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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Blog, Kingdom, Uncategorized |

Share What Your Church Is Exploring – You Could Win $250

Share What Your Church Is Exploring – You Could Win $250

The research team at Leadership Network is conducting a survey of church leaders that could win you a $250 gift card for participating.  Here’s the scoop: Please tell us what’s moving toward the front burner at your church by taking our survey addressing topics such as multisite, technology, generosity, leadership development, and more. In return, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $250 Amazon.com gift card. We will also email you a copy of our survey findings when we publish them. Plus, you’ll get our recent report Searching for Strong Senior Leadership Teams: What 145 Church Teams Told Us. Your anonymity and privacy will be protected; only summary information will be released. If you have questions, please contact me directly. This is the largest-scale survey we’ve ever conducted, and we anticipate some very significant learnings. We appreciate you helping to shape the outcome. Here is a link to the survey:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oiIekBoM_2fY3g52iy7W8ELA_3d_3d This link is uniquely tied to this survey and your email address. Please do not forward this message. If you would like...

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Blog, Kingdom, Small Group Resources |

Why ‘The Office’ Finale Affects Us So Much

Why ‘The Office’ Finale Affects Us So Much

With The Office ending last Thursday, I found myself grieving—and that felt pretty strange. After all, it’s just a TV show. How can it affect me that much? But as I’ve reflected on the show this past week, I think I’ve figured it out. Overall, the cast of The Office didn’t change that much over its nine seasons. Day in and day out, these same characters went to work together, got into trouble together, and celebrated life together. And all this in spite of the many exaggerated quirks of the characters. Just take a look at the relationship between Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute. In watching some of the first episodes of the show, and their many pranks (including the one pictured here), it’s hard to believe that Jim would stand in Dwight’s wedding in the finale. Dwight’s quirks and idiosyncrasies simply seem too much to overcome. Yet somehow, at the end, they seem charming and winsome. As I look at The Office, I realize it’s a big ol’...

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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

Encouraging Parents in the Mundane

Encouraging Parents in the Mundane

Last week, our sister site Her.meneutics shared an insightful article from Andrea Palpant Dilley that small-group leaders should pay attention to. Dilley is reacting to a recent article from Christianity Today magazine called “Here Come the Radicals,” which calls Christians to attack comfortable Christianity and instead live in radical ways. While it’s good to call American Christians out of our complacent, comfortable lives, Dilley rightfully notes that this call “has the potential to leave suburban moms looking like lazy Christians.” Because as moms change diapers, make bottles, and check homework, they’re far too busy with the mundane to attend to the radical. But moms, as we know, have a profound purpose in these seemingly mundane tasks. Small groups can help mothers—and fathers—see the value in the day-to-day tasks of parenthood. We can help them feel appreciated. We can celebrate parents and help them do even the mundane with a worshipful heart. Check out the full post here, and let us know: How can small groups help group members live...

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

When Missional Living Isn’t Warm and Fuzzy

When Missional Living Isn’t Warm and Fuzzy

A few months ago, I talked to a woman who had become disillusioned by her experiences with missional living. She made her feelings pretty clear as she told me why she thinks my small group is wasting its time when we try to help people in messy situations. “Some people don’t change,” she said, “And it’s not our job to fix them—it’s God’s.” Her candid feelings startled me. I agree with her—some people don’t seem to change. And I agree that it is God’s job to change people (and he can change even this woman’s heart). But I also know that God wants us to love on others and help usher in the kingdom by righting the wrongs we see, helping people to live the lives that God intended for them all along. But the truth of the matter is that when our small groups try to help others, it doesn’t always work out the way we’d like. We don’t always see someone finding their way back to God....

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Blog, Life | 1 comment

Celebrate Failure

Celebrate Failure

The other evening we took our family out to one of our favorite Italian places – Macaroni Grill.  Love their peasant bread!  My wife had been given a gift card, so we were looking for a discounted meal that we didn’t have to prepare or clean up.  Hard to beat that.  During the course of our meal, one of the waiters dropped a glass on the concrete floor, shattering it into a thousand pieces.  The sound was startling and unmistakable.  I think it took us all by surprise. But what happened next was equally surprising: the rest of the staff applauded the incident. The experience brought me back to an important principle that I need to be reminded of often.  Celebrate failure.  I immediately took this to heart the following evening as I spilled a glass of ice water on the kitchen floor.  My first instinct was to get upset.  I could have cried, after all, because it wasn’t milk.  But instead I responded with a fist pump and...

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