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Author Archives: adamworkman

Small Groups on Mission

First things first. I’d like to buy you dinner. Got your attention? Okay, more on that later. One of the things that drew me to small group ministry was the inherent potential housed in small groups that is just waiting to be released. I can see a day when small groups of relationally connected people who love God and one another are locking arms and venturing out on mission, both locally and globally. I can see a day when that is part of the regular rhythm of group life at LifePoint. Our values of Growing in our walk with God, Caring for one another and Serving should propel us outward into a world in need with the message and love of the Gospel. A small group can be a serious force in the Kingdom of God.

There are other ways that small groups can impact the missional landscape. Here’s one: I’d like to introduce you to Taylor Dukehart. She attends LifePoint and is in the process of building her support team so she can serve in North Africa with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). She’d love the opportunity to visit with your group so you could get to know her, pray for her as she prepares for her time in North Africa and prayerfully consider being a part of her support team.

Summer makes a great time to break from the norm in your small group. I’d like to ask you to consider having Taylor to your group to share about her upcoming trip and her heart and vision. I’m thinking it would be cool if you demonstrated hospitality to her by inviting her to a cookout with your group.

So, here’s what I’d like to do. If you’d like for Taylor to visit with your group to share her heart for North Africa the Small Group Ministry would like to purchase the meat for your cookout. Contact me, and I will put you in touch with Taylor. Once you’ve had the cookout, turn your receipt in to myself or Lois Schraf and we’ll get you a reimbursement check. It’s that simple. Oh. Please steer clear of filets and lobster. Let’s try to keep the meat budget to $50.

If you’d like to invite her to your group, but want to skip the cookout, that’s fine too! My goal is to introduce you to Taylor and then see what God would have you do from there.

Please contact me at adamworkman@lifepointchurch.us and let me know what God might be prompting you to do.

Thanks!

Adam

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Walk Thru Your Bible

How sweet Your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Psalm 119:103

Imagine if you could help your Small Group learn the entire Old Testament in about the time it takes to watch an Orioles game. Imagine if at the end of that time your group members could summarize the story of the Old Testament in 3 minutes. That would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it? If we want people to live and apply God’s Word they first have to know what it says. That’s where Walk Thru the Bible comes in.

Watch this and then check out the details and link below.

Grace Community Church in Fulton MD is hosting Walk Thru the Old Testament on:

  • Sunday, June 3 (6pm-9pm) &
  • Monday, June 4 (7pm-9:30pm)

*Please keep in mind that this is a two day event (5 hours total).

For more details about this great opportunity and/or to register, click here: Walk Thru the Bible at Grace.

 Adam

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

What’s NEXT for LifePoint Church?

When God goes working in the world He looks for faithful people through whom He can pour His love and resources. I never get over that! God works through people to reach other people. When I think of it in those terms, I’m struck with the awesome privilege we have of partnering with God to see the extraordinary happen.

We stand on the threshold of expanding our reach throughout our region and beyond. I feel like God is literally inviting us to trust Him in big ways as we expand our campus and create new environments to influence people to find and follow Jesus. But that requires great faith on the part of those of us who follow Him.

We have discovered over the years that the church is people, not a building. But a building is a strategic tool for accomplishing ministry. We are now poised to expand our campus so that we can meet the urgent needs of people throughout our region and beyond.

Beginning the weekend of March 3 and 4, we’ll launch NEXT in our worship services. NEXT is a five-week sermon series designed to highlight our vision and the details of our facility expansion. This is big—really big! Toward the end of the series, I’ll invite our entire church family to participate financially in this NEXT chapter of our church’s history.

These are extraordinary times! They are times filled with challenge and uncertainty for many. But for everyone, they are times filled with the possibility that God can show up in a very real and powerful way. These are times where God can do something extraordinary.

Thank you for your faithful involvement!

Joe Duke

Beginning the weekend of March 3 and 4, we’ll launch NEXT in our worship services. As I think about the role Small Groups can play during NEXT, one opportunity in particular strikes me. We are confident that one of the greatest ways to maximize the experience and to help us unify in a strong way during this exciting time will be for all of our Small Groups to become “sermon-based” throughout those 5 weeks. We’re asking that you make the discussion questions provided on the bulletin insert your curriculum during NEXT. We think it’s worth rearranging your study plans in order to walk through these 5 weeks together as a group. Once the NEXT series is over you can jump right back into the curriculum you had planned.

I’ll be doing another post in the next several days highlighting the advantages of sermon-based small group studies.

I’m excited about what God is going to do in and through LifePoint as we follow Him into the future.

Adam Workman

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Childcare Dilemma Part 2

In Part 1 of The Childcare Dilemma we discussed the importance of childcare in small groups, how to get started, and then how to make it happen. In this post we’ll look at childcare options, how to treat sitters and maintaining order.

Small Group Childcare Options

Be as creative as possible. Don’t limit yourself to thinking the way you’ve  always thought. That’s important. When our group had twenty nine children, we had to be very creative. We had them divided into three different age groups with three individual sitters. Each age group had activities to engage in, and obviously, we met at a house where we could all fit. If that house wasn’t available we would have had to come up with another creative solution.

Here are some childcare options that might stimulate your thinking.

  • You can hire a sitter to watch the children in another home–maybe in the same neighborhood, or parents can get their own sitters as if they were going out on a date. (Although I must say I love having our children where we meet. I want them to see us in community, I want them witness first-hand what it is we value so much, and I want them to experience it.)
  • If your sitter bails on you for the night or you just couldn’t find sitters for a particular week, two adults can watch the children, either for the whole night, or in shifts. We recently did this in our group when our sitters fell through. Two people watched the children for twenty minutes each. It worked well. It also gives people in the group an opportunity to get to know each other better.
  • If there are parents with teenage children in the group they could watch the younger children.
  • Yours and another group could watch each other’s children. Couples could rotate so that they would only be watching children once every five weeks or so.

Whatever you decide, talk about it as a group and be creative. Maybe there is no single answer. You might have to do several things at various times. But community is worth it.

How to Treat Sitters

If you want the sitters to come back, pay them well and treat them even better. This kind of goes along with being a follower of Jesus anyway, doesn’t it?

  • Save them some refreshments, buy them a Christmas gift, wash their car, cut their grass. If their family is in need, help them. Serve them however you can.
  • This is key: they are not just there to benefit us. They present the group with an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in practical ways. We should be there for them as well. In our last group one of our sitters had a family emergency. We raised money for them as a group. It wasn’t enough to solve all the problems of a house fire, but it demonstrated to them that they were more than just our sitters.

How to Maintain Order

When someone opens their home to host a group, it’s no small thing. Everyone in the group should respect and steward well the property of others.

  • When the group leaves for the night, the host family still has a lot of cleaning up to do. Finding broken toys, spilled juice, and general mayhem shouldn’t part of “after group clean up.” Think what you’d want your home to look like at the end of the night.
  • It’s wise to have some kind of ground rules for the sitters and children. Here’s what ours look like:
    • We have something for the children to do the entire time, including a snack time. They can watch a   video, play games, have a snack, learn a story, do a craft, etc. Mix it up and be creative. There are     other times when bringing the children into the group time is more than appropriate depending on       their ages. If you are studying parenting, you could bring the children into the circle and praise them   in front of their peers. You could have a special time of thanksgiving for mom or dad on Mother’s or     Father’s day. Whatever you do, keep it creative.
    • There is no roughhousing or wrestling allowed.
    • We have found that a 5:1 ration works well. That’s a general guideline that is influenced by many things, including the age of the children and even the age of the sitter
    • Children are to be respectful and obedient to the sitters and to each other. If a child is spoken to more than once, he/she is sent upstairs and sits in the kitchen. If the child still cannot control himself/herself the parents take the child/children home. We have never had to do that, but it’s important to have something in place so that parents and children both know that we take this time seriously and that we value our sitters.

It may be a good idea to print these posts out and bring them to group. Read them together and talk about what you are doing well and what you could improve as it relates to childcare.

Community is an essential component in the life of every follower of Jesus, not just those without the childcare dilemma. I’m convinced that there are solutions. Hopefully this guide will help you in your journey.

What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to childcare in your small group?

What has worked well for you?

 
 

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The Childcare Dilemma-Part 1

The next two posts are all about the nitty-gritty of childcare in small groups. Why? Because the need for childcare in a small group can often become a real deal-breaker for families that would like to be a part of a group. It seems that sitters are tough to find, some families don’t have the money to lay out for childcare and for many leaders, it’s just too much to try and coordinate. To top it off, a group of ten can easily become a group of twenty five once you include children…where do we put everyone?! I’ve seen groups derail because they were unable to sort out the childcare dilemma. There are groups out there, waiting to be formed right now, but they just can’t get over this hurdle.

Webster’s online dictionary defines Nitty Gritty, yeah it’s in there, as “what is essential and basic : specific practical details.” That’s what this guide is about. It’s everything-you-need-to-know-about-childcare-in-smallgroups-even-though-you-wish-you-didn’t. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. It’s a lot of what you need to know, not everything. Fair enough? And while these next two posts aren’t going to solve all of your small group childcare issues, I hope they will offer some insight and stir your thinking about what might work best for your group.

My small group planted a new group about a year and a half ago. Before we began that new group our group was made up of fourteen adults and twenty nine children, yep 29. My current group has thirteen adults and seventeen children. My family only contributes two of those, so don’t look at us :).

Here are some insights on how we’ve made it work, most of the time.

How to Get Started

As a dad of young children I’ve come to learn that most parents have a network of babysitters. Even if they only have one or two “go to” sitters, they have friends who have sitters, who have friends that have sitters, and so on.

  • Work that network. We’ve used sitters from the neighborhood where our group meets, to personal sitters of parents in other groups. We continue to do all we can to exhaust those connections and create new ones whenever possible.
  • Don’t stop. Each person in the group is continually on the look-out for potential sitters. We have found that you can’t stop doing that. Sitters get other jobs, go off to school, have extracurricular activities to attend, etc. So, you need to constantly look for sitters. We continue to ask ourselves, even when we have sitters in place, who do we know that are potential sitters for our group?
  • Do what it takes. Once we identify sitters we do whatever is needed in order to get them to the group. If their parents can’t drive them, someone from the group picks them up. If their parents can’t pick them up, we drive them home. We try to remove whatever barriers are in the way.

How to Pull it Off

One of the biggest mistakes that a small group leader makes is trying to do everything on their own. When I first started leading a group I did it all. And as you probably guessed, not only did I suffer, so did the group. It is critical that as the leader of the group you involve others, especially in this area.

  • To be honest, one of the main reasons we have made this work in our group is because I’ve stayed away from it and have empowered others to lead. Our group has two people who lead our childcare coordination. One oversees the finances, the other sets up the schedule with the sitters–and they do an awesome job! I am confident that most groups have capable people who can handle this area of group life.  Keep in mind that everyone in the group is very involved in making sure that the childcare is the best it can be—you’ll notice that throughout this guide.
  • We have found it best to have everyone pay in advance for at least two months. This keeps us from having to remember  to bring cash or our checkbooks with us each week. It simplifies things nicely.
  • When we pay in advance we all pay the same amount even if we won’t be there on a particular week. In reality, we are paying for the opportunity to have sitters. This ensures that the sitters are getting paid appropriately and keeps our costs the same. If there is ever a week where we need only one sitter, we save the extra money for future childcare needs.

In the next post we’ll talk about childcare options, maintaining order, and how to treat sitters.

What childcare suggestions do you have?

What’s worked for your group, what hasn’t?

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2011 in Just Thinking

 

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GroupServe

GroupServe is all about linking your group with opportunities to serve together. Serving together as a group accomplishes at least a few of things: First, serving together as a group acts as a kind of lab for what we are learning. It’s a truth meets life environment and it’s an essential part of discipleship. Second, serving together builds community. Something powerful happens when a group of people come together to accomplish a task they couldn’t do alone. Third, it’s good stewardship. God has entrusted to us the gift of community and the grace of growth in Christ. It only makes sense that we leverage those things to make a difference in the lives of others.

With that in mind, here are just a few great GroupServe opportunities for your group this holiday season.

NESAP: Holiday Family Sponsorship –Your group can sponsor a family, or families, for the holidays (Thanksgiving and/or Christmas).

NESAP: Christmas Gifts –Your group can purchase gift and/or food cards for needy families in our community.

Mwamba Children’s Choir—Your Group can take a meal to the choir at the Brethren Center in New Windsor, host them in your home for a meal, drop off food, or provide transportation.

For detailed information about all three of these, as well as other terrific GroupServe opportunities, hover over the GroupServe tab above. NESAP is listed under “Serve Our Community” and the Mwamba Children’s Choir is listed under “Serve Our World.”

You may want to identify one or two people in your group to act as your GroupServe point person. You could ask those in your group who is passionate about serving others and present the idea to them. Once they are in place they can assist your group in finding GroupServe projects and help you be sure that serving together is a priority.

How has your group served together in the past?

Why do you think it’s a good idea to serve together?


Adam Workman

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2010 in Just Thinking

 

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Community U

Effective self-leadership is absolutely essential when it comes to effective small group leadership…or leadership of any kind for that matter. See Mark 1:16-29 paying close attention to verse 35 to see how Jesus demonstrates self-leadership coming off one of His busiest days that we have recorded in Scripture.

There are a number of ways to grow by exercising self-leadership as a small group leader: Praying, studying Scripture, engaging in LifeSupport, reading good books, reading worthwhile blogs, listening to sermons, being around other leaders, etc. Here’s another way for you to invest in yourself as a small group leader. It’s called the Community U Small Group Conference.

I’d like to introduce you to Michael Moore, Pastor of Small Groups at Grace Community Church in Fulton, MD with some great information about this exciting conference:

Please give us an overview of the upcoming Community U conference and where it’s taking place.

Steve Gladen, Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Community Church in CA, his team, and pastors from successful small group ministries around the country will teach on-site live for two days at Grace Community Church, just north of the DC area, in Fulton, Maryland.

Who should attend this conference?

Pastors, ministry leaders, small group leaders, and Sunday School Teachers from all around the Mid-Atlantic Region will be coming to learn together.

What will be the concentration of this conference?

This conference’s focus is on how to have healthy groups which lead to a healthy church. We will talk about how to disciple people, not just lead meetings.  Learn how to make groups more about life transformation than about information. We will work on very practical skills such as equipping leaders to deal with difficult people in their groups as well as exploring strategies to increase the commitment level and more fully engage the members of your small group.

Any parting thoughts?

I flew many from my team to California last year for this event.  Because of the impact it had on our church, we are very excited that it is available right here in our area this fall.  I hope to see you and your team at our church on October 15/16.

I’ll be at this conference and will be leading one of the Leader Rally Workshops called “New Leader’s Crash Course.”  I’d love for you to join me. I had a chance to spend a couple of days with Steve Gladen back in May. He’s now a friend, and I can tell you that spending a day with him would be a big time encouragement and growth opportunity for you. He’s the real-deal, that’s for sure.

If you’d like to come and finances are a concern, please contact me. If you’ve never been to this conference before, you’ll want to register for the Prime Track. For more information, or to register, click here.

-Adam Workman

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Just Thinking