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Showing posts from May, 2012

Community Killers Part One: Lack of Commitment

This is episode One of a short series regarding group dynamics which I developed for our church LIFEGroups. I'll post each segment as I finish writing them. The four community killers are:

Commitment (or lack thereof)CrisisConflictComplaining

First up, COMMITMENT.

Nothing will hamper a group’s efforts to grow like a lack of commitment from group members. While it will always be true that different group members will exhibit different levels of commitment to the group, a potentially harmful experience can develop if one or more group members demonstrate a significant lack of commitment to the group. This lack of commitment might exhibit itself in at least three different ways: attendance patterns, participation habits, and relational development.

Attendance. In the best possible world, every group member would be present every time the group gathers. In the real world, attendance patterns can range from the always present to the nearly always absent. For those who are not deeply comm…

Launching a New Community in 10 Easy Steps

While there are no magic formulas which will enable you to create a true community of people who are sharing life, these ten steps can get you moving in the right direction:
1. Form a committed launch team. You need 2-3 partners in this venture, and all of you need to be deeply committed to one another and to making the community go.  You'll support each other through the tough stages and celebrate together when you taste success.2. Create a prospect list.  I know, this isn't marketing and a "prospect list" sounds cold and uncaring.  But you need to work with your launch team to make a list of people you can envision being a part of your community.  Put the names on paper and start praying specifically for each person.3. Invite every prospect.  This is just the first invitation, and it should simply be informative.  Tell the people what you are planning to do, and when you are planning to do it.  Don't ask for a commitment, but ask them to begin thinking about it…

Learning From Influential People

I recently came across a list of the 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived. It's interesting to think about how these fictional characters have impacted our lives. Here are 10 of the people from the list (not necessarily in order):

1. The Marlboro Man
2. Big Brother
3. King Arthur
4. Santa Claus (St. Nick)
5. Hamlet
6. Dr. Frankenstein's Monster
7. Siegfried
8. Sherlock Holmes
9. Romeo and Juliet
10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Reading this list gave me an idea for a fun activity a small group could do. You could use this as a simple relationship building opportunity, or if your group really made the investment, it could be a powerful time of spiritual examination.

Even though the characters in the Bible are most certainly NOT FICTIONAL, a list similar to the one above might be beneficial. As a group, make a lit of the 10 Most Influential People in the Bible (after Jesus). Once your list is complete use the following questions to discuss your list:

Which one of these people do you mos…

10 Questions to Help You Build Community

While digging around in some old archives, I found this list. I didn't write it; but it's absolutely worth sharing. If your group is in need of some relational building, try this list of 10 Simple Icebreakers:

10. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: "frozen pizza" because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or "cinnamon roll" because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)


9. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?


8. What's your favorite concert you've ever attended?


7. What cartoon character best describes you?


6. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?


5. Complete the statement "I recommend..."(it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)


4. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?


3. What super-power would you most like to have, and wh…

7 Vital Signs of a Healthy Small Group

Good thoughts on small group leadership from the "Step Up to the Call" blog:

I just watched an excellent video by small groups champion Mike Mack on the Seven Vital Signs of a Small Group (thanks to Randall Neighbour's blog ). It's not a short video but an in depth discussion of some very important elements for small groups which Mike uses to help groups assess their health . These come from his book "Small Group Vital Signs ".

Seven Vital Signs of a Healthy Small Group
1. Christ-centered Community
2. Overflowing Leadership
3. Shared Leadership 
4. Proactive Leadership
5. Authentic Community 
6. Ministry to Others
7. Discipling Environment

Here are some key notes or takeaways from this video for each vital sign above...
1. Christ-centered community - consistently focused on the presence, power and purposes of Christ in our midst. We recognize that He is our real leader; His mission is our mission. We don't place primary focus on leader, curriculum, people's pr…