Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why We Do Groups

I have written before about how I believe the number 1 key to small groups working in a church is the public support of the senior pastor. Our Pastor, Pete Wilson, recently talked about our groups strategy at Cross Point with Ed Stetzer on his show, The Exchange.

This is Church – Pete Wilson on Community Groups – Highlight from The Exchange from Ed Stetzer on Vimeo.

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Is Your Group Balanced?

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No matter what kind of a study that a small group does – message notes, dvd driven, book study, Bible study – every discussion should have these 3 components: knowledge, understanding and action. A group can get out of balance when they do not have all 3.

There are a lot of groups that spend most of their discussion time soaking up knowledge. They make sure that they get the reading done, but without understanding it is worthless.

Other groups do a great job of downloading the knowledge and then breaking it down for understanding, but they miss the critical part of putting that knowledge into action. They can end up educated beyond their obedience.

A few groups focus on action well by serving every time there is a need or an opportunity. That’s great, but whenever there is a question or debate, they lack the knowledge and understanding to back up their faith.

As you evaluate the health of your groups, take a look at where they are with these 3 components. It may be time to make an adjustment to get things back in balance.

 

Big Day

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Yesterday was an amazing day at Cross Point as we celebrated the opening of our Nashville campus’ new building in downtown Nashville. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cross Point, the Nashville campus is our broadcast campus and has been leasing space from another church for the last 6 years. It was an interesting setup with Cross Point meeting in one part of the building, while the other church met simultaneously in another part. But it worked.

As I watched the thousands of people stream in to the building yesterday, I was reminded that we have to work even harder now to provide opportunities for community and discipleship. While the new building is a beautiful tool, it is not the Church. What happens on Sunday in that building is just the spark of what God wants to do.

We will kick off our next community groups semester in 3 weeks, and I am praying big that those thousands of people that walked into that building yesterday will now take the bigger next step of walking into someone’s home for community group. We believe that discipleship happens best in circles, not in rows. If we want to see the fullness of God realized, it will not be for just an hour on Sunday morning.

I can’t wait to see this city transformed – house by house.

You Should Do The Opposite

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Last week, I helped facilitate a Leadership Community at Leadership Network in Dallas, and one of the exercises that we had the teams do was called Opposites. We had each church list 5 of the most common ways they do currently ministry and then what would be the ministry potential of doing the complete opposite. For instance: if a church currently sends people on short term missions trips, what would happen if they did not send anyone and instead invested completely in the missionaries on the ground? I think that this could be a great exercise for every ministry team at a church to go through.

What would happen if you completely changed your leaders training?

What if you didn’t have formal training but let leaders learn as they go?

What if instead of your kids ministry doing a VBS this year, they did a week of serving the community?

What if you completely changed the order of a service one week?

The idea is to dream big about the what ifs. You may not actually end up doing the complete opposite, but it just might start a conversation – that sparks an idea – that leads to a movement. If you feel like your ministries are stuck, it might be time to not only think outside the box, but consider doing the complete opposite.

Here is George Costanza for a little inspiration.

Look For The Bright Spots

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In the book, Switch, Chip and Dan Heath introduce the concept of looking for positive deviants in problem solving. When we take on a system that is broken, we have a tendency to focus solely on the problems and try to fix them. The end result is that the issues are usually so big and overwhelming that little to no progress is made.

Instead of focusing on just the problems, what if we looked for the bright spots? These are not usually huge successes, but tiny movements of hope that we can begin to multiply.

That one leader whose group continues to grow.

That one coach who is still taking care of her leaders.

That mom’s group that has continued to thrive even with leadership changes.

What can we learn from those leaders and groups and begin to multiply across our system? Sometimes you don’t have to completely destroy a system or organization to fix it. You just need to look for the bright spots.