You can’t be around the cell church movement very long before hearing about the priority of community. I’ve heard various cell gurus say that “community” is the main reason for doing cell ministry.
I certainly did not believe this for a long, long time. Yet, I’ve finally understood how important community is to God and how much He wants His people to live in love, unity, and practice the one-anothers of Scripture.
But why is this so important to God? I think the main reason is God’s nature. God lives in perfect unity with the other members of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus demonstrated that unity while on earth, never doing anything that wasn’t perfectly pleasing to the Father and Spirit (John 5:19-30). He then told His disciples to walk in that same unity, saying that their best witness to an unbelieving world would be the love they showed one to another (John 17: 6-19).
The early church was born in the upper room of a house while the disciples were in one-accord (Acts 1:13). After the Spirit descended, the disciples broke bread from house to house and came together to hear the apostle’s teaching (Acts 2:42-46).
Unity, oneness, and the one-anothers. This is the focus of the New Testament. Granted, this emphasis goes against the grain of individualism, which says, “I want to do it my way, and I demand my rights.” I believe individualistic cultures need cell ministry more than group-oriented cultures (e.g., Latin America, Asia, etc.), but it does take more work to make it happen in the western world.
Joel Comiskey (permission requested – from Joel Comiskey Group)