The following post is by Michael Kelley. is an author, editor, and communicator whose works include Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal and Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life. Born in Texas, Michael holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala. Michael and his wife have three children and live in Nashville, Tenn. You can read more from Michael at michaelkelleyministries.com or find him on Twitter. This post originally appeared at the LifeWay Church Leaders blog. No one comes to a building in its early stages and marvels at the extensive nature of its rebar. Instead, we wait until the structure actually starts to go up;… [Read More]
One of the biggest parts of being a leader is setting a strategy to accomplish the goals and achieve the vision of the team or organization. Dan Rockwell shares 10 ways to get where you want to go. This post on the LifeWay Church Leaders blog by Drew Dixon resounds with me and much of what I wrote in Simple Church. Is it time to deprogram your ministry? Recently, Ed Stetzer and I co-wrote Transformational Groups, which we hope will equip small group leaders with ways they can establish and grow healthy community in their ministries. Here are five tips for multiplying community groups. “A leader’s most precious resource is not their… [Read More]
The following post is by Brandon Hiltibidal, and it originally appeared on LifeWay’s Church Leaders blog. Brandon is a former church planter and multi-site pastor. He is part of the Groups Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources. He and his wife have two little girls. You can read about his groups ministry and his girls on Twitter: @bmhiltibidal. I’m sure growing up you experienced the feeling of knowing everyone else was at some glorious, talk-about-what-happened-for-years sort of party while you sat at home in your Ninja Turtle pajamas playing GameBoy, eating frozen yogurt, and talking to your mom, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Seriously. You’re not hanging out without… [Read More]
On Christmas day, some neighbors in a small town in Illinois were surprised to discover that one of their neighbors, Sunatha Simmons, had died. Not only did they learn of her death, but they also learned that she had been dead in her home for more than a year. Her family came to visit from Japan and found her body in the garage. According to the coroner, she died of natural causes. Reading this story (thanks to Pastor Matt Pryor for sending it my way) is both shocking and saddening. It is an extreme example of the pain of isolation. To think that someone can perish and go completely unnoticed… [Read More]
Why do small groups matter? What is their purpose? Spence Shelton, the Small Groups Pastor at The Summit Church, goes to Acts 2 to explore what makes an awesome small group and what impact they can have. He shares a number of things small groups must focus on and a number of results that will occur if groups do them. The net result is powerful. Also, check out Spence’s new book, The People of God, which lays out a theology and practice of biblical community. Learn more about Ministry Grid and how it can help your church flexibly and effectively train volunteers.
Julie Woodruff, Women’s Minister at Longhollow Baptist Church in Nashville, TN shares some thoughts on best practices when it comes to women’s small groups. Small groups provide community. Julie shares a great quote she heard recently, “If you are aiming at community, you’ll miss it every time. But, if you have a mission, community will happen.” Church communities are different than any other communities. Here are Julie’s thoughts on small groups: Learn more about Ministry Grid and how it can help your church flexibly and effectively train volunteers.
Michael Porter has famously said that strategy is about making choices, about making trade-off decisions. As an example, IKEA is known for making the trade-off decision of offering great prices over offering great service. It is not that they de-value service, but they have chosen to value “low cost” more. This strategic choice impacts organizational behavior, as any good strategy does. In their physical stores, they have chosen a self-service model over a highly staffed model with sales associates interacting with customers on every aisle. They understood the “trade-offs” and made a strategic choice that has deep implications for the company. Church leaders make strategic choices too. And often we… [Read More]
Michael Porter is a well-known expert on strategy. Porter has articulated “strategy is about making choices, trade-offs.” An effective strategist thus understands the landscape and deliberately chooses a path with awareness and understanding of the trade-offs. A leadership team that is strategic is able to say, “Here are the potential benefits and the potential pitfalls of this direction, and with those in mind, we have made the strategic choice to move in this direction.” Church leaders frequently ask me about the directional choice between “off-campus” small groups and “on campus” groups, often called Sunday School. I have never really involved myself in the discussion that pins one against the other…. [Read More]
In Transformational Discipleship, we unpacked the important relationship between truth, posture, and leaders. God brings about transformation as godly leaders apply the truth to our hearts while we are in a teachable posture. Truth: The Lord transforms us, sanctifies us, through His truth—and His Word is truth (John 17:17). The truth of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word has the power to change us and mold us into the image of His Son. Posture: God puts us in a teachable and moldable posture to receive His truth. For example, He will use trials, spiritual disciplines, and biblical community to soften our hearts toward His truth. If you are… [Read More]