February 2010
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Tell Us YOUR Great Idea!

No matter what your denomination is, or what size your church is, the one thing every leader of small group ministry wants is healthy small groups. It is not enough to have 50% participation, or even 110% participation. The goal is health. But how can you, as a leader, move your groups in that direction? Every leader of small group ministry has the same type of questions:
  • How can I get my small groups to become more engaged and proactive?

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Interested in a Conference Call With Ministry Leaders Across North America? 


In 2011, one of the exciting things we are offering to members of the Small Group Network is the opportunity to join in on live conference calls with various leaders of small group ministry. You will be hearing more about this opportunity in the near future. As we prepare, we want to hear from you.  So, let us know...


What topic would you like to see covered on these calls? How can we best serve you?


Email Cheryl Shireman at cheryls@saddleback.com with your suggestions.

by Rick Warren

Rick Warren New 2010
There is an old Arab parable that says: All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.
If you never have any down times, dark times, gloomy times in your life you'll be dried up. You'll have no depth to yourself, no maturity. It takes good times and bad times to make a mature person. Life is a mixture of pain and pleasure, of victory and defeat, of success and failure, of mountain tops and valleys. This month I am going to start a two part look at how we can deal with the dark valleys of life. This month we're going to look at the nature of valleys

Even in our darkest valleys, our darkest days, God is there. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" Psalm 23:4.

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Ten Ways to Keep the Passion in Your Small Ministry

by Steve Gladen

Steve Gladen New

Every February, passion is the theme of the month. A relationship full of love and passion will go on forever. Right? Reality shows tell us that statement just might not be true. Passion can fade very quickly. Every successful relationship works at keeping that passion alive. The same is true in ministry. In the 14 years that I have been at Saddleback Church and the 29 total years I have been in full time ministry, I hav learned passion is the common trait that keeps you pressing on through the hard times and sparking your imagination to dream about risking for God in the good times. Passion can't be faked; it must be born out of the soul. So where is your passion? What keeps you in the game? Apply these ten and stay in the ministry game!

by Steve Gladen250 Big Ideas (Steve's Tips)

As the New Year begins, help groups get on track by offering them some suggestions for health and balance.


Fellowship - Bring out all the spices from the kitchen and place them on a table in the center of the group. Begin your group time by asking members, "Which one of these spices best represents you tonight - and why?" Be ready to get the discussion going by answering this questions yourself.


Discipleship - At the beginning of the year, challenge every member to
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By Lance WittStressed Man

Dishonesty creates dysfunction and terminal niceness can be terminal to the health of a ministry. Most of us who lead in ministry are just not very good at hard conversations. For the most part we are polite, sensitive, and hate conflict. We beat around the bush, tap dance around the conflict, and make nice.

A huge part of team health has to do with how well we interact and communicate with each other. It takes courage and consistency to create a culture of open, honest, candid communication.


In her book Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott says, "Our lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.

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