rj3blog


a blog from a busy apostolic...balancing faith, family, & work

Monday, November 28, 2005

radiantjourney.ca - new location

I have moved rj3blog to a new permanent location, and renamed the blog to radiantjourney.ca

The new location address is - http://www.radiantjourney.ca

Please updated your links and/or browser bookmarks/favorites.

Thanks
Reg Bertrand

Friday, November 25, 2005

Progress

I have not forgotten about the current series on the book "Reap the Harvest", I will be continuing the series shortly. Working on the new site in the background, which is taking taken my time away from posting on it.

I am going to be doing some more migration work on radiantjourney.ca over the next few days. Technically speaking I am moving from Blogger over to Wordpress. Wordpress is supported by the new host provider. This will allow my old blog rj3blog to be restored on Blogger for historical and link back (links embedded in previous posts, and links from other people's sites).

This will also give me some additional features with Wordpress that I did not have before with Blogger like categories. So if there are interruptions with the site over the next couple of days, I apologize. I will also be rid of the web ads that are currently taking way to much real estate on the site right now.

Also, as another matter of progress, I am half way through my "Bible in 90 Days" program. Currently, reading through Proverbs. Click the link in the left column for more information on this 90 day program.


/continuing the journey...reg

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Welcome to radiantjourney.ca

Welcome to my new home. radiantjourney.ca

I finally purchased my domain name for my blog. Moved away from the generic rj3blog. I have someone working on a better logo for the site, hopefully I get that soon. I had a few domain names that I was considering and thanks goes out to those that supplied me with their opinions and comments.

I have one glitch that I am still working on and that is all my old posts at rj3blog, Blogger is not making it easy to migrate to another Blogger blog hosted on a remote host. Hopefully I can restore those archives and links.

Also, right now I have these crazy ads appearing at the top of my site..,,looking to get those removed as well. I may have to up my host provider plan to get those removed. Never knew they would stick those at the top.

If you want to email me, please use reg@radiantjourney.ca


/continuing the journey....reg


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group Quotes

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link for the index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

Today's post will be on a few quotes on the principle from the "Reap the Harvest" book, Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Quotes.

Cells are small groups, rarely more then 12 people, and everyone feels important in this atmosphere. Personal Care and ministry flourishes in this setting.

(Chapter 1 - Page 31)


I've studied the fastest-growing cell churches in the world to unlock the secrets of their growth. These churches demonstrate that growing rapidly in number while maintaining intimacy among the members is possible and that both quality and quantity are essential. God desires both. Also, the key to successful cell ministry's not held by one culture alone. The principles work in a wide variety of culture. Christian Schwarz, after studying 1,000 churches in 32 countries concludes: 'Our research is growing and declining churches all over the world has shown that continuous multiplication of small groups is a universal church growth principle.

(Chapter 1, Page 37)


Here is some information on some various cell-based churches and multiplication of cell groups.


Yoido Full Gospel Church

David Yonggi Cho writes, 'Everything starts from visions and dreams. Before you worry about giving birth to a child you must become pregnant. So as a cell leader, you must become pregnant about your cell system and about soul-winning.....So a clear goal and goal-led visions and dreams are very, very important. When people do not have visions, they do not believe. They do not work.

Structure: 24 Districts formed geographically, each district has 12-23 Sub-Districts, each district has 10-15 Sections, each Section has 5 to 15 cell groups, each cell group is formed with 5-10 households.

(Chapter 2 - Page 40)


Faith Community Baptist Church

Combined efficiency of geographical district with need for specialized ministry. Find both homogeneous cell groups (Campus District, Youth Zone, Music Zone, Chinese District, Handicap District), as well as geographical cell groups (3 lg districts).

(Chapter 2 - Page 42-43)

Structure is called Creative Combination model.


International Charismatic Mission

Encourage each member to disciple 12 people. Each cell leader searches for potential cell leaders among the cell members. When a cell member finishes the required training and starts to lead his own cell group, he becomes a disciple of the parent cell leader. Thus the cells are constantly multiplying.

(Chapter 2 - Page 44)

Structure is called Groups of 12 or G-12 model


Elim Church

The cell group system at EC is the key to the church's success. Hundreds of people flock to this church each year to learn about its powerful cell ministry. Many churches are following the EC model and have large cell churches.

Each district coordinator, zone pastor, supervisor and cell leader knows exactly what to do to make the system work effectively.

(Chapter 2 - Page 45)

Structure is called the 5x5 model


The next post I will add some comments about the structure models that we have discussed here.

/continuing the journey...reg

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link for the index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

The principle that I am going to start today from the book "Reap the Harvest" is, Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group.

This principle really flows out of the previous principle, that being evangelism and church growth. Joel Comiskey states as a summary on this principle the following:

Although different in their method of multiplication, all of these churches are primarily concerned about cell-group evangelism that results in cell multiplication. This is the clear and stated focus of the cell ministry in each church. (emphasis mine) The cell vision is outward focused. Group fellowship is always present but is more of a by-product than a goal. Static, non-growing cell groups are simply unacceptable. In each church, the new cell leaders immediately know their mission: cell reproduction.

Reaching out to unbelievers and penetrating the neighborhood with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the rallying cry of each cell group. Cell groups are to be salt and light in a dark, desperate world. Of course, there is a danger for cells to become cozy clubs for the initiated, but this must be avoided at all costs. God calls cell groups to evangelize, grow and multiply.


Again, I will grab some quotes from this section where Comiskey expands upon this principle post them and then provide a post with my own comments.

/continuing the journey....reg

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Evangelism and Church Growth - My Thoughts

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link to the index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

Our church has a vision statement that expands each letter of the word, "LIFE". The letter "E" of the "LIFE" vision statement means, "Evangelism through Community Home Groups." Right from the beginning of the small groups/cell groups launch this has been something that has been promoted, evangelism in the home groups.

"Evangelism within the cell groups." This is such an important principle, as evangelism goes, church growth goes. The thing with cell groups is that it is mobilizing the body of Christ to become more then pesters. Or has the potential to do so.

The statement "evangelism through..." is not a statement that performs on its own. It can actually be a barrier for some, as they do not understand what it entails, or should entail. Not saying that I am an expert on evangelism. Sometimes I get the feeling when I hear people talk about evangelism and how to do evangelism that we really understand what evangelism constitutes. Is it just dropping a flier in a mailbox? Is slamming a Bible in someones face down in the market of the city and saying to them that they are headed to hell? Is running from conference to conference each weekend? (Really you could possibly attend a great conference and hear great speakers all weekend 52 weekends a year)

When you take the statement "evangelism through...." out of the equation, or out of "LIFE", you then have groups that are closed groups, and now the group becomes less mobilized, Yes they are providing fellowship and community to each other, but they are lacking so much of what each group could be, what each member can become. Sometimes I think that when it comes to evangelism we start focusing on the end results so much, and think of huge events for evangelism, so we don't do anything.

We become thankful that the church is growing through walk-ins coming through the front door. Hey, we got the back door closed after all. We are thankful for the transfers from other churches. We are thankful for those that left the church and have returned. Slowly one-by-one chairs become occupied. Not saying that is not good, and that we should not be thankful for those people.

Are we really doing our part?

But Reg, we are praying for revival, and people one-by-one are coming in the door. Comiskey makes the statement, "Today it's still all too common for pastors and leaders to relegate the growth rate of their churches to the "will of God." Many believe that if God desires numerical and qualitative growth, He will grant it."

Should we become satisfied? Should we just turn back to the bomb-shelter thinking and hunker down till Jesus comes? Isn't there more for the church?

What does it really mean, evangelism? What should evangelism constitute? How do you evangelize in today's 2005? Is it different then before, say 20-30 years ago? Does evangelism have to be through small groups, cell groups, home groups, whatever you want to call them?

If you have comments, send me an email, post a comment, would love to hear your opinion. I don't think I finished with this principle yet.....then again can you ever be?

/continuing the journey...reg

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Evangelism and Church Growth Quotes #2

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link to the index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

To continue from the previous post, here are some more quotes from the book on the section for Principle #2 - Motivation for Cell Ministry is Evangelism and Church Growth.

If someone does not experience fellowship and community in the church, has that person experienced the heartbeat of Christianity?

The church is the means by which God disciples a lost world. Unless a convert becomes a responsible member of a local church, evangelism is not complete. It's not enough to sow the seed what pleases God most is harvesting.

(Chapter 1 -Page 31)


The atmosphere in a small group is safe for non-Christians especially if the group meets in a home.

(Chapter 5 - Page 68)


One of the primary reasons small group churches are growing so rapidly is because salvation and sanctification naturally occur within the cell. But it doesn't stop there.

As new Christians develop in Christ's likeness, cell members encourage them to attend the celebration service as well....Cell Leaders and members know their work isn't complete until the convert becomes a responsible church member. Cell workers also recognize, however, that identification with the mother church can take time. New converts initially feel more comfortable with their friends in the small group.

(Chapter 5 - Page 69)


In the midst of revolving membership and a growing reputation for coldness, we initiated cell ministry. We focused on cell leaders who would care for the flock. Each homogeneous department soon wanted to organize itself around cell ministry.....slammed shut the back door, and celebration attendance skyrocketed...surely we were experiencing a relationship between cell growth and church growth.

Cell ministry is the most effective way to close a church's back door. Concentrate on your cell ministry. Cell ministry grows pew sitters into pastors who care for the flock. New believers are converted into leaders who continue the process.

Vision-casting time (witness/works time) requires the group to work together to win a lost world for Christ.

(Chapter 5 - Page 70)


With tomorrow's post I am hoping to add some of my own comments and thoughts on this principle that Comiskey writes about in Reap the Harvest.

/continuing the journey...reg

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Evangelism and Church Growth Quotes

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link to the Index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

Here are some quotes from the book on the sections for Principle #2 - Motivation for Cell Ministry is Evangelism and Church Growth.


Today it's still all too common for pastors and leaders to relegate the growth rate of their churches to the "will of God." Many believe that if God desires numerical and qualitative growth, He will grant it. In other words, if there is no growth, it must be God's will. After all leaders are called to faithfulness, not success.

(Chapter 1 - Page 28)


Cell-Church ministry is capturing and holding the imagination of pastors because it works.

If your church is not growing, regardless of whether or not it has cells, you need to ask some tough questions. God designed His church for growth.

(Chapter 1 - Page 29)


Cell-Church ministry helped us grow continually in numbers while maintaining quality.....Churches are increasingly cognizant that they don't have to sacrifice quality for quantity. Healthy cell churches are growing churches....The built-in closeness of cells breathes New Testament life and ministry into these churches.

Sunday morning numerical growth was superficial because adults could not experience the full meaning of "church" without contact with each other during the week.

I've wrestled with these questions. If someone attends only the Sunday morning worship service, has that person experienced the church of Jesus Christ? Is it possible just to sit passively, shake a few hands, and sing a few songs and consider that participation in the church? Isn't the true church of Jesus Christ a living organism? Doesn't it demand interaction and participation?

(Chapter 1 - Page 31)



I have a few more quotes I pulled out from the book that I will post on this principle tomorrow. Then I am also going to post my thoughts and comments after that post with some links to some previous posts I have done in the past. Till then.....


....continuing the journey...reg

Reap the Harvest - Series Index

As the posts accumulate for the Reap the Harvest Series, I thought it would be better to build an index for all the previous posts. This way each new post will have a link back to the Series Index at the beginning of the post instead of individual links for each post in the series.

A. Introduction to Reap the Harvest Series

Reap the Harvest - Intro
Reap the Harvest - 16 Principles List



B. 16 Principles for Cell Groups

1. Dependence of Jesus Christ Through Prayer

Reap the Harvest - Dependence on Jesus
Reap the Harvest - Dependence on Jesus - Part 2

2. Motivation for Cell Ministry is Evangelism and Church Growth

Reap the Harvest - Evangelism & Church Growth
Doesn't Help
Reap the Harvest - Evangelism and Church Growth Quotes
Reap the Harvest - Evangelism and Church Growth - My Thoughts


3. Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group

Reap the Harvest - Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group
Reap the Harvest - Multiplication: The Goal of Each Cell Group Quotes


/continuing the journey...reg

Friday, November 11, 2005

Doesn't help

For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link to the index below.

Reap the Harvest Series Index

I am all for Creation account written in the book of Genesis. I have taught classes on Creationism, read many a book on it, and discussed it with non-believers.

My last post on the Reap the Harvest Series was "Reap the Harvest - Evangelism & Church Growth". I was planning on expanding on that point even more today.....

Then I read this story today, from Yahoo News - Pat Robertson Warns Pa. Town of Disaster.

Now, when you read this, try to think from the point of view of a non-Christian. Really how is a statement like that, and the recent statements he has made going to touch the lives, and hearts of the those that need Christ. Think about, is that helping reach the world for Christ? Is that showing the love of Christ, letting the light of Christ shine through???

Is that the image that you want associated with you as you are trying to affect the world around you?

I remember sharing Creationism with a fellow co-worker, so was a Chemical Engineer, and who's wife has degrees in Geology. Now, this was not a in your face argument. This was an honest conversation about what I believe in regards to Creationism over dinner. Never disrespectful. Did he all of a sudden believe in Creation instead of Evolution, no. But that is not the point I am making here. Robertson says, "If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them." Come on, I can never imagine saying this to my co-worker, friend of the last 7 years. Telling him that if he ever has a tragedy in his life or his family to not to bother to call on Jesus for help.

What kind of statement is that???

Well I know one thing if I made a statement like that I could not count my friend, as a friend anymore, and would never likely have the opportunity to share Christ with him again.

I really wish the Christian world would stand up and say that Pat Robertson is not the spokesman for Christianity, and really in general stop making statements publically like that. Instead take a different avenue. An avenue that to some may be totally contrary to the current way they think of, in living as a Christian in the world today. Yes, this world today with all the problems, situations, wars, and disasters.

Hence, why it is important that we understand this principle of Evangelism and Church Growth within the cell groups. In fact it goes beyond just cell groups.

There are things within this principle that we have to really dive into if we want to see the Kingdom of God grow and multiply like it really can.

/continuing the journey...reg

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reap the Harvest - Evangelism & Church Growth

The following links are the previous posts on the "Reap the Harvest" series:

Reap the Harvest - Intro

Reap the Harvest - 16 Principles List

Reap the Harvest - Dependence on Jesus

Reap the Harvest - Dependence on Jesus - Part 2

This post is going to be on

2. Motivation for Cell Ministry is Evangelism and Church Growth.


I wasn't sure how I was going to start this post, so I finally decided to post the portion Joel Comiskey summarizes for this principal, and then expand in future posts.

Some people believe that the main purpose of cell ministry is edification of the saints, or even pastoral care. But the largest cell churches in the world tell a different story. These churches strategically planned to conquer their cities for Christ, and their cell ministry made this feat possible.

Proactive evangelism characterizes these churches, and cell ministry enabled them to maintain momentum and bypass stagnation as they crossed growth barriers. Cho writes 'There is only one ways that the home cell group system will be successful in a church, if that system is to be used as a tool of evangelism.'


(Chapter 3, pg 48)

Interesting point, that we will continue....and expand upon.....

/continuing the journey...reg


reg

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