February 2010
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Thank You and Merry Christmas!

by Steve Gladen

As the year draws to a close, it is natural to think about the past year as well as plan for the upcoming one. I cannot help but think of the Small Group Network. As we work to connect leaders of Small Group Ministry to each other, it is wonderful to see them building relationships, supporting each other, and sharing ideas and resources. It is humbling to see a small God-inspired idea come to fruition due to the work of hundreds of leaders across North America. It is also exciting to think of all the possibilites. Every day, we are thinking of ways to better serve you.
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Saddleback School of Church Leadership

by Dave Alford

Saddleback School of Church LeadershipAll small group ministries require effective leaders and, when healthy churches begin to multiply through church planting or expand through multi-sites, the need arises for increasing capacity by developing new leaders. That's where Saddleback Church's new school of leadership comes in. Creating a pipeline of healthy leaders for church ministry, including small groups ministry, will be the primary objective of the school. The school's goal will be enlist, equip, empower, and encourage the next generation of church leaders.

The school is poised to launch its pilot resident program in January.  Residents will learn in context, with opportunities to shadow Steve Gladen and the Saddleback small group team.

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by Rick Warren

Rick Warren New 2010Last month we began looking at what to do when you are feeling overwhelmed. We began by looking at the life of young Mary who has just been told she will give birth to a child from God. The first thing she needed to do was give up trying to control the situation. This month we will look at the next two things you need to do when you are feeling overwhelmed.

2. Look at what God has promised.

In Psalm 138:8 He does not say, "The Lord will work out my plans for my life," or "The Lord will work out the plans I want for my life." It says, "The Lord will work out His plans for my life." There are three facts about God's plan for your life that you need to know.

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What are the Traits for Foundational Fellowship - Part III

by Steve Gladen

Steve Gladen New

As we continue and wrap up this look at what true fellowship is in a small group, we will dive into the final three foundational elements of mercy, confidentiality and unity. So, let look at these and see if they are in the lives of your group members.

Is mercy happening in your groups? Mercy is one of those aspects of group life that I always need to work on. If I have accomplished this feat in life, boy, I think everyone should have it nailed down tight. So when I see people struggle with something I've got a grip on, why is it so difficult to show them mercy? Colossians 3:13 is a brutal scripture for me. It says, "You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgives you, so you must forgive others." (NLT). Not only do I need to make room for these people who may not measure up, but if they offend me, I also need to forgive them...ouch! Why lord?

by Steve Gladen250 Big Ideas (Steve's Tips)

The holidays can be a great opportunity for your groups to show Christ's love to others. Give them some practical ways they can live the biblical purposes!

Fellowship- Give each person in your group a slip of paper containing the statement, "For me, the greatest moment in our group this past year was..." Ask everyone to write their own ending to that sentence and to bring that slip of paper to your group's Christmas party. Give all the group members an opportunity at the party to share their thoughts and memories.
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By Lance WittStressed Man

I was flying from Charlotte to San Francisco. Two rambunctious children were in my row. Their parents, up in first class, sipped wine while I babysat in the cheap seats. To make matters worse, across the aisle was a toddler who cried for the first two thousand miles. This trip had stress and frustration written all over it. To save the day I reached for my trusted travel companion: noise-canceling Bose headphones. As I pulled them out of the case I could almost hear the "Hallelujah Chorus." They offered the hope of escape and sanity, no matter what surrounded me.

Small Group Studies Bookshelf

Looking for a small group study? We feature new material every month.


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

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Questions, comments, or suggestions?
Contact Editor - Cheryl Shireman, Small Group Network Coordinator at cheryls@saddleback.com