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Category Archives: Editor

Upcoming Resources

To Connect, Encourage & Resource Small Group Leaders at LifePoint Church – that’s our mission, that’s why we do what we do. It’s about keeping you, all of us, connected to the heart of the church and to one another. It’s that kind of connection that encourages each of us to keep going, to finish the race, to fight the good fight.

Resourceing? Our hope is that the Resources we provide throughout the year will help equip you to do the ministry God has called you to do – to run the race with solid footing, and fight the good fight with heart and passion. We all want to run together, run well and find joy in the race.

This year we are working on several Resources that focus on you, the Small Group Leader, and your personal spiritual growth. The basic premise behind this year’s plan is that we as Leaders must ‘walk the path’ that we hope to see others walk. Put simply, we need to model the path of authentic Christianity, the path of growth and change. Do you want the members of your group to cultivate a healthy prayer life? Begin to internalize and apply God’s Word? Understand what they believe and why? In practical terms, effective ministry happens when we reflect to others what God is doing in our own lives.

In October and November we will begin this year’s Resource journey with a two-part series on Prayer. (‘Part I’ can be downloaded from ‘Resources’ box in the right sidebar.)

Prayer Part I

I have a long-standing somewhat dysfunctional approach to ‘volunteering’ – I don’t like to do it, so when my hand goes up I typically look to God and ask, “why?”

I “volunteered” to write the October Resource (now a two-part series) on ‘prayer’ and I knew immediately why; it was the weakest arrow in my quiver of disciplines. My lack of understanding often led to discouragement in prayer, which led to less time and intentionality in prayer, which in turn seemed to sap my spiritual strength. I knew that my prayer life was the key to a healthy and vibrant relationship with God and mine had been faltering for too long. I had to rediscover prayer.

I’m also an obsessive ‘underliner’ that’s right, I underline, highlight, scribble in… generally ruin my best books, and even some good library books… by accident of course! There are many good, Biblically solid and informative books on the subject of prayer, but I had yet to find one that honestly addressed the most difficult questions on prayer; things like, “does prayer work, does it affect outcomes?” “What about unanswered prayer…?” I had yet to ‘ruin’ a good book on prayer!

In late September on a visit to Portland Oregon, in a small college bookstore, I found yet another book on prayer, a supposed ‘classic.’ First printed in 1931, by Ole Hallesby, Norwegian pastor and seminary professor – not only did the book capture my attention, it captured my mind and my heart. Hallesby honestly and humbly addresses the most difficult concepts related to prayer in a clear and thought-provoking manner. He answered many of my questions and gave me comfort in the ones that cannot be fully answered. My copy is officially ‘ruined’ with massive sections underlined, starred and highlighted along with multiple pages dog-eared both top and bottom!

In this two-part Resource on prayer, I’ve tried to capture some of the foundational elements of Hallesby’s book. It’s nothing earth shattering, in fact it is not ‘new’ per se; Hallesby himself has simply and profoundly highlighted the Bible’s teaching as he understands it.

Adam purchased two copies of Hallesby’s book and those are available for loan in the church library. We have several more copies on hand for purchase ($9) in the event some of you would like to ‘ruin’ your own copy. I’d also encourage you to use Hallesby’s book as a Small Group study – and ‘ruin’ the book together! There’s a study guide in the back of the book.

Paul Anglin

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Goodbye Book of the Month, hello Lending Library!

If you have missed receiving the Book of the Month post the last few months from LifeSupport Online – accept our heartfelt apologies! We are in the process of building the Lending Library tab on the blog – this is replacing the Book of the Month. We think it’s a great way of giving you quick and easy access to recommended studies for your Small Group.

The Lending Library tab categorizes studies in a couple of ways. First on the list you’ll see “New Releases”, this is the ‘hot-off-the-press’ Small Group material that we get our hands on. Next, you’ll see studies categorized by the three “D’s” (Deepening our walk with God,  Developing biblical community, Deploying our gifts), these reflect our Small Group CoreValues.  Finally, we’ve added two more categories that highlight Men’s and Women’s studies.

Building this Lending Library tab is a joint effort between the Small Group Ministry Team members and you, the Small Group Leaders.

Here’s what you can do to help.

1.  If your Small Group has done any of the listed studies, consider posting a comment to help other Leaders understand what is involved in doing the particular study, or any other ‘words of wisdom’ such as the best place to purchase, other helpful resources, things to be aware of, etc. By posting a comment, other Leaders will know who to contact if they have questions on a particular study. Maybe you even have a few extra books to pass along?

2.  If you’ve done a study that you think other Small Groups would really benefit from, let us know. Send us an email, and we’ll do the leg work of getting it posted to the Lending Library tab as soon as we can!

What’s going to replace the Book of the Month in the weekly blog posting schedule?

We often get questions from Small Group Leaders that we feel merit discussion amongst all Leaders. In other words, they’re great questions that many of us may be thinking but not asking. Sometimes these questions don’t fit in any of our other column categories, and they may not be so in-depth that they’d ever get addressed through one of our Monthly Resources. Our intent is to use this opening in the schedule to address the issues that come up… as they come up.

Here’s an issue that came up recently in a LifeSupport meeting; “How do you build intimacy in a Small Group?”   “What are some of the common roadblocks to building that relational intimacy?”  Here’s an idea I’ve found helpful in the past that might help you facilitate building relational intimacy in your Small Group… GroupServe! That’s right, serving together is a sure fire way of jump starting relationship building in your group.

There are two ways to find GroupServe Opportunities on the blog, you can either use the GroupServe pull down menu at the top of the page, or watch the right sidebar for upcoming events. We know that as Small Group Leaders, you have a lot on your plate! We encourage every Small Group to invite someone in the group to be the Group’s Serve Coordinator. Share your ministry, Serve together and build relational intimacy all at the same time!

We know Leading a Small Group can sometimes be overwhelming. We also know that many of you selflessly serve the church beyond your role as Small Group Leaders. There are many changes taking place in the Small Group Ministry, I want to assure each of you that the Small Group Ministry Team is committed to charting a course that has the potential to actually lessen some of your burdens. We are here to serve you, the “front-line” Leaders, in a way that makes your job easier, more enjoyable… and more fruitful!

Paul

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2010 in Book of the Month, Editor