The early doctrine of the church (ecclesiology) included the following elements:
• They met in homes — “house to house” openly (Acts 2:46)
• Worship was participatory rather than a spectator sport (Acts 11:27-30)
• Every member was involved in ministry; members shared responsibility (Acts 11:27-30)
• Teachings reflected a small group context (Acts 10:22-48; 16:30-34; 18:7-8; 28:30-31)
• The Lord’s Supper was observed from house to house (Acts 2:46)
• Spiritual Gifts were exercised in a small group context (Acts 2:43; 10:22-48; 21:8-12;
II Corinthians 12 and 14)
• Future ministry leaders were raised up (Acts 1:23-26; 6:3-6; 15:22)
• Prayer was a big part of the home group meeting (Acts 4:24-25; 12:11-17)
Several group leaders’ homes are mentioned in the New Testament:
• Jason’s house at Thessalonica (Acts 17:5-9)
• Titus Justus, situated across from synagogue in Corinth (Acts 18:7-11)
• Philip’s house at Caesarea (Acts 21:8)
• Lydia’s house at Philippi (Acts 16:24, 30-34, 40)
• Aquila and Pricilla in Corinth and Rome (Romans 16:3-5)
• Jailer’s house at Philippi (Acts 16:30-31)
• Stephanas’ household baptized (1 Cor. 1:15-16, 16:15) and ministered to by Paul himself at Paul’s rented home (Acts 28:30-31)
• The upper room of a house in Jerusalem (Mark’s mom) is where it all began and we later see a prayer cell there (Acts 12:12)
• Philemon’s house (Philemon 1:1-2)
• Nymphus’ house (Colossians 4:15)
• Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:22-48)
The Book of Acts opens (1:13) and closes in a home (28:30).
Factors that Do Affect Multiplication:
• The cell leader’s devotional time. Those who spend thirty minutes or more in devotions per day multiply their groups twice as much as those who spend less than thirty minutes.
• The cell leader’s prayer life. Those praying daily for members are likely to multiply groups.
• The leader spending quality time with God to prepare for a cell meeting. Spending time with God preparing their heart for a cell meeting is more important than preparing the lesson.
• Setting goals. The leader who fails to set goals that the members remember has about a 50 percent chance of multiplying. Setting goals increases that chance to 75 percent.
• Knowing your cell multiplication date. Cell leaders who set specific multiplication dates for giving birth consistently multiply their groups more often than date-less leaders.
• Training. Cell leaders who feel better trained multiply their cells more rapidly. However, training is not as important as the leader’s prayer life and goal setting.
• How often the cell leader visits new people. Leaders who visit five to seven new people per month have an 80% chance of multiplying the cell group. When the leader visits only one to three people per month, the chances drop to 60%. Leaders who visit eight or more new people each month multiply their groups twice as much as those who visit one or two.
• Exhortation in cell groups to invite friends. Cell leaders who weekly encourage members to invite visitors double their capacity to multiply their groups– as opposed to those leaders who do so only occasionally or not at all.
• Number of first-time visitors to the cell. There is a direct relationship between the number of first-time visitors in the group and the number of times a leader multiplies the small group.
• Raising up future leaders. Those leaders who gather a team double their capacity to multiply.
• Level of pastoral care. Regular visitation by the leader to the cell members helps consolidate and stabilize the group.