We continue with Step 8 from the series: “Ten Practical Steps For Planting New Churches,” written by Rev. Manuel Molina Flores.
How to celebrate the presence and the power of God together
Corporate worship allows believers, who are growing and enthusiastic about their faith, to recognize the presence and the power of God together.
When two or more cell groups are functioning, the evangelist will work with the cell group leaders in order to plan joined meetings in which the believers will celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ. If Bible study in the group is done well, the group will quickly be ready to celebrate a worship service and join in public teaching of the Word.
Principles: The value of corporate worship
When two or more cell groups are functioning, the church-planting effort has come to the point of uniting the groups periodically to worship God together. Corporate worship will:
- Introduce the new believer to the idea they are part of the body of Christ, which is large.
- Give opportunities to use a variety of spiritual gifts, and allow them to develop specialized gifts that are difficult to maintain in a single cell group.
- Give cell group leaders better control in issues of doctrine and lifestyle.
- Protect from internal and external attack.
- Offer a special dynamic for worship that usually generates larger groups.
- Help individual believers learn their responsibilities as members of an organized church and prepare them for organization.
- Help maintain balance and generate energy as victories, challenges and even failures of believers and cell groups are shared within the setting of the larger group and God’s work there.
- Give the chance for teachers to exercise their gifts for the benefit of the whole body since many cell groups are not led by believers who have the gift of teaching.
Insist that the local leadership provide opportunities for new believers to participate. A true Celebration happens when we have reasons to celebrate. Believers who share their faith also tend to practice the disciplines of Christian growth and experience the family of God in action through mutual ministry.
We offer opportunities for corporate worship to celebrate how the presence and the power of God are visible in the lives of his children.
Is it necessary for each church to have a building?
When we return to the book of Acts, we see a model of church planting that allows for the development of healthy churches that will reproduce other churches, especially in homes. They can choose whether or not to find a building. When the church grows, it can make the decision to purchase land or rent or create a special place for their services.
Allow the emerging leadership to plan and lead the corporate worship and the most prepared leaders to preach publicly. Encourage the development of forms of worship that are culturally appropriate and biblically acceptable. Do not copy readily available material (like YouTube videos, for example) that will confuse new believers.
Some suggestion on steps for planning corporate worship:
- When there are two or more cell groups, unite them periodically for corporate worship (public worship services).
- Begin Celebrations weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
- Make sure the cell groups continue as the primary source of identity and mutual care in the church.
- Work with the leaders of cell groups to plan Celebrations. Make sure they are simple enough that emerging leaders are capable of leading the service effectively.
- Increase the frequency of the services when the emerging leadership is able to meet the demands created by additional activities. That will ensure that adding corporate worship will not result in a lack of care in other areas of ministry.
***In the next entry we will address the final two steps in this series.