Practical Information on Managing Home Cells
There are two main schools of thought on cells: cells through dividing and cells through the mama cell, or the G12. Let us take a look at each of these and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- When we divide cells, we literally break up an existing group. This is often experienced in a very emotional way as members tend to “gel” because of share personality traits or other things they have in common.
- Splitting a group requires that you have identified, and trained, another member to act as a home cell leader. If this has not been done, the new home cell leader is going to find it difficult to manage his group.
- While some will understand the need for splitting groups, and it can be effective if done right, there are many risks involved, the biggest being that a forced split will result in people simply leaving the group altogether.
The Mama Cell (G12)
Jesus had 12 disciples. While he had an inner group (James, John, and Peter in most cases), he never lost touch with the other nine members of the group. Effective communication was key, and He would involve them by asking direct questions. These men were trained to go out and make disciples on their own.
In the mama cell, we have a core group consisting of home cell leaders who are guided by an experienced home cell leader. In turn, these home cell leaders have their own home cells. Typically, the home cell will gather for three successive weeks, and then take a break. This break week is when the home cell leaders return to the Mama cells. In a way, these leaders now become followers, for one week. It is a good approach as it allows the home cell leader to also receive, and not just give. Thus, there is movement inwards and outward where the members move between their own home cell where they are in charge and guide others, while also getting to opportunity to move to the Mama cell.
I am of the opinion that the G12 method is the more practical way to go and will therefor focus on this. We must always remember not to have a group more than 12 to 15 people in a cell, mainly for effective communication, but also for other practical constraints. It is also called the Mama cell. Even this number is bordering on being too high and I would advise a group to house no more than the number that can be accommodated in your home without having to re-arrange your living environment. Here are some guidelines you can use.
- If you have a typical living room that can seat six people, then this is the number you have to stick with.
- Consider that you do not want to make anyone feel that they are an add-on, if they have to sit on a chair that is not normally part of the seating arrangement.
- Given crime rates in any typical area, your premises should accommodate vehicles safely, without group members having to worry about their vehicles. Thus, carefully consider how many members you can accommodate, based on the available parking space.
- Your home cells is not the time and place to see who can make the best snacks! It is not in competition with other home cells in your church. Consider that members may arrive at your home directly from the office and may not have had supper yet. You need to offer them something, but do not go overboard, else the food becomes the focus, not the Word of God.
- Watch your available time carefully.
The Great Commission and the Multiplication Process
Discuss the “great commission” as found in Matthew 28:19, as well as the multiplication process (2 Timothy 2:2).
Home cell format
Any cell format will consist of the following:
- Welcome and “ice breaker” for 10-15 minutes.
- Worship for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Word teaching for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Works for 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep yourself in check
As cell leader you must try to avoid the following:
- This is not your time to preach. Let the members discuss.
- Do not allow one person to dominate the conversation.
- Involve the quiet person with direct questions.
- Stay within the time allowed.
- If you cannot lead the worship, arrange another person to do that.
Here is something to think about: The people that you “work” with belong to Jesus and it was He who died for them! Lead and teach them to bring glory to Him.