Looking for a way to mobilize more people in evangelism in 1999, a few of us at church stumbled on to the Alpha Course. We were drawn to it because it offered a simple way to involve people in bringing the Gospel to their friends. We got a small pilot group together, followed the instructions, and went for it.
A metaphor that has helped me understand and lead small group ministry is this: Growing a small group discipleship ministry is like growing a garden. Small group coordinators and leaders must ask gardening questions. How would you answer these questions about your small group ministry?
"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.
The Sonship material comes in various formats, some which are shorter and less intensive than others. When considering how to use Sonship, it should be noted that more is better. However, being exposed to the material in any of several formats has value.
Read an interview with Todd Murphy, a pastor who has incorporated the gospel into his own life and the life of his church. Learn how people who have been in the church all their life have been dramatically changed. In addition, discover how outreach is radically different when people in the church believe and live out the gospel in their own lives.
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.
I haven’t seen any mention of a Women’s Ministry or women’s perspective in the CRC Network or the Banner, yet more than 50% of the members of the CRC are women. Rarely do I see anything other than Coffee Break in the CRC. This is a wonderful ministry but is that all Women’s Ministry is?
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.
Some call habits such as prayer, fasting, scripture memory, simplicity and solitude and silence “weight lifting for the soul.” They can be used to build up the strength of my soul in order to become more like Jesus. Maybe this is what Paul was referring to when he told Timothy to “train yourself to be godly.” (I Tim. 4:7)