Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow daze

The prognosticators claimed 10 inches of snow where coming our way. So far it seems that we've gotten around 4 inches of snow. Later, it began to rain. The rain turned our trees into a crystalline wonderland. The white pines and spruces boughs are drooping to the ground, making them look like tall, wet cats.

My friend, Dan Edelen, has a blog that is becoming very popular. Check out his blog Cerulean Sanctum. You'll find many articles on thought provoking subjects. Check it out! And speaking of Dan Edelen, if that guy ever publishes a book, you've got to get it. His writing is extremely good, and I'm speaking from the point of view of one who has been granted the honor of reading several of his stories pre-publication. I really hope Dan is able to publish his books soon. His writing is as good as anything John Grisham, or Michael Crichton has written. He rocks!

Another "Encuentro" completed, several folks freed from spiritual oppression. Weekend spiritual encounters, or retreats, are an integral part of the cell church experience, and one that I really enjoy. I've now participated in 6 encounters in all. I'm a member of La Viña, a Spanish-speaking Vineyard church plant in Cincinnati, Ohio. We're a G-12 based cell church, unlike the "Mother Ship", Vineyard Community Church, which is small group-based. What's the difference? Well, it all comes down to having a program that is tested and proven, and sticking to it, or... not. That said, who's got the one that REALLY works? Are you measuring numbers of individuals who stay in the church for an extended period? Sunday attendance? Demons cast out? Or what?

For us, we looked at who has had the most impact on their society, the largest sustained, single congregation, the best training. That would have to be either David Yongi Cho of Korea, or Cesar Castillano of Columbia. We settled on Cesar Castillano's model of G-12, perhaps because of the Hispanic culture involved, and that our pastor visited that church a few years ago in Bogota. At that time, the Bogota church had somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 members. That's quite a few individuals. Today she has something like 400,000 members. The International Charismatic Mission, as it is called in English, has had a profound effect on it's country, Columbia, which is recognized as the most violent country in the world. ICM has brought healing and wholeness to a huge number of people, and it has brought hope in a hopeless situation.

Having read many books by individuals involved in cell churches around the world, it seems that churches that focus on multiplying cells almost automatically have healthier cells than not, perhaps due to the fact that they expend lots of energy and resources in ongoing training and mentoring. Check out Joel Comisky's book, "How to be a Great Cell Group Coach", for more on that subject.

Dinner time is upon me now, it's finally time to chow.

Adios to all,