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Discipling     Spiritual Life

Safe or Dangerous?


One morning on the Christian radio station I usually listen to, a local pastor of the “church of the week” talked about the nature of the church. He said the teens from his congregation had written essays about the church, and all of them used the word safe in their descriptions. The pastor went on to say that this is …

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Small Group Leaders     Spiritual Life

Stand in Faith


Jesus knew what it was like to face trials in life. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that he is not “unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (4:15). He faced temptations in the desert at the beginning of his ministry and trials in the Garden and at the Cross at the end of it. In the middle, he had to …

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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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Facilitating Discussion     Spiritual Life

Share Stories … Grow in Grace


Share Stories to Grow in Grace

Helping people in our churches, classes, and small groups understand and experience God’s grace is vital. What is the best way to teach and, better yet, experience this fundamental doctrine? Use stories, says Kyle Idleman. In a recent interview for CT Pastors, Kyle Rohane and Andrew Finch talked with Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, about …

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Small Group Leaders     Spiritual Life

Don’t Let the Sheep Lead the Flock!


Don't Let the Sheep Lead the Flock

God often takes us places we didn’t plan to go. As I got into my rental car in Louisville, Kentucky, to head out to The Groups Conference in Mattoon, Illinois, where I was speaking last weekend, I set the route I wanted to take in Google Maps and headed out. I was driving along the highway with the radio cranked …

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Small Group Leaders     Spiritual Life

C.J. Stephens on Prayer in Group Life


Prayer in Group Life

Today’s guest blogger is C.J. Stephens, Small Groups Minister at Northeast Christian Church. Because I lead a Northeast small group, I receive C.J.’s monthly newsletter called “Leader Connect.” This past month, C.J. wrote about prayer in groups, an important topic for leaders, and I thought he hit the nail on the head.  GUEST POST by C.J. Stephens, Small Groups Minister …

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Spiritual Life

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Well … Even if It’s Not Happy


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving. My Catholic friends may understand it better than my non-Catholic ones. Or maybe not … I recently discovered 3 views on Thanksgiving that I had never noticed before. 1. Thanksgiving is an attitude, not just a day. Look at the following Bible verses, especially the context for thanksgiving: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …

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Spiritual Life

How to (and NOT to) Love your Trick-or-Treating Neighbors


Trick or Treat

What does it look like to “love your neighbor” on All Hallows’ Eve? This is one day of the year that many of your neighbors come to your house. So why not treat them with love rather than just candy? Maybe the best way to discuss how to love your neighbors today is to list a few ways not to …

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Spiritual Life     TIPS

Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Oct. 10-14, 2016


Small Group Leader TIP of the Week - Overflow

Here are the Small Group Leader TIPS for the last week as Tweeted, posted on our Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn. This week’s TIPS focus on the Leader’s Spiritual Life and Overflow. #SmallGroup #Leader #TIP of the Day: See John 10:10; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Ro. 12:3-8; Eph. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:9-10. #overflow pic.twitter.com/0lgueaPJ0y — Small Grp …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow     Spiritual Life

Get the BLANK Out of Leadership!


Get the ___ Out of Leadership

How does the way others think about you—or what they’ve said about you—affect your ministry? How does the way you think about yourself, perhaps based on those tapes that keep playing in your head of what others have said to or about you, affect your ministry? If we are honest, my guess is that most if not all of our …

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