Key Success Factors: The quality of cell groups affects everything else the chapter does.

15 Byline Fish

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:42-47 [Underlining added]

Throughout the four Gospels and the book of Acts, you hardly ever read about a person going out on their own besides Jesus himself. We were designed to live in community. BYX gives you a great opportunity to live out the biblical standard of community in college before it becomes much more difficult to surround yourself with biblical community. After college, it will take much more effort to pursue Jesus with others if your local church body does not require it of members. Take time now in college to practice biblical community and see the life change that comes from it.

My local church here in Dallas has “core values” for community that I think can directly apply to how you should be living in community:

  • Devote ourselves daily to a personal relationship with Jesus (John 15:5)
  • Pursue deep relationships with one another, based on love and acceptance (Romans 12:10)
  • Offer and receive biblical counsel in all areas of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Live authentically, sharing our struggles (James 5:16)
  • Encourage & Admonish one another faithfully towards maturity (Colossians 3:16)[1]

If you strive to do these well, you will not only prepare yourselves for post-college life, but everything your chapter does will change. The brotherhood and unity that will come from cell groups will spill over into chapter meetings, into pledge meetings, swaps, formals, etc. The maturation and love developed in cell groups will be infectious not only within your chapter, but also on your campus. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a fraternity that is bonded tightly while also sharpening each other to look like Jesus (Romans 8:29)? 

So why do we have cell groups?
Because God shows us in His Word that we cannot submit our lives to the Bible without having community (Galatians 6:1-10; Romans 12:3–13; Psalm 133:1; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Colossians 3:12–17). These three things we must do well in order to live out the purpose of cell groups:

  • Promote brotherhood and unity
  • Equip and train men in the Gospel
  • Sharpen each other by operating on a heart level and driving them to the Gospel

Promote brotherhood and unity.
If cell groups are functioning in a healthy way, brotherhood and unity should flow out of the times you meet with your cell group. Continuing to meet outside of the once a week meeting only enhances that. If each cell group is fostering brotherhood and unity multiple times a week, think about how drastic all the other events during the semester would look! Brotherhood and unity has to begin in cell groups, and that will bleed out into all aspects of the chapter.

Equip and train men in the Gospel.
Along with brotherhood and unity, each of the men in your cell group will begin to be equipped to engage God in His Word and allow that to pour over into all aspects of their lives. Equipping and training men is important because it sets the chapter up for long-term spiritual health and maturity. On top of that, it puts the men in position to thrive post-graduation. College is a formative time for everyone, and this is a great opportunity for every member in the chapter to see how to daily walk with Jesus.

Sharpen each other by operating on a heart level and driving them to the Gospel.
Keep in mind that these first two points cannot come from a cell group that functions at surface level. Sharpening each other by operating on a heart level is important because guys do not know how to talk about feelings. Members need to learn to get to what is driving their actions more so than behavior modification. Removing the roots that drive sin is vital to sin mortification. Cell group in BYX is often first time men learn to do this, and they can take the lessons learned into adulthood. You will see when you graduate that more often than not men in the church do not know how to have deep conversations that glorify Christ. The act of continual confession and repentance alone (not to mention prayer) cannot be done on a surface level. Continue to walk out prayer, confession and repentance and operate as a cell group at a deeper level.

All this to say, if cell groups are on the periphery of your priorities, you are not doing a good job investing your time in BYX. Brotherhood and unity in Christ is our number one goal. Take every chance to pour into others and also be poured into during your time in BYX. You have an opportunity to form relationships that will last much longer than college. I hear stories of brotherhood and unity all across the country, and I would hate for you to miss out on something so precious. Invest in your cell groups, they make all the difference.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24-25

[1] All of the Core Values can be seen here at http://www.watermark.org/dallas/ministries/community/resources

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