February 2010
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The Small Group Movement of the Year!

Coming to beautiful (and warm!) Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th!

Coummunity U Logo 170pxYou do not want to miss this last Community U Small Group Conference of the year! Whether you are just starting small groups in your church, or whether you are a seasoned small group ministry professional, we have a learning track for you. In addition, we have a special track just for your small group leaders. This is your team's opportuity to not only soak up some warm Florida sunshine, but to also leave the conference rejuvenated and focused.
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by Rick Warren

Rick Warren New 2010Part of leadership is taking risks. Wise leaders ensure they take wise risks. We have been looking at how to be sure your risks are wise. Let's review. If I'm going to take a wise risk, first I get the facts. Then I count the cost. Then I plan my steps. Announce your goal. And, of course, throughout every step, you pray. This month we will look at the final two steps in taking wise risks. So far, we have looked at the first four steps. Get the facts. Count the cost. Plan your steps. Announce your goal. Let's look at the final two. 
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The Traits of Foundational Fellowship

by Steve Gladen

Steve Gladen New

Fellowship is the foundation for health and balance in any small group. True Christian fellowship, however, goes deeper than merely "hanging out". It requires commitment and intentional focus on the part of the small group leader and members. All small groups experiencing authentic fellowship have certain traits in common. I was inspired by a sermon Rick Warren did on the topic of fellowship not too long ago. This month, based on that sermon and my own thoughts, I will begin a three part series looking at the traits of foundational fellowship. As you work to build the foundation of fellowship in your small group ministry, you need to keep these questions in mind:

by Steve Gladen250 Big Ideas (Steve's Tips)

Help your groups become balanced and healthy by providing them practical ways they can balance the biblical purposes.

Fellowship - Ask group members to list five details about their lives that most people in the group may not know - be sure to do it too. Collect the papers for use at the next group meeting.Before your next meeting, list some of these obscure details on a sheet of paper and make one copy for each group member. On your copy not which group member shared which fact.When you meet again, pass out the sheets, saying, "Here are some the facts written down last week. Next to each fact write the name of the group member you think shared it. You have three minutes." When the time is up, read from your answer key. The person with the most right answers wins a "know-it-all" award (consider something fun like a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop). Give the person with the fewest correct answers a pack of name tags to help him or her get to know the group!

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By Lance WittStressed Man

I never thought I would be writing an article on Sabbath. For the first thirty years of my Christian life, the concept of Sabbath wasn't even a blip on my spiritual radar. I never heard a sermon on the practice of Sabbath nor did I ever read an article or book on the subject. I assumed it was one of those Old Testament things we just didn't do anymore. I lumped Sabbath into the same category as Leviticus 19:19, which prohibits wearing anything woven together with two kinds of material.

Not only was Sabbath theologically irrelevant for me, it was practically irrelevant as well. I did not know one person who practiced Sabbath. And my philosophy of ministry would have had no room for Sabbath. I have...

Small Group Studies Bookshelf

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Books, websites, and videos of interest to those directing small group ministries.

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Contact Editor - Cheryl Shireman, Small Group Network Coordinator at cheryls@saddleback.com