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External-Focus     Spiritual Life

A Change in Citizenship


When you became a Christian, you took on a new citizenship. You no longer belong to this world. Your citizenship in now in the kingdom of heaven. Comparing non-Christians and Christians of his day, the apostle Paul commented, “Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:19-20). Being a citizen of heaven means a change …

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External-Focus

The Ministry of a Bike Ride


Ministry of a Bike Ride

What makes church ministry ministry? In fact, what makes the church the church? I ride my bike each year in a couple charity events. In two weeks, on September 9, I’m riding with some of my cycling friends and a couple thousand others in the Bike to Beat Cancer here in Louisville. I’m planning to ride 100 miles to raise …

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External-Focus     Small Group Leaders

The Small Group Mannequin Challenge


Small Group Mannequin Challenge

Small groups are taking the mannequin challenge. Many have been doing it for years. I admit, I don’t get the current #mannequinchallenge fad. I also admit that some of the videos are fun and creative. Here’s a short one as an example: This may be the latest cultural fad, but it’s nothing new for many small groups, and the church …

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External-Focus

The Secret to Open AND Authentic Groups


I recently read a tweet and blog post that assumes an either-or viewpoint toward small groups. You must choose, the author says, between being an open, outward-focused, welcoming, numerically growing group (or class) and living in authentic, accountable, abiding community. You can’t have it both ways. This often-repeated reasoning emerges from the idea that if a group desires to grow …

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External-Focus

10 Tips for Making Your Group Less Scary and More Welcoming to New People


You may not realize it, but visiting a small group for the first time can be intimidating. Here’s are 10 ways to make it easier for a new person to fit in. The first time I attended a small group meeting, I drove around the block several times before finally getting up the nerve to walk up to the door …

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External-Focus

5 Vital Secrets for Getting Your Group to Invite Others


invitation

How do you get small group members to invite people to their groups? I spoke at +Greenwood Christian Church this past Saturday, particularly on the topic of moving small groups from good (comfortable, focused mostly internally) to great (costly, missional). We spent time talking about the importance of members inviting people into their groups as part of carrying out Christ’s …

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External-Focus

Rock ‘n Roll Advice to Get Your Small Group Back Where You Belong


advice

Maybe you’ve never considered this, but Rock n’ Roll has provided small group leaders with quite a bit of wisdom. Over the last week, I’ve been posting #rocknrollwisdom as my Small Group Leadership TIPS of the week on Twitter, my Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and LinkedIn. The genesis of all real wisdom comes from the Creator, who uses all …

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External-Focus     SG Movement/History

Lyman Coleman: Small Groups Are Much More Than an Assimilation Strategy


Lyman and Mike

I spent a day with Lyman Colemen recently and talked about small groups ministry over the last 60-some years. Lyman founded Serendipity House and for more than 30 years, he spoke at church conferences across America. At that time, he was the voice of the American small group movement. Mike and Lyman Coleman, August 2013 Lyman Coleman leading a Small …

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External-Focus

What Keeps Us from the Mission


Caution

Last week Andy asked me an interesting question: “How far should we go in getting involved with non-Christians?” Andy and I are in a men’s group together and we were sitting in a coffee shop talking about people we meet in coffee shops, among other places, co-workers, and others we come in contact with. My response sprung from my lips: …

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External-Focus

Healthy Groups Are a Community for the Community


Some churches call their small groups that meet in homes “Community Groups.” I like that name for two important reasons: (1) the name reveals where authentic Christian community takes place and (2) it indicates that these groups are a primary vehicle for the church reaching into its community. Small groups are (or at least should be) places where friends are …

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