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October 2017 Focus: Living Out Our Hearts

High Praise Church | Subang Jaya Church

Importance Of Delta

The Importance Of Being A Part Of Delta Cell Ministry

The Delta Cell System works around the primary biblical idea of discipleship. Everyone who attends a Delta Cell should have a clear understanding that he or she is there to become a better disciple of Christ. The word "better" basically describes the positive change in one's character to become more like Christ than like one's own sinful flesh. Being born-again is only the beginning of one's spiritual life. Being discipled is the rest of it and that is a life-long process. Becoming a disciple is not to become like the Apostle Peter or Paul (even though they are good spiritual models) but strictly to become like our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. That is the primary motive of Christian discipleship.

Sunday Services Are Not Enough

Sunday church services alone are not the solution to becoming more Christ-like. The reason being that worship services are usually a two-hour affair and the congregation gets to learn only once a week from the pastor's sermons. Even though Sunday services are important, they are better known as celebrating rather than didactic sessions. Sermons are one-way communication and the congregation does not have the opportunity to interact, express their needs and ask specific questions.

Real spiritual growth happens only when one encounters the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way and then to grow in that relationship within a group situation. No one grows in isolation and that is why the idea of becoming a hermit should be discarded. That might sound humorous but in antiquity, there were Christians who actually thought that isolation would lead to holiness.

We need our Christian brothers and sisters to help us grow. In a Delta Cell meeting, the Delta leader, who is also the facilitator, challenges the Cell members to interact at a very personal level. He or she points the questions of the group in the right direction so that everyone present may benefit from the answers in God's Word. Spiritual growth is not taught but caught. It is not imparted but experienced. One has to be there to catch and experience it. That is the reason why no one should be exempted from Delta Cell meetings.

Meeting Jesus In Delta Cells

The Lord Jesus meets the Delta members in their Delta Cells. It is true that He is present in every Christian gathering but it is also true that most Christians have little experience in sensing His presence. They behave as though He is so far away and that whatever prayers they want to offer should be effectively done so only on Sundays.

The Delta Leaders need to learn how to facilitate the presence of Christ. They will not be able to do that if they have not experienced the presence of Christ tangibly themselves. The only way to go about this is for the leaders to resort to regularly seeking the face of God and an occasional fasting.

It is through the Holy Spirit that the Lord Jesus is revealed and in an anointed situation like that, miracles, spiritual gifts, healings and casting out of demons often happen. The Delta leaders should keep a good sensitivity and lookout for such manifestations. The presence of Christ also creates an atmosphere of love and forgiveness. Non-believers, who attend the Delta meetings will be convicted, find forgiveness and turn to the salvation provided by the Lord. This is known as Presence Evangelism. Therefore, a truly successful time in the Delta meeting is not just that everyone is having a good time but that the Lord Jesus is having a good time with all who are present.

All Should Be Involved

Who should join a Delta Cell? All the adults in the Church who claim to be born-again should become a part of the Delta Cell System. Becoming a disciple is not easy, at least not as easy as being saved. Discipleship is linked with the word, "discipline". This means that we have to discipline ourselves to pursue after the growth process that God has for us. This process involves not only praying, studying the Bible, doing quiet-time, fasting, attending church services, helping the poor but also establishing sound relationships with fellow believers.

Some Church members do not see the importance of Delta Cell meetings and sadly they pay a very heavy price for it. They think they can make it on their own. In our years of pastoral experience, we discover that those who isolate themselves usually live a less-than-victorious Christian life. Only those who are highly committed to the Lord and remained accountable to a group of fellow Christians can stand firm in the face of temptation and religious persecution. This is played out every day in many Christian small groups in Communist China. We have met some of these persecuted and imprisoned Christians and they were stronger in their faith than ever. They credited that to the prayers and support of their fellow Cell members. When they were in prison, the fellow Cell members took care of their families. Having received support from the Cell members, their faith did not only sustain them through the long imprisonment and torture but it made them stronger in their love for the Lord and His Church.

A Life-long Growth Process

The more you draw closer to the Lord the more you will want to be with Him. Spiritual hunger is developed in this way. However when you start moving away from the Lord and His people, you will lose that spiritual hunger. There will come a time when you will become too spiritually weakened, so much so that you can hardly crawl back to the community of God's love. Just ask those who have backslidden and listen to what they have to tell you. As pastors, we have counseled quite a few who were only active on Sunday church services but did not attend any Cell meetings. When life dealt them with a crushing blow and push came to shove, they fell flat and some did not even have the spiritual stamina to rise up again.

In our church, it has become imperative for all adult Christians to find their own Delta Cells to grow in. Discipleship is a lifelong experience and encounter with the Lord Jesus. Small group meetings help each disciple to travel this Christian pilgrimage better. Through continuous personal support and real life spiritual encounter in every Delta meeting, the Christians become discipled and soon will be able to help other newer Christians in the discipling process.

Delta Cells Are Not A Waste of Time

Delta Cell meetings are not just a gathering of people who waste their time together. On the contrary, these meetings are most meaningful and they add values to everyone's life. Every Cell member receives spiritual input so that he or she will be able to provide spiritual output. These Cell meetings are a means by which a group of twelve believers establishes genuine caring and meaningful relationships. This is where the "Agape" factor comes into the picture. The relationships of trust and transparency, love and care, support and sacrifices help members to experience what a true loving Church is all about. This hand-on experience will transform the individuals and thus allowing the "Agape" factor or in short, "love" to be perpetuated in the homes of these members and also in their work places. People need to catch on to how genuine Christian love is expressed and this cannot be done with words alone. Nothing beats these real-life relational interactions because the ultimate result is that everyone in the Cell will become the person whom God wants him or her to be.

Healthy Delta Cells

A healthy Delta Cell is one that grows to have 12 permanent members. These members are discipled and they ultimately learn to lead new Delta Cells themselves. They will travel to their original Delta Cell to receive discipleship and then they will provide discipleship for their own daughter Cells. Throughout their membership in the Church, they will alternate between two Delta Cells.

All matured Delta Cells multiply by creating daughter Cells. The higher the level of discipleship commitment the more daughter Cells they will have. In this Delta Cell System, there is no room for selfish inward focused "bless-me-and-no-more" clubs. We will close down such Delta Cells because they are as dangerously contagious as a natural cancerous cell. Keeping a diseased Delta Cell will negatively affect the whole Church. Evangelism will be killed off if every Delta Cell becomes self-centered. Evangelism is the means to prevent souls from going to hell. Someone says that it is the means to rob hell and populate heaven. If we were to kill it off, then the purpose for the existence of the Church should be questioned. The Lord specifically instructed us to be the Church of witnesses. Witnesses do not live a life to themselves. Witnesses allow their lives to shine for Christ so that others might find Him too.

Evangelism is not just for the full-time pastors but also for everyone in the Church. Even though there is a distinction between leaders and followers, the Bible never teaches a distinction between clergy and laity. All lay people are ministers! Evangelism is to be done by all. By reaching out to the non-believers, we are fulfilling the Great Commission of the Lord. By establishing new Delta Cells we are making sure that the lifeline of the Church continues. Let's be faithful and make a special effort to be a part of the Delta Cell Ministry of our Church. By doing our parts, we do not only bless others, we will also receive much blessings from our Lord Himself.

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