Tuesday, February 28
Well, I couldn't do it! I had to recommend three. My list will change as I continue to read, grow and learn, but these are the three I would recommend right now. Here is a copy of part of my reply to the email question:
I know you want me to recommend that ‘one’ book that will accomplish the most. Let me start this way:
If you are trying to get your leaders to buy in to the shift from being a church with small groups to being a church of small groups: “Creating Community”, Andy Stanley and Bill Willits, Multnomah, North Point Resources.
If you are looking for an over-arching resource that will put practical tools and ideas in their hands: “Small Group Ministry in the 21st Century”, encyclopedia of practical ideas, Group Publishing
If you are looking for something that will explain the nature of small groups and its role in biblical community: “Small Group Leadership as Spiritual Direction”, Heather Webb, Zondervan.
Monday, February 27
The small groups test drive. Fellowship believes that joining a small group is a huge step for people. To help folks get a taste of the small group experience without actually signing up for one, they offer "Fusion". Fusion is offered on campus, during the weekend services, with child care provided. Essentially what they are doing is trying to tempt people into signing up for a small group.
Fusion is a 4-week process. They have a 25% drop out rate after weeek one. After week 4 you are given the choice of forming a new group, join an existing group or dropping out all together.
What do you think? Pros and cons? Would this work in your church?
Wesleyan Men and World Hope Interenational have recently partnered in Disaster Relief Mobilization. We met last week at the World Hope HQ in Alexandria, Virginia. Approximately 25 people received training from the Salvation Army Emergency Services. We also launched a new Disaster Relief training manual that will be used to train Wesleyans across North America.
If you are interested in having a trainer come to your church to prepare your people in disaster response email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 16
Well, if you are looking for something simpler - here it is. The model from Fellowship Church's Home Teams only has three elements:
- Social Time
- Lesson Time
- Prayer Time
What do your groups do? Do you recommend they follow a structure or check list? What do you think are the key elements to a healthy group experience?
Tuesday, February 7
Here are the designations from Fellowship Church's Home Teams: Single, Married, Age, Location and then a few that are either men only or women only. They don't mix marrieds with singles, and they try to stick with age designations.
Great discussion on the last post. Thanks! Let's hear from a few of you - do you set parameters on who can go to which group? Do you have a free for all system? What are the pros and cons?
Wednesday, February 1
The model @ Fellowship is "this is our structure and if you don't fit or don't want to fit you will not be a part of our home team ministry". Structure allows you to have quality control. It also allows you to know WHO is leading the group, WHAT are they studying, WHEN do they meet, WHY do they meet, WHO attends, HOW do people join, WHERE is the group heading, and so on.
What do you think of structure? Do your groups resist it?