For the week of June 27, 2005

Organizing Cell Groups Around “Helps”
By: Tom Bandy
The spiritual gift of “helps” is one of the most common among church members. Many people are gifted to do odd jobs, church maintenance, and practical tasks that improve the appearance of the church or serve the physical needs of people. The services are nice … but they could be so much more productive!

Don’t let anybody “help” alone … and don’t let any “helping” be done simple as a task group. Organize it as a spiritual growth opportunity. Train a leader to guide the group in a simple process of intercessory prayer, personal sharing of life struggles and spiritual victories, and Bible conversation. Then deploy the group to do whatever it is they do to “help” at the same time and place so that they can continue talking to each other under the leader’s guidance.

Once, as I toured a church building during a consultation, I observed three people vacuuming the floor at the same time, in the same room. My first thought was to speculate on how many people it takes to change a light bulb! But my guide explained. This was the “Vacuuming Small Group”. The leader was one of the custodians. He had organized all the maintenance tasks into teams of three … and as this team vacuumed the carpets, they would pray aloud, share life stories, and talk about Bible stories. Once they finished one room, they all moved on to the next, with no interruption to the conversation. Usually they met strangers like me in the building. When they finished vacuuming, my guide told me, they all huddled in the custodian’s closet and prayed for the strangers. Then they went home.