As the Ruling Shepherd, Jesus will return to reward His under-shepherds who were faithful in their care of the flock (I Peter 2:25; 5:2, 4). The shepherd is the symbol of the king, and in this regard, it is interesting to note how many of Israel's kings, patriarchs, and prophets began as shepherds.
Jesus does not mix His metaphors when He exhorts His disciples, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Three figures of speech combine to form the ideal kingship familiar in ancient times: the perfect king was shepherd of his flock, the loving father of his family, and commanding ruler of his country. Thus, when Jesus says with authority, "I am the good Shepherd," the qualities of shepherd, parent, and ruler are seen combined in Him (John 10:11, 14).
There was a good reason why the illustration of a shepherd with his sheep was used so often in biblical times ... because it was an illustration people could easily identify with in their cultural context. The illustrations we use are most effective when they are understood easily by the culture to which God has sent us to minister. Middle eastern cultures understood what shepherding was all about. It was about feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold. We are all under shepherds and Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. We need to emulate what the Good Shepherd does for the sheep.
From John 21:15-17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep". There are many other aspects of this deep passage I could dwell on such as the Lord's use of the word "agape" and Peter's use of the word "phileo", or the paralleling of the three denials with Peter with the three commands of Jesus ... but I want to look at the three statements of Christ and think about the excellent illustration of shepherding by the Shepherd Who is showing us how to be good under shepherds. Let's get deeper into the whole concept of shepherding at cell leaders meetings, and you'll forever remain bless.
For those who are called to be servant under shepherds in the body of Christ must take that responsibility seriously. There are far too many who claim to be called to servant leadership, but demonstrate clearly that they are not qualified to be shepherds according to God's criteria. We need to be feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold.
This shepherding structure is called a home cell system. The cell system is a family system and not just a fellowship meeting. It is carried out both on campus and off campus. The campus division is more of a foundational school for foundational teachings, highlights on the union’s past themes and foci and some Methodist teachings. This is not to say that cells off campus are obliged not to teach these above stated topics. It is also expedient that the cells are given a nomenclature. This naming is done by taking the first letter of the zone or hall followed by a number which will represent the cell number.
THE BEDROCK OF THE SYSTEM
This structure is adapted from the early apostolic way of Church growth (Acts. 2:42 -47) as well as John Wesley’s bible class system and Pastor Yongi Chow’s small group church meetings.
The home cell is composed of all members of the union. Associate membership shall be opened to other Christian brethren who share in the same faith e.g. NUPS-G, AGCM, PENSA, etc.
The cell system shall be categorised into two (2) divisions: the campus and off-campus divisions:
1. The Campus Division: The ambassadors in the halls are divided into groups of 10 and each cell assigned a leader. Cell meeting last for at least an hour and at most two hours each week. Possible places of meeting could be the hall chapels, dining halls and possibly the rooms of students. The cells at the hall level are each under one hall rep. The hall reps are also part of a committee known as the shepherds committee and will represent the halls on the local council.
2. The Off-Campus Division: The cells off-campus comprise of 15 Ambassadors resident off-campus. Each respective cell is a subzone. Each subzone have a leader for that subzone. The subzones demographically sum up into zones, with a zonal leader. The off-campus coordinators are the reps on the local council and also the overseers of off-campus division.
FORMATION OF NEW CELLS
The shepherds committee would be in charge of forming new cells. The scouting and recruiting of new members into cells will be supervised by the shepherds committee in conjunction with cell leaders. They are altogether to:
1. Survey, evangelise and recruit new ambassadors into cells
2. Transfer ambassadors straight from halls into new cells off-campus. This could be done through proper follow ups by the hall as well as off-campus cell leaders.
It should be noted that, the number of people for each cell should not exceed 10 for the halls and 15 for off-campus (excluding the cell leaders), unless deemed fit by the local executive council to either increase or decrease the stipulated number.
RELOCATION OF AMBASSADORS: When a new ambassador is identified or a new soul is converted to the faith, the zonal leader or the hall rep, depending on where the ambassador is residing, will be assigned a new cell convenient to him/her.
THE EXECUTIVE BODY
The executive body of the cells team is also called the Shepherding Committee. Their respective offices are as follows:
1. The cells coordinator: who is the general overseer of the Cell Team
2. Two (2) assistants to the cells coordinator known as Vice 1 and Vice 2
3. The six (6) hall reps, and
4. The two (2) off-campus coordinators
The office of the 2 assistants will be conferred on any 2 of the hall and off-campus reps. It will therefore be a dual office. The core executives of the Cell Team (Shepherd’s Committee) shall therefore be made up of nine (9) members. These shall represent the cell team on the local council.
1. Mentoring and thus, maturing of all members to enhance church growth for effective participation of all in the body of Christ.
2. Bringing the fellowship to the ambassador’s doorstep so as to curb absenteeism
3. Member’s visitation and effective welfare monitoring
4. Effective teaching and Bible studies in smaller groups
5. To embark on cell group evangelism
1. To nurture Ambassadors to reach their full maturity in Christ
2. To raise leaders that will transform and build the union
3. To increase the membership of the union
4. To enhance commitment, integrity and availability on the part of Ambassadors
1. Overseers of all cells
2. Responsible for the drafting of the program for individual cells.
3. Responsible for confirmation and Baptism.
4. The welcoming of freshers.
5. Orientation and training of cell leaders on regular basis.
6. Assigning of cell leaders to respective cells.
7. Responsible for rededicants and new converts.
8. In charge of shepherding and visitation