The Seven Purposes of Cells

I. to grow in intimacy with the Lord.
"I have quieted and stilled my soul like a weaned child on its mother's lap; like a contented child is my soul. Hope in the Lord, O Israel now and forever." (Psalm 131)

II. to grow in love of one another.
"I give you a new commandment: love one another;
you must love one another just as I have loved you"
(Jn 13:34)

III. to share Jesus with others.
"In the same way your light must shine in people's sight, so that,
seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven"
(Mt 5:14-16)

IV. to serve within the community.
"Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all the varied graces of God, put it at the service of others"(1Pt 4:10)

V. to give and receive support.
"Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow"(Rm 12:15)

VI. to raise up new leaders.
"Pass on to reliable people what you have heard from me through many witnesses, so that they in turn will be able to teach others"(2Tm 2:2)

VII. to deepen our Christian/Catholic identity.
"May you be established in love, that you may obtain all the riches of a full understanding and know the mystery of God, Christ himself. For in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:2-3)

The Format of a Cell Meeting

The following is the highly recommended format for each cell meeting, while it also emphasises the importance of confidentiality.

20 minutes:
Prayer, song and scripture reflection. Each cell meeting begins with people quietly becoming aware of the presence of God. A few hymns or a spontaneous prayer greatly helps. There follows a reading and reflection upon scripture.

20 mins:
A review of prayer and evangelistic experiences since previous meeting.
Those who wish briefly tell how they have seen the presence of God since they last met and of how they may have shared faith with another.

10 mins:
A teaching on audio or videotape about some aspect of faith.

15-20 mins:
A discussion on the teaching, aimed at its understanding and application.

10-15 mins:
Intercessory and also healing prayer.

A brief time of fellowship ends the meeting.

How to Begin

The impact of the parish cell system on individuals and on parishes is immense,
and accordingly, deserves careful planning.

The following are intended to help a parish to draw up its own preparatory plan.

Speak to a few people about the cell vision, towards community, renewal of faith and evangelization, in today's world.

Make contact with people who benefit from participating in a cell group.

Find out what resources are available.

Share your hopes with your local priests.

Plan some specific event, e.g.

* arrange for a few parishioners to visit a parish where cells exist

* invite a number of people together to arrange the "Come and See Programme"

* organise people who may be interested, to run this programme or to launch cell groups in your parish.

* invite cell participants to speak at weekend masses to help with the launch.and most important of all, "Pray"
Parish Cells System of Evangelisation - Ireland