February 2010
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Twelve! On Online Global Gathering September 14 & 15 

Twelve brings you online teaching from small group ministry leaders. Be part of a highly interactive web environment where you'll discuss what's being shared with other ministry leaders in churches like yours. Each session varies from 45 minutes to 75 minutes and is interspersed with 15 minute sessions with online hosts fielding your comments and questions. This unusual format is fast paced and packed with over 50 key learnings from small group ministries actively working out exponential health and growth in small group community.


Twelve is fun, innovative and ground-breaking. It's for small group ministry leaders at churches around the world. It will be webcast over a two-day 'live' conference timeframe, and then the sessions will be available on-demand for registrants for the next 30 days.

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by Rick Warren

Rick Warren New 2010

This month I will continue to look at how you can stay mentally fit by looking at some practical suggestions. 




Every week, you need to schedule some alone time with the Holy Spirit. Sit down, get alone, get quiet, and think. Don't read, don't talk, don't listen to the radio, and don't watch television. Just think. Nothing is easier than thinking and nothing is more difficult than serious thinking. And nothing is more rewarding than thinking under the power of the Holy Spirit. 

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Five Musts for Lasting in Ministry

by Steve Gladen

Steve Gladen New

This month is pretty special for me. I started the journey in fulltime ministry 29 years ago in the month of September. In some ways, that seems as if it was a lifetime ago. In other ways, it seems like just yesterday. Many times I sit back and say, "If I only knew then what I know today". Although I can't go back and rewind the tapes and do some things over, I can share with others and pray they don't make similar mistakes or take careless risks. So, if we were to sit down and chat with another ministry leader, here are my top five pieces of advice for lasting in ministry.

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by Steve Gladen250 Big Ideas (Steve's Tips)

With the kids back in school, fall is a great time to reenergize and focus your adult small groups. Why not give them some tips for balancing the biblical purposes?


Fellowship - Find a road map of any state. Not letting the members see which state you have chosen, read the names of obscure towns. See if group members can guess which state you are looking at. Then ask members where they are on their spiritual journey. Give them the following options and have them explain their choice:

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By Lance WittStressed Man

Image management. There's nothing particularly wrong with those two words, but when you put them together and give them to a ministry leader, it is a deadly cocktail. Image management is what we begin to do when our inner world becomes separated from our outer world. If the outward and inward are not integrated, we literally come apart. And we have seen plenty of examples in recent years of leaders whose lives have disintegrated. 

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

Group Talk: Community is Messy - Heather Zempel

by Jay Daniell


Community is great. And then the people show up and make it messy. Everyone joining a small group brings with them their brokenness and baggage and they discover a safe place to dump their mess. Community is messy because it always involves people and people are messy.


And if you think your small groups are messed up, remember the majority of the writings in the New Testament exist because the early church was messy. Consider the church at Corinth with their incestuous affairs, lawsuits, divorce and separation, idol worship, big egos, doctrinal infighting, sexual promiscuity and people getting drunk while celebrating communion.


The scary news: Community always has been and always will be messy. Messy community is not the exception to the rule; it is the rule.


The good news: Mess can be the very thing that brings what we most want in groups- community and growth.


On October 4th at 12 noon Central Time, we will spend an hour with our featured guest Heather Zempel.  Heather serves as the Discipleship Pastor at National Community Church in Washington DC, where she engineers environments to facilitate community and discipleship through Small Groups.  Her blog at www.heatherzempel.com fuels discussion and innovative ideas for creatively discipling emerging generations.

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