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Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

How Do You Train Your Small-Group Leaders?

How Do You Train Your Small-Group Leaders?

Heather Zempel from National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and writer for SmallGroups.com, recently blogged about NCC’s new way of training small-group leaders. In her blog post, she shares that they have started doing online training so that leaders can train at their own pace in their own timing. When finished, their answers to the questions in the training are sent to the staff at NCC and a face-to-face interview is scheduled. So far, they’re very happy with the results. Read the blog post to get the full picture, and check out this training module on choosing a study, part of their online training. Then let us know: how do you train your small-group leaders? Are you happy with your results or do you wish it were going better? 12 What Do We Study? from National Community Church on...

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Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

From Tagging Along to Taking the Lead

From Tagging Along to Taking the Lead

I met Zech 2 years ago in Haiti.  He was on staff at the Chadasha Guest House as the security guard.  He was very quiet and never really close to any of us.  Zech would stay in the front room or hang out near the gate of the property. When our LifePoint team would travel through out Port-au=Prince, he would ride along for our protection.  At that time Zech was not a Christ-follower nor did he know much English. I guess that is why he did not interact, but just tagged along with us. Since that first trip Zech has continued to be security for the Guest House as well as on travels around the city.  He has walked with visitation teams, waited around with doctors and nurses at the clinic, played with the children at the Children’s home, and walked the Tent Cities with mission teams from the United States.  Zech did not say a much on our initial mission trips. His common pose for pictures, if you...

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Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Are There Really EGR Group Members?

Are There Really EGR Group Members?

In our most recent digizine, Troubleshooting, Sam O’Neal wrote an article on his new view of EGR group members. In “The Blessing of Problem People,” Sam shares how he’s changed his mind on this popular acronym. Check out what he says below. Everybody loves acronyms—from TGIF to LOL to BLT and beyond. In the world of small-group ministry, the most common acronym I’ve come across has to be EGR. As in “extra grace required.” The idea is that most people within a small group are “normal” and able to function well within the life of the group. But then there are other people—EGR people—who behave abnormally, and are even potentially dangerous to the community. Therefore the group can only function well if the normal folks use a little extra grace in order to tolerate the “problem people.” I used to be on board with that kind of thinking. I used to laugh whenever I heard someone say, “Every small group has an EGR person—and if you can’t figure out...

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Posted by on Jan 25, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Exploring the Command to Carry One Another’s Burdens

Exploring the Command to Carry One Another’s Burdens

During a graduate class I’m taking, my professor held a discussion around Galatians 6:1–2. He asked the class what Paul meant by saying we “fulfill the law of Christ” when we carry others’ burdens. Further, he asked us if we considered carrying others’ burdens central to the Gospel or more of a peripheral duty. His questions got me thinking. What does it mean if a central part of kingdom living is carrying others’ burdens? What does it say about evangelical Christianity’s emphasis on personal prayer and Bible study? And what about corporate worship? How often do we attend in order to hear from God or experience him for ourselves instead of connecting with others there? Carrying others’ burdens was central to the early church. We read in Acts 2 that early Christians “had everything in common” and provided for one another so no one would be in need. Paul also wrote often about not being a burden unnecessarily (see 2 Corinthians 12:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, and Hebrews 13:17). And...

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Posted by on Jan 25, 2012 in Blog |

A 38-Year-Old Invalid

A 38-Year-Old Invalid

“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?'” (John 5:5, 6 NIV) I read John 5 as part of my devotional time this morning and this passage leaped out at me. This man had been an invalid for 38 years! Unwhole, crippled, longing for answers that never came his way. Seeking, hoping, trusting, despairing…but no change…for 38 years. And I’m 38 years old. I began to imagine what it would be like to be an invalid all my life; if all I could remember is being incomplete, marred, and inadequate. Striving for healing and self-sufficiency, and seeking comfort in remedies just beyond my reach. And then I realized that, in some ways, I am much like that broken man. I am incomplete, and often seek completeness in things that never deliver. And just like this man, the path...

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