The Power of Group

October 31st, 2012 by Tom Boisclair

If you asked me why I ran the Southern Odyssey Relay this year for a second time, I’d tell you it was because I knew that even though I didn’t want to run, doing so would call something greater out of me. The physical and mental cost would be high, but the benefits would be worth it.

The Southern Odyssey Relay is a 200-mile, 24-hour race in Georgia. Teams of twelve runners cover 200 miles in 36 legs. Each runner is assigned three legs that vary in length from three to eight miles.

Our team traveled in two vans, with six runners in each. As I ran, the other five guys in my van rode ahead, beside, or behind me.  They shouted encouragement, told me how much farther I had until my leg was finished, handed me water from the window of the van, and told me when I had a chance to pass members of other teams.

All of these things helped me run my legs of the race better than I would have alone. The other guys on my team would tell you the same was true for them. Because we were running as a team, none of us wanted to let the group down. Each of us yearned to run better than we were capable of running. Most of us recorded personal bests or crossed thresholds of endurance or speed at some point during our legs.

The race brought us together and provided a venue for connection, but it was the group itself that made the running worth it. As the race began, I only knew two of the five other guys in my van. By the end of the race, we’d really gotten to know one another because we’d shared a journey that challenged us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Because we were in a group, we pushed ourselves harder and went farther than we would have alone.

Setting Group Boundaries, Part Two

October 28th, 2012 by Donald Smith

We all agree that setting boundaries for group members is necessary for maintaining group health. But how do we approach a group member that refuses to live within those boundaries? How do we manage the tension between extending needy members grace and delivering truth? Read the rest of this entry »

Setting Group Boundaries, Part One

October 21st, 2012 by Donald Smith

Most of us have been in a group or two with one group member who dominates the group experience. Maybe there’s been someone who tried to dominate every group you’ve been in. It’s important for the health of our groups and for our growth as leaders that we learn how to set boundaries for dominant group members. Read the rest of this entry »

Seminary Classes at North Point?

October 17th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

Maybe you’re at a point where you’d love some theological training from the pros. Our churches offer Theopraxis, which is a training ground to have informed and helpful conversations about particular topics. But North Point Community Church is also a host site for some of Dallas Theological Seminary’s classes.

For course offerings, registration, and other FAQ, visit: http://www.dts.edu/about/campuses/atlanta/

Here’s what’s coming up for Spring 2013:

Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, & Selected Epistles
Fri. 01/18 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 01/19 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 02/08 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 02/09 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 03/01 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 03/02 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 04/12 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 04/13 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

Eschatology
Fri. 01/25 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 01/26 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 03/08 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 03/09 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 04/19 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 04/20 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri. 05/03 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Sat. 05/04 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

Evangelism
Sat. 02/02 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Sat. 02/23 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Sat. 04/06 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Sat. 04/27 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

When Not to Use Email

October 14th, 2012 by John Ott

Email is for information and affirmation only. That’s one of the most helpful guidelines for using email that I’ve ever heard. Whenever I find myself writing an email containing anything other than information or affirmation, alarms go off in my head. It’s time for a face-to-face or over-the-phone conversation.

Scott Belsky’s short post at 99u.com, “The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World”, gives sound advice on when and how to use specific methods of communication. I think “The Five Methods…” is more accurate, but let’s not get distracted from the point. Here are Belsky’s five levels:

Level 1: Message into the Ether (email)
Level 2: Back-and-Forth Messaging (text; instant message)
Level 3: A Verbal Dialog
Level 4: The In-Person Spontaneous Discussion
Level 5: The In-Person Scheduled Discussion

How you communicate is as important as what you communicate. I know this seems small . . . it is. But choosing the correct method of communication can have a massive impact on your effectiveness as a leader—in any arena. Email and text are convenient and often helpful. But if you’re not simply providing information or giving affirmation, the very best leadership decision you can make is to pick up the phone or schedule a discussion.

Make your method serve your message. Don’t let your message serve your method.

I’ll repeat Belsky’s closing question here: Have you developed any tips for selecting the right level of communication?

Groups Cheer You On

October 10th, 2012 by Reggie Sumpter

You can hear Shannon’s small group cheering during this baptism. It’s a great reminder of how wonderful it is to have people with you to celebrate.

Shannon Faust- 031812 from NP Baptism on Vimeo.

Journaling What I’ve Been Up To

October 7th, 2012 by Lynne Edmonds

When I see friends I haven’t seen in years, they usually ask, “So, what have you been up to?”

There’ve been times when that question was discouraging. On the inside, my response was, “Nothing has changed since the last time you saw me. I’m still single, still live in the same house, and still work at the same company.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Unequally Yoked

October 1st, 2012 by Sue Bates

You’re sitting across from your friend who’s dating a non-believer.  You want to blurt out that Scripture that says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” and hope that’s enough to convince her to stop dating the person. Or maybe you know that’s what you should say, but don’t know how to approach the conversation.

You’re 100 percent positive that’s what the Bible says, but you’re not quite as confident about why it’s important. What do you really mean when you tell your friend “God doesn’t want you to be yoked with an unbeliever?” Read the rest of this entry »