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

The Discipline of Staying Put

The Discipline of Staying Put

Have you heard about This Is Our City? The newest Christianity Today publication focuses on telling stories of those glorifying God by serving in their cities. With articles, videos, and more, they offer tons of inspiring stories of Christ-followers serving in the name of Christ. Last week they posted an article on staying put—that is, choosing to remain in a community instead of moving frequently. In our culture of mobility, it's rare to hear of people staying in one place for long. But what is the cost of all that moving? Specifically, what's the cost to community? Check out the full article, and visit This Is Our City to see all the inspiring stories. Then let us know what you think...

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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 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 19, 2012 in Small Group Resources |

Guess Who’s Coming to Small Group?

Guess Who’s Coming to Small Group?

You're getting ready for your couples' small group, and you're excited: you have a new couple joining you tonight. In his e-mail, Jacob was very happy to have found a group that both he and his wife could attend. They're a new couple to the church, and you're excited that they've decided to get plugged in. When Jacob and his wife, Rachel, arrive, you can tell there's something a little off. Rachel seems very uncomfortable, and she quietly says hello only when others initiate conversation. Nevertheless, you decide to proceed with group as usual so they can get an accurate taste of what happens at each meeting. You start the group with check-in time, where couples share a high moment and a low or learning moment from the week. As the couples share, you can't help but notice Jacob and Rachel whispering and getting into a bit of an argument. When it's their turn to share, you find out why. "Well, the high moment," Jacob starts," was our anniversary...

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