My core cell has been together a long time now. We sent off a cohort at one point and we absorbed part of a dispersing cell at another. But the basic core has remained together. While we have not multiplied in the usual sense, we have been a remarkable little factory for spiritual growth. I often look at how individuals have developed over our time together and marvel.
Way back in January, we took a little poll of one another by asking “Why is the cell valuable to you?” We did not do any theologizing to come up with what we “should” say, we just pondered what it was about being part of the cell that makes it meaningful enough to show up to our meetings.
As it turns out, I think we have been doing the word, because what we came up with spontaneously looks like what the Bible teachers wanted us to do. Here is what we listed when asked “Why is the cell valuable to you?”:
I have a sense of belonging.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5
In it, Jesus is tangible.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
It is a safe place.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7
If I have a good week someone will have a bad one.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26
We have good food.
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10
The cell is the church, what more do you need?
To Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home. Philemon 1:2
It stretches me in new directions
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14
I observe others and participate in different approaches to life.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:2-5
I learn by watching people love in ways I don’t.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:15-17