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External-Focus

Discipling     External-Focus

When Our Definition of Discipleship Keeps Us from Making Disciples


When Our Definition of Discipleship Keeps Us from Making Disciples

The church has redefined discipleship into churchmanship. Living as a disciple takes intentional effort and, according to Jesus, requires us to make costly decisions. It means more than just sitting in a row in a church building or in a circle at a coffee shop or in someone’s living room. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul repeated the same message three times …

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External-Focus

Rick Warren on Muslims, Evangelism, and Missions


My friend Ben Reed, a fellow small group pastor (Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee), writer, and the Small Groups Network marketing director, sent me an email earlier today that contains a letter from Rick Warren to his church staff at Saddleback Church and an interview Warren did in response to some misinformation about him and Saddleback. I thought it …

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External-Focus     Ministry Leaders

How to Move Your Group(s) Beyond Status Quo


Move Your Small Group(s) Beyond Status Quo

Many small groups in America are not missional. They are good at caring for one another and studying the Bible, which is good . . . but not great! In Good to Great, Jim Collins discusses our need to “confront the brutal facts.”  In Small Group Vital Signs, I set out to help you and your small group(s) honestly and …

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External-Focus

Missional Groups Are Team Led! (Scott Boren tells why.)


My friend Scott Boren is writing an excellent series of blogs on the 9 practices of missional small group leaders. (Go to his blog here.) Today he writes about Practice #3: Leading as a Team. Scott tells his own personal journey that led to his conclusion that Core Team Leadership is so vital. He even refers to my book, The …

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External-Focus

Outdulgent: Lessons from the Galloping Gourmet


Is your life indulgent or outdulgent? How about your small group? Your church? Your family? In today’s “Moments with You Couples Devotional,” Dennis and Barbara Rainey tell the story of Graham Kerr, the internationally famous “Galloping Gourmet” of the 1960s and 70s. With huge success came an indulgent lifestyle that eventually caused many physical ailments for Graham’s wife, Treena. Along …

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External-Focus

Are We Loving Each Other Too Much?


Why do many small groups fail to multiply? Could it be that they love each other too much?  This morning I was talking with our church’s elders about our small groups ministry, and was asked why some of our groups are not open to outsiders and not multiplying. Interestingly, a couple of the elders in the room admitted that their …

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External-Focus     Training SG Leaders

Do small groups divide the church?


Back in December I blogged that healthy small groups are friends. (See post here.) I’m not sure why, but this has recently become the most popular post on this blog. It was picked up recently by ChurchLeaders.com (here), and Debra commented,  Small groups often divide the church into cliques. The group forms, bonds, and no new people stand a chance …

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External-Focus

Healthy small group leaders are friends with non-Christ-followers


The attributes for healthy small group leaders includes many things. One that is not usually on the list but that I believe is vital is that they intentionally build and invest into friendships with folks who do not yet have a relationship with Christ. Small group leaders may or may not have the spiritual gift of evangelism, but they do …

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Discipling     External-Focus     SG Models/Structure

What if Everything We’ve Always Believed About Small Groups Was Wrong?


What if everything we’ve always believed about small groups was wrong? What if we have it all backwards? What if the model for discipleship is actually something other than sitting in a circle, answering an icebreaker, studying the Bible (hook, book, look, and took) or watching a DVD, and taking prayer requests? What if we were to go and make …

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Discipling     External-Focus     Ministry Leaders

Small Group Charades


Tonight we began our small group meeting playing a game of charades as an icebreaker. Guys vs. girls. Girls won. Lots of laughing. Good times. Then we discussed three Scripture passages, looking at them to answer the question, “Why do we meet as a small group?” Read through these yourself, reflecting on that same question for your group: Hosea 6:6 …

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