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Disciple-Making Versus Consumerism [Video]

Sorry I've been out of the loop as of late -- vacation and all that.  I did have a chance to check out some great stuff on YouTube recently that really challenges our look at disciple-making and consumerism.  Alan Hirsch is spot on with his assessment of our current cultural mindset that it detrimental to making disciples...

Small Groups
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I See Dead Groups

"Our small group just doesn’t have the energy it used to.” Maybe you’ve had this conversation with a leader. Maybe you’ve had a group yourself and wondered why it seemed stuck. Most of us have been there. What to do? 

Small Groups
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Flying Closer to the Flame

I believe our small groups are the place where this type of discipling community happens and often begins. But the Holy Spirit is the key player in the formation of such communities. I realize that our CRC tradition has typically downplayed the power and transformational work of the Spirit. And while that is changing...

Small Groups
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Can You Spare a Little Grace?

As the Small Group Point Person, it is your job to equip your Small Group Leaders to deal with group members who present special challenges. If not handled properly, an “E.G.R” (Extra Grace Required) can destroy the health (and attendance!) of a small group.

Small Groups
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Good Small Group Books to Consider

I have two books to recommend for churches who already have small groups or who are considering starting new groups.  They are challenging yet practical but extremely insightful and will be a valuable resource for any church who take their small group ministry seriously.

Small Groups
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Cat? Turtle? Dog?

People approach small groups differently with different motivations.  What about you or people in your group?  Alan Danielson outlines how people approach small groups.  And the approach makes a huge difference in both the group's growth and a person's spiritual formation...

Small Groups
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Why I Like Sermon-based Small Groups

Having been a small group geek for more than twenty years I knew that there were  a lot of models out there that might fit, there was a ton of curriculum we could use -- some of it really focused on discipleship and mission. But I knew we needed to start with something simple and easy to work with ...

Small Groups
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Give Ear

Most people don't deal with conflict well or fight well in most relationships, not just marriage.  One of the biggest reasons for that is the inability to listen well, especially when it comes to conflict.  We're usually too busy thinking about how we will respond or why we're right and the other person is wrong, to even consider the other person's reasoning.

Small Groups
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Discussion on Discipleship

Do you have a plan for discipleship at your church?  What role do small groups play in it?  At a recent classis meeting, we tried to have this discussion with some interesting results.  You may find this discussion helpful for your classis and church as well...

Small Groups
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Developing Leaders

It's ironic to think that as a church we expect children through adults to be taught and developed into disciples but don't often put our finances and energies into developing strong leaders.  At least that is what I have seen in many churches and what I have experienced up to this point in my current church...

Small Groups
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The Art of Exposure

Leading toward exposure can be risky -- someone might eventually drop a bomb and stun the whole group. But that's okay. It means they are feeling safe. Responding in grace, care and empathy will...

Small Groups
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The Shallow Small Group

Have you ever been in a small group who wants to get to know you better, act all supportive and desire you to grow deeply?  How annoying. But now there's a new type of small group that doesn't get into all that...

Small Groups
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Thinking of a Discipled Person

When you have a clear picture of where you believe people need to be as disciples on their journey, you'll have a better handle on ministry needs and an evaluation tool for your leadership. Here's a way to start considering what a DDP looks like in your setting...

Small Groups
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Are Small Groups Just Another Program?

Without a vision and missional purpose, programs in the church become extremely self-serving and have minimal benefit to the overall mission of the church to reach the lost and disciple them... Small groups in the life of the church ministry are no different.  I'm reposting this from January because of the crazy amount of consulting I've been doing on this topic.

Small Groups
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Urgency for the Lost

My wife came home from leading our church's youth group last night with a revelation, "There really isn't a sense of urgency among our youth and church to reach lost people."  I had to agree with her...

Small Groups
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Developing Spiritual Habits

I will never forget something Lymen Coleman said at my first Serendipity Small Group conference.  You can only lead a group as far as you've gone yourself.  How true that is.  Anytime I've struggled as a leader, I've come to realize...

Small Groups
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Play With Your Group

Sometimes the best way to really get to know someone is over a grueling game of Wii Tennis or an intense game of Settlers of Catan.  Groups can deepen their relationships through play...

Small Groups
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Stay Connected

Connectedness cannot happen by merely rubbing shoulders in the coffee room or with a church handshake or a passing of the peace on Sunday morning or at some church event. And I dare say it rarely happens in a church classroom setting either...

Small Groups

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