One of our 8 Leader Essentials is End Well. It’s a tough one because it requires intentionality and no one really wants to think about the end of a group . . . especially at the beginning of a group. But ending a group well matters. It’s worth the effort.

“Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier on Halloween?” is a recent post by Shankar Vedantam on NPR’s The Salt blog (it includes a 4-minute podcast that is well worth your time). The post digs into the counterintuitive findings of two research projects—one dealing with trick-or-treaters, the other with colonoscopy patients. That’s a strange mix, I know, and the next paragraph is going to get a little weird, but stick with me. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Serving Look Like?

October 29th, 2013 by Dan Mancini

The 2013 edition of Be Rich—our annual giving and serving campaign—kicks off on Sunday, November 7. We’re excited to see what God does through the generosity of our churches this year.

Remember that Community Groups have a unique opportunity to create your own service projects. For more information, visit the Be Rich Small Group Experience page on this site. It includes a video you can watch together as a group, a discussion guide, and guidance for how to create your own service project.

I really cannot overstate how getting out and serving others together will deepen and strengthen the relationships in your group. There’s just something about working together shoulder-to-shoulder that draws people closer to one another. If you formed a new group at the August GroupLink, you especially don’t want to miss this chance to dive into Be Rich, help others, and  amp up the quality of your group experience.

Has your group served together in previous Be Rich campaigns? If so, tell us about it.

 

Re:Group in the Ball Pit

October 24th, 2013 by Dan Mancini

We just finished hosting re:group 2013 at Buckhead Church. Re:group is a two-day conference for people in groups ministry. Over 900 attendees from over 400 organizations were there. It was an awesome time.

One of the fun elements at the conference was a ball pit designed to help people connect and get to know one another a little bit. I thought you might enjoy the results. Check out this video:

[Hat tip to Soul Pancake for the idea.]

More Resources for Tough Conversations

October 16th, 2013 by Dan Mancini

Leading people means you’re going to have to have tough conversations from time to time. It’s just part of the deal. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier, but it is what it is . . . and what it is is one of the most difficult aspects of leading.

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Confessions of a Mediocre Pray-er

October 14th, 2013 by Dan Mancini

Praying out loud is one of the most intimidating things for people new to group. And why wouldn’t it be? We (and by “we” I mean Christians who’ve been in groups for a while) treat it like a public speech or a poetry slam or something. We expect—or at least hope for—eloquence, beauty, and wit. Some part of us likes religiosity. We prefer five-dollar words to fifty-cent ones. Too often in group, praying publicly can be a kind of performance piece. Those new to community sense the pressure.

Let me offer up a confession: If eloquence, beauty, and wit are the standards by which public prayer is judged, I’m mediocre . . . on my best days.

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A Review of Community

October 10th, 2013 by Dan Mancini

Mark Howell, Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, recently gave Community: Starting Well In Your Small Group a glowing review on his blog. Here’s an excerpt:

I want to say this carefully, but I believe the availability of Community: Starting Well in Your Small Group might be the most important development in group launching strategy in the last decade . . . .  Community is a great study and is going to help launch and deeply connect a very large number of groups.  I love it and I’m sure you will too!

Read the whole review. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Rich 2013

October 7th, 2013 by Bryan Apinis

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already, but we’re gearing up for the 2013 Be Rich campaign.

Be Rich is our annual giving and serving campaign. The name comes from 1 Timothy 6 in which Paul tells Timothy:

“Command those who are rich in this present world . . . to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (v 17–18).

Like last year, we’ve created a special way for Community Groups to get involved in the campaign. We want to give your group an opportunity to do more and give more because good things happen through your group and in your group when you prioritize serving others.

Check out the Be Rich Group Experience for the details.

Have you ever had a group meeting that made you think, “That was really fun, but we didn’t get to the study”?

The good news is the “community” part of your Community Group is probably going well. But that’s not all your group is about. It should be a place where life change happens within the context of community. That means the relationships need to be intentional. You need to have a shared goal. Read the rest of this entry »