The Cell Group Ministry of Chonan Galilee Methodist Church : Its Impact on Church Growth
Cleto, David Paul T
Graduate School of Theology Hoseo University
Department of Theology
Cell Galilee Methodist Church Ministry Church Growth Chonan;
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The central research issue of this study is the impact of cell group ministry on the growth of Chonan Galilee Methodist Church. This study has the following specific objectives: first, to understand the role of the cell group ministry as it relates to the Church, particularly the Chonan Galilee Methodist Church; second, to discover essential variables associated with the growth of the cell group ministry; third, to describe its impact on church growth; fourth, to find out its weaknesses; fifth, to solicit suggestions from the respondents for improving more its operation. Based on the major findings of the study, pastoral Implications were done in relation to what the church is, what it does, how it grows, and how it is nurtured. There are nine general research questions being sought in this study which serve as basis of forming the final questionnaire. They are enumerated as follows: 1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of the following: age, gender, civil status, and educational attainment? 2. What is the respondent's status in the church in terms of being baptized or non- baptized member, as how the respondents come to know Chonan Galilee Methodist Church, years of attendance, and specific role in the Church? 3. What is the respondent's status in cell group ministry in terms of cell group attendance, their mode of attendance, range of years as cell members, and their role in cell group meeting? 4. What is the respondent's perception to the growth of the cell group ministry in terms of attendance and cell multiplication? 5. How do the respondents perceive its role in terms of witnessing, social nurturing, spiritual nurturing, and outreach? 6. What are the related factors to the growth of cell group ministry in terms of leadership aspect, curriculum, reaching in activities, and reaching out activities; 7. How do the respondents perceive the impacts of cell group ministry in terms of attendance, divine and human relationship, witnessing, leadership, outreach, stewardship, and management? 8. How do the respondents perceive the weaknesses of cell group ministry in terms of its setting, cell leader's aspect, cell participants, curriculum, and Management? 9. What are the respondent's suggestions for improving the cell group ministry of Chonan Galilee Methodist Church? The total universe of this study is the total number of adults and young adults in Chonan Galilee Methodist Church which is 2, 154. Two hundred seventeen respondents represented as the sample size of the total universe. The size of the sample brought a resulting efficiency of 95.75% to the study and the degree of error is 4.25%. This is high considering that 15% error is allowed. The Descriptive Method was employed with the questionnaire checklist as the primary tool in gathering the data needed. By purposive sampling, the researcher chose the sampling units judged to be typical of the population assuming that the errors in the judgement of selection will tend to counter balance each other. Random interview method was used to validate the data and for clarification. Interpretation and analyzation were done through the use of Weighted Mean, Percentage, and Ranking. The findings based from the gathered data became the basis for conclusions. This study demonstrated a clear relationship between cell group ministry and the growth of Chonan Galilee Methodist Church. Its cell group ministry is performing various services which have brought strong impacts to the growth of the church in terms of quality and quantity. Specifically, its impacts were described through the improvements of church attendance, increased of church members, active participation of lay members in church activities; in terms of relationship, its impact is perceived through many people receiving Jesus as their Lord, having more answered prayers, becoming more interested in God's Words, experienced healing, close relationship with other believers, and experienced changed of life; the impacts in witnessing are shown through more strong witnesses of Jesus in cell group; impacts in leadership can be described in terms of increased church leaders, Sunday school teachers, church workers, and pastors, becoming more interested in leadership training, and receiving more visions of growth; in outreach, the impacts can be seen through increased of awareness in helping others, more outreaches, more participation in outreach, and more cared lives; in terms of stewardship, there are more givers, improved church facilities, more lay participation; in management, impacts can be seen in terms of manageable church activities, more accomplished programs and activities, delegated works, and cooperation among church members in doing ministries. Factors which strongly prompt the growth of the cell growth are the following: first, in terms of leadership, that the church leaders prepare themselves spiritually to preach God's Words, have dedication to prayer and visitation, clear goals for cell growth, training of assistant cell leaders, good devotional life and testimony; second, in terms of curriculum, there is a balance cell activities and open group discussion; third, there are reaching in activities such as group visitation, praying for sick members, interceding each other's need and problems, team building through giving of support and encouragement, assigning and reinforcing, and group oriented members by attending the cell meeting even the cell leader is absent; fourth, reaching out activities such as praying, giving of reliefs, invitation, visitation, and contacting new members. It is not possible to say that one of these factors is more important than the other. However, taken together, they provide needed information about how to realize success in cell group operation. Other related factors were interpreted as Fairly Agree and were considered as areas which need to be improved. They are the following: the cell leader's ability to teach, and a sensible cell lesson. The study also revealed some weaknesses of cell group ministry. These are the following: in terms of teacher's aspect, Fairly Serious problems are item no. 1, “Lack of skills in listening and giving of advise," item no. 2, “Lack of focus in the lesson or topic, and item no. 3, “Lack of giving motivation in the discussion." There are Fairly Serious problems regarding the cell group curriculum such as item no. 3, “Lack of reading materials such as tracks and pamphlets for members," and item no 1, “Lack of meaningful illustrations to the lesson." There are Fairly Serious problems about the cell group management. These are item no. 2, “Lack of group evaluation," item no. 3, “Lack of giving progress group reports in financial and attendance," and item no. 6, “Graphing and charting are not employed to show the progress of the cell group." All these imply that a growing cell group needs more monitoring and evaluation in order to maintain its growth. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were drawn for enhancing the growth of the cell group ministry: First, there is a need to create different cell group committees. which will evaluate and meet its present felt needs. According to the findings of this study, there is a need to create a special committee on Cell Group Curriculum Planning to meet its need in terms of cell lessons and reading materials. Because the study showed that there is a need to train cell leaders in the area of counseling, it is therefore necessary to form the Cell Group Counseling Committee who will provide the cell leaders with the basic tools and skills in counseling, so they can effectively facilitate in working through the life's issues. There is also a need to form a Committee on Cell Group Management and Information who is responsible for making cell group progress reports such as increase of cell members, leaders, assistant leaders, cell multiplication, and activities. A monthly issue of cell group news regarding its progress can be done through internet, news paper, pamphlets, journal, and bulletin board. Second, the senior pastor, assistant pastors and cell leaders must give more attention to initiate evaluation in their cell group ministry in order to meet its arising needs. Third, the cell leaders must increase their awareness on how to enhance the growth of their respective cell groups. This could be done by providing them with the information taken from the findings of this study. Fourth, assistant and cell leaders should be more frequently trained, especially in teaching the cell lesson and in counseling. Seminars and training must be programmed to provide them with tools and skills on how to further enhance their cell growth Lastly, follow up similar studies must be conducted in order to further enhance the cell group ministry of Chonan Galilee Methodist Church.