April 2012, The "Planning Forward" IssueIssue 512
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Here is your latest issue of the Small Group Network newsletter. Enjoy a variety of articles from influential leaders in the world of Small Group Ministry.
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Opening Article - SGN News

When opportunity knocks, what do you do?


by Steve Gladen



When you or your people are presented with an opportunity to grow, a certain degree of risk is always involved. It may be a risk of time or money or a risk of stepping out of a comfort zone. At that moment, they have two options: step out in faith or be paralyzed by fear and refuse to move at all. 


The key to preventing paralysis is lowering the bar of risk and providing your people with opportunities to become involved at a crawl level. Once they have been successful at the crawl level, which builds their faith, then you can ask for a walk commitment and later a run commitment. Unfortunately, very often churches place the entry bar too high and ask immediately for a run 


Steve Gladen walks us through this diagram to help assess opportunities and recruit leaders.




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In This Issue
Opening Article
Leadership & Motherhood
Leadership Lifter
Replenish You Soul
Trusting God & laziness
Resources For You
Group Talk
Small Group Show
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Featured article


Leadership Practices from Motherhood



With Mother's Day quickly upon us, we at The Small Group Network thought it fitting to look at some parallels between motherhood and small groups.


Who better to walk us through this than small group expert, Carolyn Taketa?



As a mother and a ministry leader, I have often reflected on the parallels between my role as a mom and my role as a small groups director.  Motherhood is a terrific training ground for ministry.  


Apostle Paul recognized this connection in 1Thessalonians 2:7-8,  "Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you." Many of the skills, character traits, and heart required to be a godly mother are the same as those required to be an effective small groups ministry leader. The following are seven leadership practices that are transferable whether you are leading a child, a family, a small group, or a whole ministry.



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Leadership Lifter
Rick Warren
The need for exponential faith thinking
by Rick Warren

As a proponent of church health and growth, I've come to believe in the necessity ofexponential faith-thinking. To explain this in very practical terms, consider adding a zero to every goal. Do you want to reach 1,000 for Christ in your community? Why not, in faith, set a goal to reach 10,000? 


Faith means setting a goal so incredibly bold that you're bound to fail unless God moves in a miraculous way. 


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Replenish Your Soul
Lance WittWhat does "spiritual" planning look like?
By Lance Witt


There is certainly nothing "unspiritual" about planning.  But, it is very possible to do "unspiritual" planning.  In other words, it is very possible to plan purely from human wisdom and experience and gifting and leave God out of the process.


So, what does it look like to make sure my planning is "spiritually" energized? 

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Small Group Ministry
Don't use "Trusting God" as an Excuse for Laziness

Trusting God is the wisest thing you can do. But don't think that exempts you from planning. 

Don't use "I'm trusting God" as an excuse for laziness.

Ben Reed expounds on Proverbs 3:5-6, looking at its implications for small group ministry.

Resources For You
Rick & Kay Warren interview on ABC   


Here is a recent interview that Rick Warren gave on the state of the American Church, politics, and society. It's a strong interview, and we thought you'd enjoy it. 




Here is an interview that Rick and Kay did on Kay's new book, Choose Joy. It's a book that could change the way you view pain and suffering. And with Mother's Day coming up, we thought this timely. 





Group Talk
Group Talk 3
Planning for a successful group launch
with Steve Gladen, Allen White, and Mark Howell



It's Springtime; which means it's time to plan for Fall. Let GroupTalk help you with as you begin to look toward the upcoming fall Small Group season.

We all know that "back to school" also means "back to church" for many people.  Thus, fall is the prime season for a Small Group initiative. In order to have the greatest impact for your ministry, you need to develop and implement a plan.  GroupTalk can help you plan throughout the month of May.


Beginning Thursday May 10th and each Thursday through May 31st, GroupTalk will feature a live discussion with some of the best known Small Group strategists around.  We will be sharing some of the golden nuggets you need to know to launch a successful Small Group initiative for your congregation.


There is much talk these days about utilizing a church-wide alignment often called a Small Group Campaign.  Whether you have the luxury of being able to run a Small Group Campaign or not, this GroupTalk series will focus on how you can successfully implement strategies to move your Small Group Ministry farther, faster.





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The Small Group Show

New & Next in small group ministry


Don't miss the latest Small Group Show episode!



In this episode, Leonard Sweet is interviewed by Steve Gladen on "One of a Kind." 


Ron Wilber talks about the Twelve Plus conference


Hear from the Navigators for some resources on discipling people and more.




[Watch this show]


Join the SGN - Build relationships, share ideas and resources, and connect with other ministry leaders across the world! http://www.smallgroupnetwork.com

I hope you will join us!

Steve Gladen
SGN Founder and Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church
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