Posts Tagged ‘Religion’
Earlier this year I began attending Circle of Hope, a church- in Philadelphia, unlike any I’ve encountered. Circle of Hope is a network of cells* that meet all over the city of Philadelphia and South Jersey. Every Sunday night, those cells congregate at one of four locations, three in Philadelphia and one in South Jersey. There is a pastor assigned to every congregation, but the cells (the focal point of the church structure) are led by members of the church. Cell leaders are given no specific instructions other than keep in mind the great commission, make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).When a cell becomes to0 large (more than 10 regular attenders, give or take) it multiplies and a new cell is planted somewhere else. The church has seen much growth during its relatively short life. When one congregation gets too large (more than about 200 people) the group will, function similar to a cell and, multiply. The decentralization of leadership allows for more people to be involved. Everyone is encouraged to share their time and volunteer as they are able. This provides for a greater sense of ownership among everyone involved.
Cells open and close freely and multiply when necessary, but it is not chaotic. Despite the lack of central leadership, the four pastors, as well as the leaders under them, are very intentional about everything they do. Their mission is clearly defined and their main goal is to build a community of people seeking to redeem the world by bringing the kingdom of God to earth by loving our neighbors.
*cells are groups of 5-10 people that meet in each others homes for the purpose of building relationships/community.