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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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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...

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Re-thinking a FAQ

Given our busy, individualistic Western lifestyle, a once-a-week small group may be too much to ask of a lot of people, but obviously not all. Those who have a vision to experience community that transforms lives and cities are ready. 

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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...

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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...

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Chicken or the Egg??

"People resist mission because they are under-discipled, but they are also under-discipled because of the absence of any missional challenge. " The problem is, we’ve become used to seeing discipleship as a passive thing as we sit and enjoy one another as we “huddle and cuddle” together. 

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Sent Like Jesus

We’re quickly approaching the advent season when we celebrate Jesus “moving into the neighborhood.” These weeks would be a great time for small groups to find ways to be sent like Jesus into the neighborhoods  GoGGod

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Living the Gospel

Imagine this. You’ve been in an ongoing spiritual discussion with someone and are asked, “So what is the Gospel?” How would you answer? I had a pretty pat answer in mind until I spent time reflecting on the first four verses of Isaiah 61. This passage points out a bigger understanding of the Gospel than I’m used to thinking

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Is There a 50% Barrier?

Rather than evaluate the success of a small group by the percentage of a church’s people involved, I’m much more likely to ask questions about how people are demonstrating discipleship and mission in their lives. How are people growing in spiritual disciplines? How many are inviting friends to try out the group? How deep are the relationships within the group? How does the group care for one another and their neighbors?

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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...

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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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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 ...

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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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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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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...

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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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Think of the Possibilities

Summer is a time for relaxing, catching your breath or maybe some fish, getting out into the great out doors and DREAMING.  Think of the possibilities for your ministry especially small groups.  What are your dreams?  I'd love to hear them....

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Weightlifting for the Soul

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)

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The Disciple's Prayer

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.

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Challenging the Status Quo [VIDEO]

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.

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Some Valuable Small Group Material

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. 

Small Groups

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