No Christian is called to be a lone ranger. At the same time, the cell group is more than a feel-good social club; it is a vital basic unit of the Body of Christ.
By Clinton Dixon
Cell group. For a new believer, the very term conjures up visions of prison bars and solitary confinement. Go ahead and laugh, but these were real concerns considering my church back in New Zealand was 15 minutes’ drive from a maximum security prison!
I still remember my first cell group meeting—walking into a roomful of future friends, my nerves and apprehension greeted with nothing short of handshakes, smiles and open hearts. Over the years, I have belonged to many other cell groups, but it was only last week that I truly understood the importance and purpose of a cell group in the overall body of Christ: to provide a biblical environment for members to build solid relationships.
These relationships, in turn, provide a solid context for us to minister to each other and be ministered to, in both our practical and spiritual needs. As Ps. Bobby taught us, “When you are building up people, you are building God’s church,”—and that can only happen when we have a relationship with others. We all have met at the cross and that cross experience has taught us we can’t walk with Christ alone.
Over the last seven months my family and I have endured many challenges, changes and uncertainties as we set to establish ourselves here in Singapore. One of the few certainties we did have is CHC, our amazing cell group N449 and its amazing cell group leader, Gerald, who went out his way to integrate my family into the group and help us get to the meetings through his frequent pickups. His help went a long way in establishing my family and I in the church and without that I would not be attending SOT and (ahem) writing this blog. Thanks Gerald, for being that extra mile sort of guy.
And then there are the oddball moments that you can only experience as part of a cell group. I remember leading a group in my New Zealand church many years ago, and I was having a hard time finding a venue to host the meeting. We ended up using the birthday party room at the local Burger King restaurant (Jesus please forgive me).
So imagine trying to get spiritual in a room full of Elvis and Marilyn portraits, flashing neon signs and “Blue Suede Shoes” playing from a glowing jukebox in the corner … our Amens were fighting for airspace with the many “Would like fries with that order?” coming from the counter. And out of nowhere, in strolled one of our church elders to observe the meeting.
On her face was an expression of equal parts concern, compassion and disbelief (it might have been even worse if we hadn’t taken off the party hats five minutes earlier). On the plus side, supper was just a few steps away and we didn’t have to clean up after ourselves!
Humor aside, actions do speak louder than words and I sincerely believe the level of commitment to our cell group mirrors our commitment to the body of Christ. Take a step of faith. Join a cell group if you haven’t, and make a difference in it. Be part of something that’s bigger than yourself because Christ’s cause is your cause.
Clinton is married to Grace, has two young boys and is fast approaching middle age (but don’t tell anyone else). He hails from the land of the long white cloud—New Zealand—and admits to having very little understanding of The Lord Of The Rings. Through his studies at SOT, he is seeking to find God’s true calling on his life.