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Brazilian Community: What We in the US Can Learn


My son Dru and I arrived in Manaus, Brazil yesterday and today we have been able to get out around the city a little. This is a beautiful place and very warm, friendly people. I’ve been told by many before I came that Brazilians naturally know how to do authentic community, and I’m seeing the evidence of that all around …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow     Spiritual Life

Silencing the Monkeys in the Banana Tree


Monkey with Banana

I came across a quote in an article by Henri Nouwen recently that made me laugh and then made me think: Your inner life is like a banana tree filled with monkeys jumping up and down.* This is hilarious … and true … and sad. I’m so distracted with so much. Even as I write this, I have Monday Night …

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Small Group Leaders

10 Stupid Things That Are Keeping Your Small Group from Growing


10 Stupid Things that Keep Small Groups from Growing

Geoff Surratt, director of Exponential, wrote a book titled Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing. Great title, so I, ummm, borrowed it. Here are what I believe are the top 10 stupid things that prevent groups from growing or doing anything truly worthwhile. Consuming. Groups who focus all their attention on themselves grow … fat. But they don’t grow …

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Small Group Leaders

The Fool’s Gold of Group Discipleship: 6 Small Group Elements Easily Mistaken for the Real Thing


Gold

All that glitters is not discipleship. Christ-Centered, Holy-Spirit Empowered, Authentic, Missional Small Groups that Share Leadership are the environment where discipleship happens best, but I’ve witnessed far too often that many groups focus on the wrong wins. These are all fools gold: Good Meetings. If folks leave saying, “Great meeting!” they may have missed the point. A great meeting does …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

The Counter-Intuitive Cure for Leader Stress and Burnout


Worship

I am finishing up preparation for my trip to Brazil next week, speaking a total of 10 times at a Cell-Church Conference there. Because I’ll be away from home for about 12 days, I am also working on four writing assignments that are due by the end of the month but must be done this week. Yes, I feel the …

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Small Group Leaders

The Commitment Conundrum (Commitment and Small Groups Series #14)


This is installment #14, and the last post (for now) in my series on Commitment and Small Groups. Andrew Mason, founder of SmallGroupChurches.com, and I recently discussed this question via video: “Why do you think we often do not see commitment from the people in our small groups?” I think it’s a pretty good summary for this series: By the …

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Small Group Leaders

7 Grace-Filled Principles for Building Commitment to Spiritual Practices (Commitment and Small Groups Series #13)


Hands

In yesterday’s post, I discussed what you as a leader can do when group members resist making a commitment to grow spiritually. How can you help them grow, and, even first, want to grow, without pushing them, judging them, or being legalistic about it? How can you shepherd them, leading them to the places where they can best drink of the Living …

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Small Group Leaders

What Do You Do When a Group Member Resists Spiritual Growth? (Commitment and Small Group Series #12)


No

What do you do as a leader when you want to see your group members grow and yet they seem reluctant, resistant, or even rancorous toward making a commitment to grow spiritually? I remember a conversation I had with Bob, a small group leader at our church. Bob has a very intimate relationship with Christ that exudes from him. He …

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Small Group Leaders

Commit to Meeting Weekly (Commitment and Small Groups Series #10)


Small Group Weekly Calender

I’m on a personal mission to communicate the vitality of Commitment in Small Groups. Commitment is the key to authentic community, real discipleship, the bearing of lasting fruit, carrying out Christ’s mission, and multiplication. One of the places I see this lack of commitment most obviously inflicting small groups is in the frequency of group meetings. This being said, I believe …

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Small Group Leaders

The Missing Ingredient in American Churches and Groups (Commitment and Small Groups Series #9)


Missing Ingredient

“If you make disciples, you will always get the church. But if you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples.” -Mike Breen, “Why the Missional Movement Will Fail” Breen makes some great points in his post I reference above. Definitely worth a read. I can see church leaders all over the country discussing this in staff meetings. …

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