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Showing posts from February, 2007

Multiplying Your Group

Several of our groups will need to reproduce themselves this year. They are growing beyond the point at which they can effectively be formative, caring, and missional. If you are a driver facing this opportunity, here are some encouraging words for you:

“I love these people, I don’t want to sacrifice these relationships! It took a lot of long, hard work to build this, and now you want us to give it up? No way!”

This common refrain breaks out among small group participants whenever the subject of expanding existing groups to produce new ones comes up. It is just as predictable as that vile “Fight On” song played by the USC band every time the Trojans move the football 10 yards.

Even though this woeful chorus is the bane of every church’s small group ministry, I understand! It took my “intended” the better part of two years before she liked me enough to say, “I do!” I sure wouldn’t want to have to do that again.
Why should groups reproduce?

Bearing in mind that I’m focusing on “growth grou…

LIFEGroup Reflections

What does love look like? What does love sound like? What does love feel like? Can you draw a picture of love? What picture would you draw? If you had to describe love what would you compare it to?One of the most beautiful descriptions of love that I’ve ever read comes from Jesus’ prayer for his followers. Jesus prays, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou Father are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one; even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”Do you think God loves Jesus? What kind of love do they experience in their perfect unity? What joy does it bring them? Could we understand that love? The shocking answer must be…

What's in a Name?

The Five Points of ConnectionWelcome to Calvary. How did you find us? Perhaps a better question is why are you here? Are you looking for answers to Life’s hardest questions? Do you want to know who God is? Do you want to find the truth about who Jesus is? Are you hurting? Do you want to be forgiven? Do you want to be loved?Everyone comes to Calvary at a different place in their spiritual journey. When people come they may be exploring the Christian faith for the first time. They may be new believers looking for their first church. They may be faithful Christians who have moved into the area and are looking for a church to call home. In this series I want to talk about the five points of connection people will encounter as they progress in their spiritual journey at Calvary.This first point of connection is Explore. The Bible often talks about our relationship with God as a walk or a journey. When someone first comes to Calvary it is often as an explorer. An explorer comes to a new pla…

What’s in a Name?

Why LIFEGroups?This is the fifth and final chapter devoted to answering the question: Why LIFEGroups? So far we’ve talked about how LIFEGroups help connect people at Calvary to God and to each other. We’ve also discussed the role LIFEGroups play in building formative and caring relationships. LIFEGroups help people grow in their faith and become more like Jesus. They also help people get through the tough times of life by the people in the group caring for each other. This week we’re going to talk about how LIFEGroups help people impact the world around them.Every LIFEGroup is built on three foundational relationships. And by now you probably know these by heart. At Calvary we want every LIFEGroup to have formative, caring and missional relationships. In the previous weeks we’ve looked at formative and caring relationships. Let’s take a moment and discover what it means for a LIFEGroup to be missional. A LIFEGroup is missional when the community find’s it’s purpose as it adopts the mi…

LIFEGroup Reflections

LIFEGroup ReflectionsI’ve been reading about friendship this week. I’ve been thinking about the question: What makes for a good friendship? My dad taught me two things about friendships. The first is that you eventually become a reflection of the people you choose to be around. The second is that you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.Both have proved to be important life lessons for me.The Bible gives great advice on what to look for in a friend. Proverbs alone contains an amazing wealth of wisdom on friendship. Proverbs tells us to choose our friends carefully. Proverbs 12:26 says “A righteous man is cautious in friendship.” Proverbs also gives a warning of what can happen if we hand out with the wrong crowd. Proverbs 22:24-24 warns “Do not make friends with a hot tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs also speaks to the blessing that a true friend can …

What's in a name?

In this blog we have been looking at the question “Why LIFEGroups?” We have talked about how LIFEGroups help connect people at Calvary and how they help people to grow in their faith. There is a another very important reason why Calvary has LIFEGroups. LIFEGroups help people get through the tough times of life.Every LIFEGroup revolves around three types of relationships. A LIFEGroups helps you live out relationships that are formative, caring and missional. Last we talked about how formative relationships help people grow in their faith. This week we will look at how caring relationships can help us through difficult times in our lives.Caring happens in a group when the members of the group sacrifice as necessary to meet the needs of one another. Galatians 6:2 says “bear one another’s burdens.” This command is rich in meaning. As Christians we are required to help one another during difficult times. This takes sacrifice. It means giving up our time and our resources to help someone el…

LIFEGroup Reflections

Who is in your LIFEGroup?

Have you ever taken a personality test? There all sorts of different types. There is even a Muppet personality test that will tell you which character from the Muppets you are most like.

I took the test and it turns out I am a Gonzo. I was hoping for Kermit or Fozzie but at least I was not a Miss Piggy. I always cringe when I hear someone start a comparison with the phrase “there are two types of people in this world.” That is not true. Just look at the Muppets. Would the Muppet show work if there only two types of Muppets? What if it were just Kermit and Miss Piggy on the stage? Wouldn’t we miss the Skeeters, Fozzies, Beakers and yes, even the Gonzos?

In the wonder of God’s creation He has made each one of us different. What is just as amazing is how these unique creations fit together. We are made to be different and we are made to work together. God’s desire is that we use our differences to strengthen each other and build each other up. God wants us to work …

LIFEGroup Reflections

Thanks for AskingMy wife has not been feeling well lately. She is pregnant and it turns out that morning sickness is not just for mornings anymore. She has morning sickness, mid morning sickness, early afternoon sickness, late afternoon sickness, early evening sickness, late evening sickness and every sickness in between. On top of that about two weeks ago she got that nasty flu that has been going around. It has been a long first trimester. Do you ever wonder if people miss you when you are gone? I don’t know if people miss me when I am gone but I do know our LIFEGroup misses my wife when she is gone. She has had to miss a couple weeks because of being sick. We have our LIFEGroup on Sunday night. Sunday morning before and after the service people from my LIFEGroup were finding me and asking me how my wife is doing. People told me they would be praying for her. Then Sunday night at our LIFEGroup everyone again asked me how she was doing and we did pray for her.When I got home I told m…

What's in a Name?

Why LIFEGroups?So why LIFEGroups? This is week three of five looking at this question. Last week we talked about how LIFEGroups help people connect at Calvary. But LIFEGroups are not just a tool for social connection. LIFEGroups help Calvary achieve its broader purpose of connecting people to God and to each other. We also want LIFEGroups to connect people to God. This week we will look at how LIFEGroups help people grow in faith.The definition of a LIFEGroup is a group of individuals who share their lives through formative, caring and missional relationships to the glory of God. Lets take a moment and look at the formative relationship. When formative relationships are happening people in a LIFEGroup every member of the group is being formed into the image of Christ. We want everyone in the LIFEGroup to be constantly growing in the faith. We want everyone in the group to be more like Jesus every day.And how is this accomplished? I am glad you asked. Let me ask you a question. How can…

Getting Missional

Last night, one of my LIFEGroup members suggested that every person who is part of a LIFEGroup bring $1 to every meeting. By pooling the money collected, we could likely provide 1 or 2 Gleaner's trucks to Muskegon every month.

Every Gleaner's truck distributes up to 10,000 pounds of food. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

What do you think?