Tuesday, April 25

The Next Level of Networking

We have been making a lot of changes to our website www.wesleyan.org/adult There are a lot of resources and articles under each of the Adult Ministries, but something is still nagging at me. The website for Adult Min is very one-dimensional. There is a lot if 'information-sharing' going out from here, but there really is no forum for interaction, real time idea sharing and networking. Yeah, I get some surveys and emails sent back to me, but that isn't really the level of networking that I would love to see.

Last week I really got dreaming to find a way to create some type of quasi blog-chat environment for Adult Ministries where the Wesleyan Church can interact and discuss what is really going on in ministry today. A place where I can share the resources and ideas that I think might help and people can respond and dialogue with others about what is working or not working in their area. I'd also love to be able to capture short video clips ( training and resource sharing ) and post them in a way that people could view them and share them with others.

I'd love to hear your ideas on this, especially if you know of something similar to a blog where we can chat and discuss and everyone can see the posts and I can upload video.

Thursday, April 20

Small Group Covenants

I've been looking at some small group covenants today. My guess is that most small groups today do not covenant together ( even though the covenant is a very scriptural idea ). Covenenting is like setting the ground rules. It tells people up front that you are taking this group seriously and that the only way you will achieve biblical community is if everyone 'agrees' to adhere to the covenant. In a group without a covenant there is less accountability and less buy in/commitment to the other members of the group.

Google 'small group covenants' and you will get a smattering of resources that you could adapt to your situation. Usually a covenant will cover the logistics ( when, where, how often ), the disciplines ( attendance, safety, accountability, confidentiality, responsibility, etc ), and the purpose of the group. People sign the covenant and turn it in to the group leader. I think it would also be a good idea for each group member to receive a copy of the covenant they have signed.

What do you think about covenants? Do you use them? Should you?

Tuesday, April 18

An idea from DJ

If you don't already subscribe to Discipleship Journal, I highly recommend it. Here is an idea from the latest issue: "Grace After Dinner"

The concept is simply to invite non-Christian friends to your place for dinner - GRACE stands for G-good food, R-relaxed atmosphere, A-answers to questions about Jesus, C-Christ's plan of salvation explained, E-experience the difference that Jesus can make in your life.

Any similar ideas??


Friday, April 7

3 Great Looking Small Group Resources

I've been trying to catch up on a ton of new resources that have been sent to me this Spring. Many of them have been added to our website - under each department you will see resources - www.wesleyan.org/adult Here are 3 that I thought were especially good:

1. Great Beginnings - Your First Small Group Study; This is an excellent tool for new groups or if you are trying to tempt people into the small group experience. It's also a good tool for your new leaders to use as they are venturing into the brave new world of small group leadership.

2. Small Group Kickoff Retreat - Experiential Training for Group Leaders; This book is written in a small group study guide format. It's designed as something that you would give to everyone on the retreat and you would all go through it together. So it's kind of a mix of "how to do a retreat" and the actual retreat itself.

3. Making the Critical Connection - Combining the Best of Small Group Dynamics with Sunday School; This is a revised and updated reprint of Hal Mayers book, "Step by Step". It is a good read for anyone who is trying to transition their church from a traditional Sunday School format to Small Groups or a blend of both.

All 3 of these are from www.serendipityhouse.com Enjoy!

Do you have any resources to recommend?

Wednesday, April 5

What's Next for Holynext?

The very first Holynext Retreat is officially in the books. If you haven't heard, around 80 people gathered in Fishers, IN on March 24 and 25 for this personal spiritual formation retreat. In the words of one attendee, "HolyNext… Not a conference, not a workshop. A “holy ground” experience…"

The victories, the testimonies and the very real presence of God convinces us that there is a hunger and a need for a set-apart experience where we can come clean with God and be transformed into His likeness. Now our task is to lead people across our denomination into the same experience that we have encountered. The vision for this retreat is that it would be happening many times a year all over our denomination in a variety of venues.

In the near future we will have a free download on the Spiritual Formation website that will include the Holynext 'recipe', all of the scriptures and set up materials, recommendations for worship, etc. Basically every component that we used here will be available as a download. It will also include a promo video from footage taken at the first Holynext. We need many who attended the launch event to host a Holynext Retreat in their regions. If you would like to know more about this retreat and how to make one happen for your church or district, PLEASE EMAIL ME @ guptillt@wesleyan.org

Tuesday, April 4

it gives us a chance to get acquainted and let them know we enjoy life ... then we shoot them:)

How's that for a catchy title for a blog posting?! Did it get your interest? OK, let me explain. It's from an email I reeived from a church planting pastor in Florida. The church bought 6 acres of land and they worship in a garage that sits on that property. They also have found that many people in the area enjoy playing paint ball ( you're catching on ). So, after they worship together and show people how much they enjoy life...they use their property to play some paint ball.

Now I know that many of you have wished that you could shoot a few people from time to time but let me ask you this: what innovations are you using to reach people? What do your locals enjoy doing that you could incorporate into your programming as an easy way for others to invite friends? Do you have any creative small groups like this that you can recommend to the rest of us? I'd love to hear about them.