Participant

Ruth Kelder

About Me: 

As I think back over my adult years, there have only been a few stretches when I haven’t been a part of a small group. Some groups have been more significant than others, but all have somehow contributed to my life in Christ. I’ve observed shifts and trends in small group life over the years. My first training was with the grandfather of small groups, Lyman Coleman and now I’m listening to the likes of Alan Hirsch, Hugh Halter and Scott Boren. One thing remains the same; God uses small groups to disciple people who will join in His mission. As part of the Home Missions Mission Leadership team for the Central US region, I’m committed to helping churches figure out what a small group ministry that disciples people into mission might look like for them. My years of congregational ministry alongside my husband, Peter, has developed in me a heart for developing Christ-based, relational ministries that bring people into a growing relationship with Jesus. As an admitted “Starbucks Junkie” I know first hand that people are looking for inviting places to find community. We recently committed to being part of a brand new church plant. My role will be to design and develop a missional small group ministry. I’m looking forward to learning from all of you as I go about that task!

Interests: 

I enjoy being a parent of four adult children and their spouses as well as being Grandma to three young grandchildren. Living in the Chicago area gives us lots of opportunities to enjoy the sights and activities of a great city and ride on many of the wonderful bike trails.

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Covenant and Kingdom…The DNA of The Bible

This is the final blog in a five part book review series on the books by Mike Breen and the 3DM Team on missional communities. Today, Ruth Kelder shares her report on Breen’s newest book, Covenant and Kingdom and how the "assignment" to read it gave her valuable, new insights about scripture.

Small Groups
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Reporting In On Triads

Some months ago, I gave you a glimpse of the “whys” and “whats” of Discipleship Triads and how they operate at CenterPointe Church, a young church plant in Plainfield, IL. Writing the final report for the Sustaining Congregational Excellence Grant which supported this project for our church gave me the opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of Discipleship Triads and celebrate how God has worked in and through them in our setting.

Small Groups
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A Real-life Example of Triads and Quads

Melissa is a mom to active young children and her husband works long hours. She felt like her life was spinning out of control. Convinced that she’d keep perspective if she could to find even minutes alone with God, she asked her triad to hold her accountable to do that. She now finds regular time to read the Bible and pray. She believes God led her to simplify her life by quitting a couple of part-time jobs. Besides feeling like a better mom, the extra time enables her to be present in her neighborhood and to start a neighborhood prayer group for the local school. Karen had been around the...
Small Groups
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Discipleship Triads or Quads

God’s call to make disciples is undeniably clear. The strategy of how to go about disciple making can sometimes get fuzzy. Well-designed small groups of 8 – 12 are great environments for spiritual growth until the primary objective is lost and the natural tendency towards social fellowship becomes the focus. Individual spiritual development plans can leave a person isolated and never challenged to change old patterns. Discipleship triads or quads, simplify the process by following Jesus’ model of intentionally building into the lives of several people at a time. Their simplicity removes...
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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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So Long...Farewell...Auf Wiedershen...Good-bye

If we don’t make new disciples, but only design our groups to grow up those who are already disciples, we’re missing the missional challenge of our age. 

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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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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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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.  

Small Groups
  • I wonder if the under 35's are wanting to come back to a simpler, real experience of church based on conversations and relationships rather than video based materials.

     

  • In my setting, I'd say we need to be informal and conversational. Being curious about the Word together leads to remarkable discoveries and conversations about them. I'd also say that it's...

  • I'm so glad we get to make us of helpful technology to do Coffee Break training. As one of the presenters I'm wondering, "What questions would you like to have addressed on these webinars?"

  • My first serious introduction to spiritual disciplines was through "Christ Habits", a study produced through Ascending Leaders. Actually, I've gone through it twice with two different groups. I...

  • I love that Ogden uses the term "hot-houses" for these optimum environments for growth. That term certainly applies to the triads and quads at CenterPointe.

  • Yep! I learned the power of triads by going through Ascending Leaders Christ Habits study. It was a great introduction not only to triads, but to spiritual disciplines. I recommend it!

  • Thank-you Kelib! It's so true that if we listen to the Holy Spirit, we will find ordinary, humble ways to show compassion to those we meet "along the way."

  •  Mavis, you asked a great question. "What it mean to make groups easy to join?" A few things come to mind. Small group choices and how to join them need to be communicated clearly and often. This...

  • How about this? In the book, "The Complete Book of Questions" by Garry Poole, you'll find 1001 conversations starters. As you move towards the back of the book, you'll find some that are a little...

  • "Experiencing Community" by Thom Corrigan is a bit dated, but still has some valuable helps in it for groups that are just getting started. I know of a church that used it recently with a turbo...