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Showing posts from December, 2007


The following is an excerpt from Steve Sjogren's book, Outflow. In the book he tells the story of a seminar about outward-focused living he did in Kenya, Africa. At the end of the seminar, he tells this story about the church elder's response:

They huddled for about 30 minutes, and then came and told me, "We have decided that this is a biblical idea and it is something the Holy Spirit is calling us to take part in from now on. We will begin tomorrow with all of our people. What do you suggest we do that wouldn't cost a lot?"

The first idea that popped into my head was cleaning up the trash that was piled up everywhere in the streets of Eldoret. So that's what I suggested to the elders, and that's what they announced to their people. "Tomorrow, we will all come at 8:30 with buckets from home and then we will all go out and clean up our city to show Christ's love. See you all in the morning!"

Based on my experiences with the American churc…

10 Marks of a Great Group

The following is a recent email I received from Josh Hunt (a "small group guru"). You can read more of his thoughts at

Townsend, Cloud and Donahue taught five marks of great groups:CareSafetyAuthenticityGrow HelpAs important as these are, I don't think they are the complete picture. Below are five more marks of great groups:This list assumes these groups are what could be called Basic Christian Communities. That is, they are microcosms of the church. They are basic Sunday School classes or home groups. There is nothing wrong with a group targeted toward some particular purpose like evangelism. But, all of us need to be in a Basic Christian Community--a micro-church. In these Basic Christian Communities I like to see five things, in addition to the five things discussed last week. Biblical contentSome where along the line I like to hear someone say, "Let's open our Bibles and look at. . ." This may be a book s…

LIFEGroup Survey!

Paper Copy of the Survey Here

This is pretty exciting! For the first time every we are going to try to survey every member of every LIFEGroup at Calvary. Obviously, for us to get full participation, we'll need your help, so below I've explained how we are going to get this survey out to all our people.

Steve and I have been working on this survey for several weeks. Our goal was to create questions that would help us determine how our well our groups are functioning in the three key areas of formation, caring, and being missional. This survey will help us get a BIG PICTURE of our groups as a whole, however, it won't really tell us anything about specific groups because it is an anonymous survey.

I hope that this survey will give us some good ideas for areas we need to develop and build on in 2008. We'll be sharing the results of the survey with all LIFEGroup drivers in January at our LIFEGroup Open Forums, and you'll have an opportunity to he…

LIFEGroup Weekly

This will be the last issue before the holidays. Please note the info regarding the survey and the January Open Forums!

Adopt a Firefighter!

I read this on a blog elsewhere, and thought to myself, "what a great idea!" Wouldn't it be cool if some of our LIFEGroups adopted firestations around West Michigan! Read below about this group's experience:
Our Journey Group has “adopted” the fire stations around Cartersville. These guys and girls work pretty hard and do a great job, so we just wanted to appreciate them. Last month, we made a goody basket and took it to one of the city stations. We included some baked goods (I didn’t make anything because I didn’t want to kill a fire fighter) and some gift cards and a thank you note. The guys were really nice and gave us a tour. Last week, my wife noticed one of the guys at church. Pretty cool.
Just something to think about.