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Posted by on Apr 21, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Talked to My Neighbors

Talked to My Neighbors

I have been challenged over the last couple of weeks (80 degrees and sunny, spring time, everyone outside after work, etc) to re-engage with my neighbors.  With baseball every evening it seemed impossible, but the ‘off-day’ of games and practice came and I drove up my street.  Boy, did God open some doors. My first stop was to meet a man whom I had never met.  I’ve noticed how well he maintains his lawn and thought I’d stop and ask him about it.  We ended up talking about 30 minutes discussing everything from speeding in our neighborhood to how we wanted to add on to our houses.  I found out he does not attend church but travels the world 6 weeks at a time.  He has a unique career that caught my interest.  I left there knowing how to pray for my new friend. Next stop was to a friends house whom I had not seen in a few weeks.  His garage door was open so I stopped by. ...

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Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Blog |

Leadership Development | Mac Lake

Leadership Development | Mac Lake

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Mac Lake from the Launch Network speak on leadership development.  If you haven’t heard Mac before, you’ve missed out.  Mac has lived in the world of leadership development in the church for a long time, and every time I hear Mac speak, he continues to deliver relevant, timeless principles on leadership. In all, Mac shared 8 principles that are central to leadership development.  I’ll share four of them here: Don’t focus on developing leaders, build a leadership development culture. The first half of that statement sounds counter-intuitive, until you understand the difference between developing leaders (addition) and building a culture where everyone develops leaders (multiplication).  Mac says that the reason your church is short on leaders today is because no one built a leadership culture yesterday.  Think about that. Develop leaders for vision, not for need. The tyranny of the urgent derails a lot of great things in our churches, including effective leadership development.  Too often we only look at current...

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Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Blog |

University Ministry | Meeting 2

University Ministry | Meeting 2

This week I’m in Dallas as part of the University Ministry Leadership Community at Leadership Network.  This group had its initial launch meeting in the spring as 9 churches and ministry organizations from around the country came together to share their visions for university ministry and develop new, innovative strategies for reaching college students.  This is a great group full of energy, passion, and experience. Yesterday began with an update on the 6-month strategic plans the teams set in motion after leaving our first gathering 6 months ago.  We took time to celebrate the successes, learn about new happenings, and raise critical unanswered questions.  Following that time, we heard from Noel Heikkinen, one of the Pastors at Riverview Church in the Lansing, MI area.  Noel shared a bit about their ministry to students in and around Michigan State, and then raised some of the tensions they have addressed in their ministry.  You can see all of these illustrated by the live scribing of Keith Young below, but some of...

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Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Gaining an Expanded Family

Gaining an Expanded Family

We have more ways to communicate than ever before, but how deep are our relationships? In our newest download, Physical Presence Matters, Seth Widner shares his own story about why physical presence–through small-group meetings–grew to mean so much to him. After moving from Tennessee to Florida to plant a church, he and his wife were pretty homesick. They were able to stay in touch with friends and family, but they began to lean on their physically present small group. Here’s what Seth writes: About five months into our church plant, we decided to launch our small-group ministry. From our beginning, we planned to be a church of small groups. The time had come to gather potential leaders and start training. Although I had little experience in adult small groups, I believed the ministry would be a good one. As I trained future small-group leaders, I became more enthusiastic about the concept of small groups. My passion for helping people connect in small groups was growing. Melissa and I agreed...

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Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Next Generation Needs

Next Generation Needs

Did you know that the largest generation today is the Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000? It’s a hopeful generation that believes in helping people and accomplishing things for the greater good. It’s a generation seeking roots of meaning and careers of purpose. It’s a generation deciding what they want their lives to be about. And only 25 percent attend church weekly. Almost two-thirds never attend. (So if you’re thinking you haven’t seen these hopeful, helpful people in your church, you’re probably right.) What will it take to reach this generation with the compelling mission of Christ? Sam S. Rainer III says it will take a new type of authority. Check out his intriguing article from our sister resource Leadership Journal. Then let us know below: what can small groups do to reach...

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