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Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

A Culture of Consumerism

A Culture of Consumerism

When I’ve heard pastors and church leaders talk, I get the feeling that we may have shot ourselves in the foot. That is, by communicating that small groups are all about meeting my needs for community, friendship, and spiritual growth, we’ve created a culture of consumerism. And when a group member doesn’t feel his or her needs are being met, leaders hear about it. But is the main goal of small groups to cater to the needs of group members—to provide a safe place where they can gain friends and have fun? Or is the purpose of small groups a bit deeper? This video from difted.com explains that sharing what we’ve been given is our true purpose. It states that “pouring them out onto the world around us might leave us with more than we thought.” Instead of trying to fill up my bucket more and more, it’s about sharing what I’ve got with others. And I want to ask you: how can we emphasize this in the way...

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Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

A Quick Health Assessment

A Quick Health Assessment

I recently finished reading Small Group Vital Signs by Michael Mack. The author explains seven signs of a healthy small group: Christ-centered, healthy leader, shared leadership, proactive leadership, authentic community, ministry to others, and discipleship. He breaks down each area in its own chapter, giving a clear understanding of why the area is crucial to small-group health and offering great ideas for improving in the area. Whether or not you’ve read the book, though, you can benefit by taking the free online assessment. This assessment asks 42 questions and creates a graph showing how your group is doing in each of the seven areas. In a matter of minutes you can have a clear idea of the areas in which your group is doing well, and which areas could use some improvement. Take the assessment today for your own group, or pass it along to your...

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Know Thyself

Know Thyself

I recently came across this quotation from Honest Christianity, and it got me thinking. He states that an important factor in our faith journey is getting to know ourselves—which may not be what we normally think of. We think about growing closer to God, becoming more servant-minded, and building relationships with others. But what if all those things depend on getting to know ourselves first? “Prideful creatures that we are, it is hard for us to acknowledge what we do not like or respect, or what we sense others will disparage. It is so much easier, so more convenient, at least in the moment, to deny the existence of the distasteful. God, however, is truthful, and to truthfulness he calls us. He wants us to know ourselves, so that in the process, we can grasp just how much he loves us. We need not fear what is inside us, however heinous, however awful, however base. God already knows all about it, and he loves us anyway—which is, in fact,...

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Finding God in ‘The Hunger Games’

Finding God in ‘The Hunger Games’

It seems like everyone is talking about The Hunger Games! And for good reason. The trilogy is hard to put down, and it brings up important themes. Here at Christianity Today, we read the books and anxiously awaited the movie’s arrival, and we’ve spent a lot of time discussing it ever since. Looking for great resources on The Hunger Games? Christianity Today has you covered. Amy Simpson, editor of Gifted for Leadership, shares how she sees Jesus in The Hunger Games in this article. Spoiler alert! Her article shares a lot about the book series. The Her.meneutics blog posted on why we need dystopian tales. Plus, a movie review by Todd Hertz. Consider using the movie to generate great conversation in your small group. Take a trip together to see the movie. Then use this study guide for great questions and discussion. What’s your take on The Hunger Games? Do you have other ideas on using it in small groups? Share with us...

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

The Openly Shallow Small Group

The Openly Shallow Small Group

Is small group a bit too deep for you? Are you looking for a place to simply get some good food and time to discuss the game? Do you hate awkward silences? Here’s the perfect small group for you: the openly shallow small group! Check out this video from RightNowTraining.org. Because everyone needs a good...

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