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Things I Learned from my Mother

Relationships began to be built and conversations were broadened. Because these strangers were included, they began to feel a sense of belonging and experienced a bit of “the communion of the saints.” 

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God's Counter-cultural Call

I’m concerned with developing small groups of people who covenant to a shared life together as they grow in Christlikeness and join God’s mission together.  That leaves me with this question. How do we establish counter-cultural groups in a culturally relevant way?

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Great Question!

These answers sound so obvious to those of us who have been around small groups for a while, but we should take note of them as we evaluate our groups.

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Let's Go!

Here we go! The Network discussion on small groups is making the transition from “discussion network” to “guided network”. Congratulations to us!

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First Steps on Bisbee Drive

We would love to form a neighborhood small group where everyone on our block knows each other well, joins in spiritual conversations, prays for one another, and finds ways to serve in our community together. It’s a wonderful dream that we talk about often. The problem is, we don’t know our neighbors!

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Inclusive Community

The call of community isn’t about finding people just like us, at the exclusion of others. Community, in the biblical sense, is clearly about unlike people finding Christ at the center of their inclusive life together. Thus, issues of community reflect powerful dynamics of how God brings very diverse people together for his glory and his witness in the world.

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Time to Redesign?

At least twice a year, those who lead small group ministries need to ask, “What are the next steps for this small group ministry? Where is God leading us?” If you don’t, chances are you’ll become stuck and ineffective.

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Really? Small Groups at the Fitness Center?

 ... today my small group world and work-out world collided when I saw a sign advertising “Small Group Personal Training.” For a very reasonable price we are offered the opportunity to get the benefits of a personal trainer in a small group setting. The sign promoted other benefits of these small groups:

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Things I Learned On Vacation

What did I learn on vacation? If I had quit climbing that mountain, I would have missed an awe-inspiring view of God’s wonderful creation. I don’t want to quit on my spiritual formation, either. There are times when it seems really tough and too difficult to keep-on-keeping-on

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My Imaginary Friend

As a small group leader, I want to be more like my Garmin GPS than a map. I don’t want to merely be an information source. My role is to guide my group to the desired destination of life application.

Small Groups
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Prayer Time Phobia

I understand their fear. We haven’t had enough time together to know one another all that well. Most are new to this whole small group thing and relatively new in faith. Today I’m asking myself how I can gently lead them to feel comfortable praying out loud as a group. Here’s what I’ve thought of so far: 

Small Groups
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What? God Use Me?

You know the feeling. You’re asked to step into a new role either in ministry or everyday life and you feel totally inadequate for the task. That’s how a potential small group leader felt last night when I suggested he lead a group for the first time.

Small Groups
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Unity With Purpose

He’s calling us to the same unity that he experiences with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Now that’s mind-boggling! Can we mere humans here on earth possibly be drawn into that kind of unity?

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Lessons in Hospitality

These are small things, but put together help create a warm place where interactions easily happen. In our fast paced world, we tend to bypass the little hospitable things that go a long ways toward creating community. 

Small Groups
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Hanging-out

I wonder if there is a spiritual discipline called “hanging-out.” Probably not, but I think I’m going to consider it to be one. Our small group practiced this “discipline” together  

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Smelly Leaders

Out of our shepherd’s heart we will begin to intersect our lives with the lives of those we’re leading even when it’s messy and dirty. Only then will we begin to smell like the sheep we lead.  

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Reality Check

Secondly, I need to remember that part of developing a disciple-making, mission-shaped small group ministry means offering safe places for those who find themselves needing extra support as they go rough patches in life.

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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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...

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Imagination Set Free

The battle is won or lost at the level of imagination. There’s power in imagination. The Holy Spirit’s power is displayed and released at the level of imagination.  What do you imagine when you think of small groups that develop... 

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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...

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