Wednesday, September 28

Larry Crabb at Willow

Last week's Small Group Conference at Willow Creek opened with a message from Larry Crabb. The theme of his message was "Spiritual Formation In Small Groups". It was an excellent presentation on how God uses community in the small group setting to literally transform people's lives. Here are a few highlights from Dr. Crabb:
Nothing matters more than followers of Jesus becoming like Jesus.
We cannot change on our own. Real change requires community.
Group Commitments:
1. What are we after?
2. How do we get there?
3. What do we do?
Intentional Spiritual Formation Groups:
1. Aim high
2. Get real
3. Live the vision

There is obviously a lot more content than I can share in a blog posting. I recommend you go to and order the CD of that session. One last quote from Larry Crabb, "Every person desires what only grace can provide". What are your thoughts?

Branson BYF Retreat

This is a photo of the Best Year's Fellowship group that gathered in Branson in September 05. It was a terrific retreat!

Thursday, September 22

A Word from Willow Creek

It's 8:30 a.m. here in South Barrington, Illinois. The cafe area that I'm sitting in is crammed with people who have come for Willow Creek's Small Group Conference. Most of us are enjoying the free wi-fi and a cup of really hot, really good coffee! I arrived last evening in time to enjoy their Wednesday night service: New Community. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Willow model, their weekend services are purely targeted at seekers and their mid-week service is primarily for believers. The new facility that houses their 7000 seat worship center is impressive to say the least. Glass, water, stone, wood, escalators...beautiful! There were probably close to 5000 in worship last evening.

This morning, as I get my brain in gear for small group ministry and I as I watch literally thousands of Pastors and small group leaders begin to network and discuss small groups, I am reminded that small group ministry is not a fad or a program. It is biblical and it is community in the truest sense. What do you think of that word 'community' as you think of the church? How do the people in your church experience community or do they at all?

Wednesday, September 14

Ministry to Senior Adults

This past weekend I was the guest speaker for a Senior's ( Best Years Fellowship ) Retreat near Branson, Missouri. It was an excellent event and an enriching experience for all involved. The location was pristine with a view that literally stopped you and held you. Overlooking the Ozarks and Lake Table Rock certainly made a conducive environment for spending time with God.

The retreat was well organized with a mix of entertainment, worship and free time. We even had an exclusive concert with Dino which the Seniors thoroughly enjoyed. Ministry to Seniors is one area that I am responsible for in the Wesleyan Church. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Seniors Ministry. Does your church have one? How often do they meet? What types of groups or events do they have? What resources are you reading or using? What have you learned about ministering to senior adults? What types of new ideas would you like to see?

You can access some of our ideas and resources for seniors by going to

Thursday, September 8

What Are You Reading?

When you stop reading, you stop learning. Those who fail to read fail to have anything new to say. Sometimes I read to study, sometimes I read to relax, and sometimes I read simply to generate my own creativity. I enjoy asking others what they have been reading and I'm often asked what I am reading. If you can, look up some leaders you respect and find out what they are reading.

This summer I read "The Barbarian Way" by Erwin McManus and a pre-release copy of George Barna's latest, "Revolution". I just finished a book on Small Group Ministry by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits ( more Bill than Andy ), "Creating Community". It is essentially a book on how they have gotten more than 7000 involved in their small groups. My next cover to crack is on a book titled "Bowling Alone". Someone on an airplane this summer told me about it.

So what are you reading? Use the comments link below and share with others the books that you have found to be helpful.

Thursday, September 1


Every Wednesday morning our staff gets together for a devotional time we call Anchor. Yesterday we talked openly about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in the South. Why do disasters happen? Could it be sent from God? Is it just a natural disaster or is it a super-natural disaster. As I watch the reports from the flood I see two types of people: those who are thankful to God, despite the carnage, and those who wonder how there could be a God, because of the carnage. There are many 'flood' texts in the Bible affecting both the just and the unjust. Two that we looked at in our Anchor time yesterday were Isaiah 25 and Psalm 46. Both of these passages call us to revere and trust in God "though the earth give way".

Pray. Give. Do all you can for the survivors of Katrina. As you pray, reflect on the power and of the love of our great and awesome God.

Do you have any comments on trusting God when life doesn't make sense?