Okay, I'm thinking most people would prefer to attend small group in their neighborhood. Close to home, you may have a chance to hang out more often, your kids might go to school together. Lots of benefits. Well today, I invited someone to my small group who lives in Milwaukee. Yes Wisconsin. hmmm...that's a long drive for small group. And the even wierder thing is he said "yes." He even wanted to know ahead of time what he should read to come prepared.
I'm convinced, people really want community...really!
I consider myself kind of an amazon woman...meaning I am pretty tough physically. I am not afraid of hard physical work and I don't think I am a wimp. But I got 5 shots this week in preparation for my trip to India. This typhoid shot is kicking my booty. I ache all over - ya know body aches. I am 32 days away from my trip. I really shouldn't start whining already. I mean come on!
I have had three jobs at Community Christian Church. Children's Ministry, Support and Recovery Ministry and Small Groups. With the first two, you throw open the doors and the people come to you (over simplification here...but stay with me). But small groups, not so much. Not sure which is harder or easier, but definitely different. One thing I am beginning to understand, with small groups, you gotta chase it.
I am responsible for the Neighborhood small groups for our Naperville location, and I am asking myself lately, how am I going to chase it? Here is what I am thinking:
Pray and ask God for wisdom and direction
Create a dream sheet - a description of where we want to be in 4 years.
Break down the 4 years into yearly goals.
Gather a strategic planning team
Create a yearly strategy
I met for the first time with my strategic planning team this week. These committed volunteers agreed to meet once a week (6:30am Saturday morning...yikes!) to plan our first year strategy. I can't say enough about the this team. So gifted, so willing to use their time and gifts and resources to create a small group strategy that changes eternity for many people.
I will let you know how it goes. Here's to CHASING IT.
Bob Logan, leading church planting coach and founder of Coach Net shares this list of how people learn. He articulates very well what I have seen repeated in the small group leader/apprentice relationship over the years. Ya....this is what I'm talkin' about.......
People learn best when they see someone effectively model the skill or character trait they wish to learn.
People learn best when they gain hands-on experience through on-the-job training. Jesus’ training model would accurately be summarized in the following order of words: Orient…Involve… Equip.
People learn best in a mosaic pattern, not a linear pattern. In other words, they learn best when they sense a need, not when the subject just happens to come up next in the curriculum list.
People learn best through “just-in-time” training. When you are involved in ministry, and there you sense a need—that is when you need a resource, when you need the help, and when you are most teachable!
People learn best when they have effective mentoring relationships.
Friday night...it was like 85 degrees. My small group met at the taste of Naperville. Lots of good food, free climbing wall for the kids and a band. Great small group hangout. But my favorite part was coming back to our house afterward and roasting marshmellows in the backyard. Did I say I love my small group?
What fun things are you doing with your small group this summer?
I can't believe my alarm was going off at 3:45am on Friday morning. What's up with that? I got up to prepare for my shift at PADS, Dupage County homeless shelter. I met some of my small group members there (well former group members...we multiplied a while back). We cooked and served breakfast to about 90 people) We cleaned the sleeping mats and prepared the linens for washing. I thought about all the volunteers across the country who either stayed up all night or got up at crazy hours to serve the homeless. Hundreds, probably thousands of volunteers.
I am so proud of my small group members. They were compassionate, willing, even fun servants at 5:00am. It turned out to be a great way to start the day.
7 weeks from today, August 1st, I will be on my way to India. Indian Creek Community Church in partnership with Indian Gospel league has organized 3 conferences in India to train women in the church to reach the unreached people throughout India. There are 6 women going to teach and lead worship for the conferences and they invited me to go along. At first I said, "no" then I said "maybe" and now I am filling out paperwork, getting my shots, praying that my passport arrives in time to apply for the Visa and asking God what He wants me to say to women in India.