"Time flies when you're having fun." I guess I would say that would be my mantra too having been the guide of the Network's Small Groups section for some sixteen months or so. I don't know where the time went. And now that I'm moving on I thought I'd just do a little reflecting.
I know for myself that I lead by doing and coming alongside potential and present leaders to encourage, support and train them. It is usually the case that when there is a lack of leadership it is because there is no environment or atmosphere of leadership development happening in the church.
For years CRHM encouraged churches to adopt the Principle-Based model/philosophy of small group ministry almost exclusively. I thought it was worth another look.
December is busy enough. So who wants another event? Why not maximize your normal December activities by inviting someone along. Or you could use the most of the December opportunities to grow and start new small groups in January. Here are some good things to consider.
Asking good questions is almost an art form in my opinion. I'm talking about well-phrased, intentional, smart questions that open people up to get to the heart of the matter. Smart, well-placed questions can take your small group to a whole new level of sharing and growth.
For many years within the small group realm there has been a lot of discussion on whether small groups should be open or closed. Perhaps our default mode especially in our CRC communities is to err on the side of being comfortable and thus short-circuiting true discipleship... This repost has a lot o reads but would be better with some discussion :-)
We all want to see our small groups grow and thrive. Here are some key ingredients to tap into and increase your small group potential.
It's great when you come across some great small group curriculum. But it's even better when it's FREE. Scott Boren's book Missional Small Groups has really been gathering ground and very worth reading. Check out the curriculum that he's developed helping groups to be groups and impact their communities.
Here's a church really challenging the status quo of what church is supposed to be. Jeff Vanderstelt, pastor of the Soma Communities seeks to be a missional community. It's a challenge for all of us. This is the stuff we need to be talking about in our churches. Check it out.
I received some interesting responses after our recent prayer service. A number of people found it difficult to pray that the Holy Spirit would instill in them a passion for the lost. To pray that prayer can be scary when your focus on being a disciple has been more about being a faithful church attender than to follow Jesus into the big bad world to share the Gospel.
Churches who have regular evaluation of staff and ministries are far more effective than those churches that don't evaluate. So if you want your small groups to be more effective as well as their leaders, evaluation is a must.
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...
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...
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.