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Showing posts from May, 2011

Small Group Leadership Lessons from Proverbs

A while back I was reading Proverbs 18, and I came away from it thinking, "This is really good advice for anyone who is trying to lead or influence people." Of course, everything in the Bible is really good advice for anyone trying to do anything. So, whether you are a leader or just someone who wants to be more wise (particularly in relationships), here are a few "leadership thoughts" from Proverbs 18 (I think these are also really good for small group leaders). I've included some of the specific proverbs so you can munch on them today:

Everything doesn't rise and fall on you; you are a part of a bigger whole. Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.The most inspiring speeches are meaningless if they aren't pre…

Becoming a Prayer Focused Group: 9 Tips To Help Your Small Group Start Praying

Prayer should play an important role in the life of every small group. Some groups do a great job of emphasizing prayer, but others struggle a bit to make it a piece of their community.  Often, prayer is an intimidating thing for people to do in a group. Here are a couple ideas that might help make prayer less difficult and that might help your group become more "prayer-focused" in the process:
1. Silent Prayer.Choose a soft (preferably prayer-focused) song and tell the group you're going to play this song and while it plays everyone is going to just engage in silent prayer.  Once the song is done, the prayer time will be over. If you want, suggest a pattern of prayer that might be helpful for them. One possible pattern is the "ACTS" pattern (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). Another pattern is to focus on the 3 Relationships Christians have (with God, with other Christians, with those in the world). After the prayer time is over, take a minute…

5 Ways FACEBOOK Can Improve Your Small Group

I don't have a hard time taking shots at Facebook, and piously talking about what a time-waster it can be. I know if I'm not careful it can be a big time-waster for me.

But that doesn't mean everything about Facebook is evil. In fact, we should probably recognize that half the world is on Facebook; and probably far more than half our church is on Facebook. In some ways, Facebook has become what email was 15 years ago.

So instead of condemning Facebook, let's try to think about how it can be beneficial. A while back I put together a PRIVATE (that's important) Facebook group for my small group. I invited/added all the members of our group (including those who aren't quite as faithful with their attendance), and have just sat back and watched to see how we used it.

The following list is based mostly on the things for which I've seen our group use Facebook. A few of the items I've added as my own ideas. Here are FIVE WAYS FACEBOOK CAN IMPROVE YOUR SMALL G…

11 Ideas to Get Your Small Group Thinking Missionally

Every small group should exist for a purpose beyond just meeting together. Sometimes it might be difficult to get a group to begin thinking missionally*, so here are some ideas I've knocked around that could help. Some of these are designed to help a group think about how they can relieve suffering in the world, some are designed to help them think about bringing sinners to redemption. Some will work for  your group, others will not: Complete a study like "Walk Across the Room" or "Outflow"Evaluate tracts togetherDiscuss the church's role in evangelism. Consider the merits of the "invest and invite" strategy.Answer the question: "Why are you a Christian?"Consider how people might answer the question: "Why aren't you a Christian?"Study RomansRead a Gospel, consider how Christ evangelized.Read the sermons in Acts Peter at PentecostStephen to the SanhedrinPaul on Mars HillPray for unbelieving friendsSet up a "reminder cha…

5 Questions to Guide Your Small Group Meetings

I'm not sure I would recommend doing this every time a group gets together, but these 5 questions can provide a template for an occasional group meeting. If the members of the group are willing to be open with one another, these five questions can lead you through a great time of focusing on God and His Word as well as how to build into the lives of one another:
1. What parts of God's Word have been on your mind recently?
2. What areas of your life has God been working on recently?
3. For what are you thankful this week?
4. What do you need from God this week?
5. How can we invest into your life next week?

3 Steps to Choosing Small Group Curriculum

Sometimes groups have a hard time deciding what to do next. Either they've finished a study or are starting a new year, and no one seems to know what to do in during their time together. Here is a suggested process for determining what to study:
Most groups spend a large amount of their time studying or discussing a particular topic or Bible passage. While your launch team can make determinations ahead of time regarding the focus of the group’s focus, you can also allow the group to make that decision. A good time to have this group discussion is after the spiritual formation survey has been completed.
Process for Choosing a Study
1. Discuss potential study formats and topics with either your LIFEGroup.
Possible Study TopicsIndividual Books of the BibleStrengthening your relationship with GodDiscovering giftednessSharing your faithApplying Sunday’s sermonPossible Study FormatsVideo-based CurriculumVideo-based Curriculum with HomeworkDiscussion GuideDiscussion Gui…

How to Use Facebook to Deepen Your Group's Connections

You can read the entire article here. (by Brandon Cox)

Social media has provided us with a unique opportunity to create new kinds of connections, and to add a new layer to the relationships we already have. I've always thought the key to success for a small group is that there are multiple connections happening among group members outside of the group's "meeting time". Facebook and Twitter provide a great platform for that to happen. Here are some ways a group can utilize Facebook to improve their group:

1. Establish a Facebook group that includes everyone in the small group. When individuals post on Facebook, they can choose at any time to share things with only a particular group, making this a quick and private way to share prayer requests and feedback. 2. Use Facebook to get pre-meeting feedback. Imagine beginning a Bible study with, "I asked you guys last week what you thought a healthy use of credit cards looked like, and here's what you said…&q…