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Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in Blog |

How Do You Measure Success?

How Do You Measure Success?

During our first day at the Externally Focused Small Groups Innovation Lab, Eric Swanson shared some of the conversations he’s had with churches around the country.  When he asks them about their churches and ministries, leaders typically talk about Inputs, Activities, and Outputs, rather than Outcomes or Impacts.  Here’s how Eric defined these: Inputs – what churches typically invest in their efforts (staff, facilities, budget, property) Activities – the programs associated with the church or ministry (worship, Sunday School, small groups, youth, children’s, men’s and women’s ministries) Outputs – the number of people involved in the activities Outcomes – changed lives Impacts – the results of changed lives over time The first three – inputs, activities, and outputs – relate to the ‘how’ of ministry.  They represent elements of the model that we’ve chosen to employ as we live out our calling in the community.  For most churches (and other organizations), the ‘how’ is relatively easy to identify, measure, and evaluate, therefore they are quick to enter our minds...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Small Group Resources |

6 Reasons for Your Friends to Connect to a Group?

6 Reasons for Your Friends to Connect to a Group?

You have been praying for your unconnected friends and neighbors.  You worry about the spiritual condition of those around you.  You have found the security that comes from being in a Small Group and you want others to experience this same thing. Here are six reasons that you can discuss with your friends and neighbors on why they should be in a small group: Understand the Bible better through group discussion as you apply the Bible to your own personal situations. Develop close relationships with other believers who will walk beside you in your journey as a Christ follower. Find answers to the needs in your life through group prayer. Get support in times of crisis or major changes from people who really care for you. Demonstrate to your lost friends the love of Christ in a non-church setting. Move from being a spectator to a participant by using your gifts and talents as you serve...

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Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in Blog |

Externally-Focused Small Groups Innovation Lab

Externally-Focused Small Groups Innovation Lab

Today I’m back in Dallas for Leadership Network’s Externally-Focused Small Groups Innovation Lab.  Eric Swanson is the director for this Lab, and I’ll be joining the LN team as Lead Facilitator once again.  Having worked with small groups ministries at a couple of different churches, I’m excited to lean in and learn from this group.  Six churches are a part of this Innovation Lab:   Atascadero Bible Church | Atascadero, CA Bethel Church | Crown Point, IN Christ Fellowship | Palm Beach Gardens, FL First Alliance Church | Calgary, Alberta Journey Church | Medina, TN Northshore Baptist Church | Kirkland, WA We’ll also be hosting Glen Brechner, Executive Director at Chase Oaks Church in Plano, TX, and Jason Williams, Small Groups Pastor at Chase Oaks.  Glen and Jason, along with Eric, will serve as resources for the church teams that are present, to introduce new ideas, stretch their thinking, and challenge them toward great impact.  I anticipate the next two days will provide some great learnings for how we...

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Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in Blog |

Conversation Killers, Part 4 – Logistics Can Kill Process, Innovation, and Change

Conversation Killers, Part 4 – Logistics Can Kill Process, Innovation, and Change

This is the final post in the series on Conversation Killers.  If you want to catch up on the rest of the series, you can find them here: Conversation Killers 1 – Introduction Conversation Killers 2 – People Conversation Killers 3 – Process In this final post I want to focus on a few logistical issues that can derail your conversations.  Once again, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it does highlight the need for intentional planning prior to any strategic conversation.  Let’s dive in. PowerPoint Overload – Presentations are not conversations.  Too many leaders try to hang their hats on the information they have to share.  And its not hard to see why.  There are a lot of great resources for creating dynamic presentations.  Any bit of information can be dressed up to look good with just a few clicks of the mouse.  But we can’t confuse information with conversation.  One-way communication does not lead to innovation and change.  Information, or knowledge, represents a...

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