Tag: rick warren

A change for the Reed family

When God calls, you’ve got to go.

Well, I guess you don’t have to go. But to not go would be disobedience, and that’s not a choice I’m ready to commit to. So my family and I…we are going. With buckets full of bittersweet joy.

At the end of the month, I will be joining the Saddleback Community Church staff on the groups team!

This is a very bittersweet move for us. We’re leaving behind so many great relationships at Long Hollow. And beyond that, all of our family connections are here in the middle Tennessee area. We’re leaving what we know, who we love, and where we naturally find comfort. We’re leaving behind a culture that’s woven into our DNA. We’re leaving behind our Tennessee roots.

But to be joining Saddleback, and the work God’s already doing through them in both Southern California and around the world, is for us a step towards something that we feel like God’s been preparing us for for a long time.

We never saw our road at Long Hollow as just preparing grounds. We never treated it as such, either. We poured every ounce of our hearts, our lives, our energy, our minds, our bodies, our ideas, our love, our pain, our laughs, our screams, and our tears into the mission God called us to at Long Hollow. We never felt called through Long Hollow. We felt called to Long Hollow.

But at the end of the day, aren’t all experiences training grounds for what’s next? Doesn’t God always use people and places, whether good or bad, to shape our hearts for the next step? Don’t all things work to make us more like Jesus? (Romans 8:28-29)

So we’re moving. With as much excitement as we have fear. With as much eager anticipation as we have sadness.

With boldness we are taking a courageous step of faith.

photo

 

15 Christmas Ideas for your Small Group

image credit: creation swap user Matt Gruber

Lots of small groups take the Christmas season off. And that’s fine.

But if you’re one of the groups that really loves Jesus, you’re not taking the season off. You’re soldiering through like the little drummer boy who could. Massive traveling, family celebrating, and time off of work won’t slow you and your group down!

If you’re one of the groups that’s meeting throughout the month of December, you may be wondering what you can do that’s a little outside of the norm. I’ve got some suggestions.

15 Christmas Ideas for your Small Group

Fellowship:

Don’t feel bad about wanting to have fun together as a group this Christmas season. Having fun together is very biblical.

  •  Go caroling.
  • White elephant gift exchange. See explanation HERE.
  • Ornament exchange.
  • Pot luck with your favorite Christmas dish.
  • “Favorite book” exchange.
  • Celebrate with a gift exchange mid-January. That way, you can get gifts on sale, and extend the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Jesus would probably have loved a good sale. Am I right?!?

 Serving

  • Email your pastor for families in need, and serve them food and gifts.
  • Contact your local public school system and tell them you’d like to sponsor ___ families with food and gifts this Christmas. Ask them to connect you with the families.
  • Contact your local Salvation Army and sign up to ring the bell.
  • Write letters to soldiers who are deployed, if you live in a military town.
  • Bless your pastor. Examples: a gift card to Amazon, a night away for him and his wife, or a gift card to a nice local restaurant.

Worship/study

 Is your small group meeting for the Christmas season?

* image credit: creation swap user Matt Gruber

 

Join me and talk small groups

 

I enjoy conferences. I think that they help leaders tremendously. I’ve written before about why I go and what I take.

 

Conferences get you out of your normal environment. They introduce you to new ideas from thought leaders that are in related, but not identical fields, and they give you a chance to dream. But you know what the biggest problem with conferences is?

They’re expensive.

  • Gas (or airline)
  • Food
  • Hotel
  • Time away from family
  • Ticket for the conference

I’m excited to tell you about an opportunity to attend a conference on the cheap.


The 12 Conference:

  • It’s online, so no travel expenses
  • The individual ticket is $45 ($195 for a site license)…that’s cheap!
  • You get to hear from trusted leaders from around the country
  • It’s not just a Saddleback thing. Check out the list of speakers HERE.
  • You can bring your whole team for $195!
  • You can invite other churches to be a part of the event with you, for just $600.  This would be a great way to include other churches and ministries.
  • You’ll have access to the notes and videos for 30 days on demand.
  • Interact with other attendees at the conference. 12 is being driven by interaction, not just information. When you sign up, you’ll be grouped together with other churches that are similar in size, and throughout the sessions, the speakers will give you a chance to interact with each other based on the session you’re in. It will feel like you’re attending a live conference.
  • 2 days, 3 tracks, 8 sessions, 36 speakers…tons of content.

If you’re attending, let me know…because I’ll be there, too. I’m leading a handful of sessions.

The conference happens “live” on September 14-15.  Register HERE.

But even if I weren’t, this is a conference I’d be a part of.

I love this line that’s a part of the promo for the conference:

We are not in the business of producing conferences.  We are in the business of equipping leaders to do Kingdom work.

You in?

 

 

Follow Friday

I’m convinced that Twitter and social networking are operating on the cutting edge of society.  Not necessarily the platform itself, but the opportunities it opens up for the spread of ideas.  What used to take hours to reach the print is now being spun out in real time.  What you used to have to wait for the evening news to see, you can now see instantly wherever you are.  What used to take months to get to to the print press as a book is now updated daily.

But social media is so large, now, that it can be tough to find those people that you’d like to follow.

For a while now, Twitter users have been promoting their friends using the hashtag #FF (which stands for Follow Friday).  Basically, on Friday, you mention a few people that you enjoy following on Twitter, and encourage others to follow them, too.  (by the way, if you need a crash course on the language of Twitter, read mine HERE)  Here’s an example:

It’s kind of like Facebook’s “Suggest” button.  Mike suggests that people follow these Twitterers.  Make sense?

I’m taking this concept one step further.  I’ve been on Twitter now for about 2.5 years, and have stumbled upon some great leaders.  To save you the time of reading their updates and visiting their blogs to see if they’re worth following, I’m handpicking the best of the best.

Not on Twitter?  No worries. Even if you don’t use Twitter, you can follow people on Twitter. Just open up a Google Reader account, and subscribe to their RSS Twitter feed. (that sentence lose you? Don’t fear. My explanation of Google Reader is HERE)

Each week, I’ll present a different crop of Twitterers that you need to be following.  This week, I give you 5 people who are influencing me right now.  You should follow them…immediately.

5 people influencing me:

Seth Godin – Seth Godin is a entrepreneur, author, and speaker.  And he’s a marketing genius.  His books are helping shape the way I think about leadership and influence. Follow him on Twitter, @ThisIsSethsBlog and find him on his website HERE.

Matt Chandler – Pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, TX.  I often listen to Matt’s sermons when I run…which means I laugh, I’m convicted, and when I’m done running, I have pages worth of notes in my head.  My small group is also going through his Philippians study.  Follow him on Twitter, @mattchandler74

Michael Hyatt – Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael is a prolific blogger (blog HERE) and Twitterer.  His content is consistently helpful and insightful for me in my area of leadership.  With my love of leading and writing, I don’t miss one of his posts.  Follow him on Twitter, @michaelhyatt

John Burke – Pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. His book No Perfect People Allowed will mess you up. Follow him on Twitter, @johnburke_, though he’s not a prolific Twitterer.

Rick Warren – To be honest, when the Purpose Driven Life craze was in full swing, I was not on that bandwagon.  Not because I had anything against it…I just hadn’t bought in yet.  Or read it.  Which explains why I hadn’t bought in.  On top of that, early in my ministry career, Rick Warren was lumped into a category of pastors who were seeker-friendly at the expense of the Gospel.  I’ve learned that that category is far from fair with Rick.  His short Twitter updates strike to the heart. Follow him on Twitter, @rickwarren

Who’s influencing you?

 

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