by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/9/15.
Over the years I’ve discovered that using the terms “cell groups” (e.g. leadership teams or discipleship groups) or “celling” too often confuses people because it insinuates that small groups of leaders or small groups for discipleship must equally divide, as a biological “cell” would do, into two even halves.
I have found that this tactic, based upon equal division of a small group, is often resisted by group members because they need a consistency of participants to foster openness and accountability. Thus people’s need for the stability they have found in small groups and teams makes them resist launching a new small group out of the their group (which they fear would undercut their cohesiveness and candidness).
However, small groups will usually be open to a few individuals “planting” a small group like them (I sometimes call this “birthing a small group from the DNA of the mother small group”).
ATTACHED IS AN AUDIO NOTE with more of my thoughts on this. I think this helps explain why celling (equally dividing of a small group) usually does not work in North America, but why “birthing” a small group from the DNA of the mother group does work.