LEADERS & CO-LEADERS
Each cell has a leader and co-leader and each cell fits into a wider Parish structure
WHAT DOES THE CELL LEADER DO?
Each cell is led by a cell leader and co-leader. The role of the leader and co-leader is vital. Not only do they lead the meetings of the cell, they must be role models in their prayer life and in their outreach. For this reason they must be missionary disciples with a heart for evangelisation. The leaders are also responsible for supporting the growth and formation of those within the cell and ministering to the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the cell members. The Parish priest delegates some of his pastoral function to each cell leader for those members within their cell and so he must be able to depend upon and trust the leaders to carry out this role. But the leaders must also know when to bring serious pastoral matters to the attention of the Parish priest so that he is not left in the dark about what goes on in the lives of the cell members.
Cell leaders do not need to be experts in theology who can answer every and any question that may arise from the cell. It is perfectly acceptable to say “I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out and come back to you!”. Far more important than any theological qualification is a life committed to daily prayer, regular Eucharistic adoration and participation in the sacraments. The ideal leader has a heart on fire with the charisms of missionary outreach and service of others and can inspire and encourage others with this shared purpose.
HOW TO IDENTIFY LEADERS
Cell leaders will often ask co-leaders and cell members to take responsibility for certain parts of the cell meeting or particular aspects of the life and work of the cell. In this way the gifts and talents of each member can be discerned and shared for the building of the Kingdom. Cell members are potential future leaders or co-leaders and through this delegation they are able to gain experience which prepares and equips them for future leadership roles as the cells multiply and divide. The co-leader in particular is often seen as the next cell leader of the daughter cell. Training is essential for the leader, co-leader and any potential future leader and more details can be found on our training page.
Ultimately the Pastor (Parish priest) should be involved in the selection and appointment of cell leaders and co-leaders and this may be done in conjunction with the executive cell. It is important that the leader and co-leader once chosen and trained are recognised and commissioned by the Parish community for this ministry.
CELL SYSTEM STRUCTURE WITHIN THE PARISH
Parish Executive Cell / Core Team
The cell structure within each Parish should be overseen by a core team or executive cell. This group will be made up of the Parish Priest, the Cell System Coordinator and/or Secretary and should include some or all of the cell leaders and co-leaders (and area leaders if these exist). This group is responsible for all aspects of the cell system in the Parish and through discernment of the Holy Spirit they set the direction and vision for the cell system in the Parish. The executive cell undertakes various roles such as to monitor cell membership and plans for cell multiplication, identify and train future leaders, receive the feedback/evaluation forms from meetings, help plan the themes for future teaching, help plan cell awareness events and other outreach activities. These roles may be carried out collaboratively by the group or particular roles may be delegated to nominated executive cell members.
In larger parish cell systems with many cells it may be desirable to organise the cells into clusters by geographical area and then create the role of area leader with responsibility for several cells in an area; each with its own cell leader. The cell leader would be accountable to and receive support from the area leader who in turn would be accountable to and receive support from the priest. The area leaders may also be members of the executive cell where the cells are too numerous for the individual cell leaders to practically function as an executive.
Please note that in a small Parish the Area Leader role may not be required