Cells for beginners

Why form a cell?

You Will Benefit

People grow into who they were meant to be and are healed from what they have been when they participate in mutual relationships of love and truth. Life is more than work or recovering from your job. Being part of a group that has your best interests at heart is not only fun, it also deepens your experience of life.

Others Will Benefit

The world can be a lonely and hurting place, so Jesus called out people to form the church. A cell is a “micro” church in which people come together to make a safe place for others to find love and explore truth. You are important to others.

A Vision for a Better World

People have problems. The whole world has problems. How can we each be part of solving them? It won’t be by merely sitting alone and looking out for ourselves. Joining with others to explore life’s possibilities and solutions can bring remarkable results, whether you are a believer or not. Joining a cell group means being part of a team of people committed to you and committed to making a difference.

How do cells work?

Everyone Helps Set Direction

After several meetings for getting acquainted, your cell group will make a covenant together that spells out the specifics: when you meet and what your group is all about—no surprises!

Each group will have its own unique character that reflects the people who join it. Each cell includes, in varying degrees: time for mutual support, time for learning, and possibly a time for caring for people outside the group. The specific combination will be decided by each cell group.

Healthy Cells Multiply

Our cells are not permanent arrangements. They grow like the building blocks of the body they are. We expect that new friends will be added until there are enough people to form two circles of ten.

This multiplication has continued until groups of cells all over Philadelphia have become the foundation for four congregations in our network. Your cell has a vital role to play in extending the kingdom of God in Philly.

A Cell Has a Leadership Team

Each Cell Leader is a member of the Leadership Team of Circle of Hope. S/He is accountable to our pastors, to the other Cell Leaders, and to your Cell.

An apprentice leader is working with your leader. S/He will probably lead a group when your group multiplies. Each group also has a host/ess.

They Are Easy to Enter

If you are interested in joining a specific cell, contact a Cell Leader or one of the members of the group at any time. Please visit our website at www.circleofhope.net for more information regarding Cell Leader contact info. Anyone will help connect you with a Cell Leader.

If at any time you no longer wish to be part of a group, or want to change groups, that’s OK—the choice is always yours.

A circle of ten

If you are already a follower of Jesus, be sure to read this:

When Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you,” he was serious. So are we. We want to be a community in which people get an opportunity to be knit together in love. If you follow Jesus, you are probably figuring out how to be an authentic part of a living church, because, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

We are always growing cells, so that new groups are available for friends and acquaintances to be included, encouraged, loved and healed, as well as given the opportunity to learn and share. We’d like to keep expanding an authentic church in this way.

The Bible says that the earliest Christians “continued to meet together in the temple courts” [publicly, in a large group for worship and teaching] and “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” [privately, in small groups for encouragement and mutual care] (Acts 2:46-7) We follow that example.

There are many different kinds of people in the world, so there need to be many varieties of cell groups. However the circle is formed, when people sit down together in love, with Jesus in their midst, good things happen. We look forward to the gifts you will bring to your circle of ten!

Proverbs about cells

  • We abide by the “Great Commandment” (John 13:34-5). Self-giving love loosens the truth locked in our desires.
  • Our cells are the basic components of our living body in Christ. In them, Jesus is our “agenda.”
  • Our cells are the primary place where we help one another grow as disciples, face to face.
  • The church is not a “thing” that does things; it is not a building. We are the church and we support one another as Jesus expresses himself through us.
  • A congregation and a cell are always larger and deeper than their meeting or meeting place.
  • We are living as a created organism, not creating a religious organization.
  • When we talk about accountability, we are talking about mutually helping one another fulfill what we have already agreed to be or do.
  • Forming cells and teams is a basic way we keep learning how to express who we are and what we do as people called into a new community in Christ.
  • Like any healthy organism, we grow. So we are always preparing to birth a new cell, plant the next congregation and generate the next venture of compassionate service.