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Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, Kingdom, Small Group Resources |

My Small Group Is Better Than Yours!

My Small Group Is Better Than Yours!

Last night at my small group, one of the group members said we should each go around the group and say one thing we appreciate about our group. We’d been off for two weeks, and everyone was overjoyed to be back together. As we went around the circle, people shared that they loved the in-depth study, the laughter, the prayer time, and having a place to share and ask questions and know that you won’t be judged. Recently, SmallGroups.com featured an article called “My Small Group Is Better than Yours!” It’s got a catchy title, but it also features meaningful stories of why people love their small groups. We asked friends of SmallGroups.com through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter, to share the things that make their group so great, and we got great responses. In all, the article shares 13 stories from 6 different states (plus, Washington, D.C.) and 3 different countries. There are stories of powerful prayer, helping adults with special needs, cooking groups, studying classic Christian books, accountability,...

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

New! Bible Study Basics: Philippians

New! Bible Study Basics: Philippians

Since introducing our Bible Study Basics in July, they’ve quickly become some of our most popular Bible studies. So we’ve introduced another one this week on Philippians. Walk through all four chapters with your group by choosing interesting icebreakers and engaging questions. Plus, we’ve included a menu of application points to help group members apply what they’ve learned. The aim of all our Bible Study Basics is to get your group members into God’s Word, discovering together what it says, and applying God’s truth to their lives. Philippians covers topics like living a life worthy of the gospel, having the mindset of Christ, doing everything without grumbling, and more. Watch the video below to better understand our Bible Study...

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Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

Highlights from the Global Leadership Summit

Highlights from the Global Leadership Summit

I really enjoyed my time at the Global Leadership Summit this year, and I was busy tweeting some of my most memorable lines so you could share in the fun. After a week of processing and thinking through the information, I have to say that I learned a lot. I was so encouraged to hear powerful women speaking on important topics. And hearing from a pastor from Kenya was enlightening. I loved the different styles of teaching, even if they felt a bit jarring one right after another. Most of all, I was encouraged that so many were taking leadership development—discipleship—so seriously. It’s a critical function of the church, and a main objective of small-group ministry. Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek, vulnerably shared how his leadership team has been struggling to be healthy for years. But now, finally at a healthy place, he can look back and share wisdom from his mistakes. He reminded attendees that real, healthy leadership takes more courage than you think,...

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Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

Take Heart

Take Heart

Right about now, you’re probably feeling a little stress. School is starting, the church calendar is ramping up, and the start of groups is right around the corner. There’s so much to do in so little time. And you may begin wondering whether small groups are worth all the effort. Take heart. The ministry you do by leading a small group is incredibly important. By leading a group of people, facilitating meaningful discussion in meetings, and empowering everyone to take next steps, you are working alongside God in the mysterious work of life transformation. While it’s not easy work, it’s beneficial kingdom work, and the Holy Spirit guides us as we minister. Spend an extra measure of time in prayer this week, laying your fears, anxieties, and worries before God. Trust that he will work through you as you lead. For practical tips on leading a group focused on life transformation, use our newly updated Growing Small Groups Training Theme. You’ll find a devotion, assessments, case studies, and how-to...

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Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Small Group Resources |

Small Groups Engaging the Community

Small Groups Engaging the Community

Recently, Christianity Today struck up a relationship with Ed Stetzer who now writes a blog for our ministry. And I must admit, I’m thankful. I’m thankful because he’s writing about discipleship, community, and missional living—three topics that are dear to my heart and to yours. And that’s because they’re goals of small-group ministry. Last week, Stetzer posted “Four Steps to Community Engagement” and discussed how exactly churches can begin to impact their communities. Though some articles that have a specific number of steps seem to offer paltry advice, Stetzer hits the nail on the head. First of all, he writes, we must define what success will look like—and it must go beyond bodies, budgets, and buildings. We must learn to define success as transformed lives. Second, the church must do the hard work of preparing. In other words, churches must train leaders in this area, cast vision, and model how to engage the community. Third, churches must provide personal leadership to believers. And that’s where small-group leaders can have...

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