door! Nap time. Now it’s quiet. Dark. Perhaps some snores. THEN an angel of the Lord stood next to him, a light filled the cell, the angel struck Peter on the side waking him up, told him to get up quickly and Peter obeyed! Yeah for Peter! Then the chains fell off (guards were sleeping soundly!!) … the angel told him to get dressed quickly and to put on his shoes because they were going to go for a walk and get out of jail free!
Peter didn’t even think he was awake. He thought he was having a vision! They walked right past the first and second guards and then came to the iron gate leading into the city. The gate opened by itself, they went down one street and the angel disappeared. WOW! That was some cell group escape!
Let’s see … then, there was Joseph’s cell group. Goodness he had been having quite a streak of bad “luck” for several years! Now he finds himself in prison and he’s the only believer. But he didn’t sit down and think, “I’ve no one to fellowship with so I think I’ll just give up!” No, he found others that he could help. Even in his cell the “Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:21, ESV). The Lord used Joseph IN the prison cell “until the time…”. God had a purpose for Joseph in his cell group and He had a time for his release.
Then there was Jeremiah in his prison cell and finally thrown in a dungeon of mud (Jeremiah 37 & 38). Daniel in his cell of lions (Daniel 6)! Samson because of his disobedience was in a prison cell but there he repented and brought about a great victory for the Israelites in his death (Judges 16).
If we truly want to follow the biblical example for cell groups maybe we should all be put in prison? I have concluded that for me … maybe I don’t want to be a part of a biblical cell group! I might want to stick to one that teaches me how to live for Jesus right here on this planet until He comes for me!
(Most of my “Connie’s Contemplations” have been serious thoughts on my part. Some of them however (such as this one!) is a little more on the humorous side such as was my “God’s Tattoos”. So this was written with tongue in cheek!)