Tag: unity

#2 in 2011: Why you wouldn’t like my small group

I’m taking a break from my blog between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m re-posting a couple of your favorites (based on clicks) and a couple of my own favorite posts from 2011. I hope you enjoy! I’ll be interacting in the comments section, so if you comment, I’ll respond. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

If you’re looking for a small group, you probably wouldn’t like mine.

photo credit: iStockPhoto user Digital Skillet

Why you won’t like my small group

  • Nobody’s perfect. Our group is rather messy…in fact, much messier than I ever thought it would be. If your life is clean and put together, and messiness frustrates you, you’ll hate our group.
  • We celebrate small steps, not just the ‘huge’ ones. And small steps may seem insignificant to you, so if you’re not willing to get excited over a step towards Jesus (no matter how seemingly insignificant), you’ll not feel at home with us.
  • There’s no teacher. Just a facilitator. And the facilitator doesn’t have all of the answers, so if it’s merely answers you’re looking for, mosey on.
  • We talk about challenging stuff. And I don’t mean that we debate obscure theological dogma. I mean that we work to apply the Scriptures to our lives. If you love a great, obscure theological debate, you may not enjoy our group.
  • We expect full participation. Nobody in our group is lazy. In one way or another, every member participates, and is vital to the success of the group as a whole. If you want to be a lazy sponge, don’t join us.
  • We know each other’s stories. No hiding in our group. Our group kicked off its first month by encouraging everybody in the group to share their faith story. Comfortable? Nope. This group’s not for you.
  • We’re transparent. Mere platitudes aren’t acceptable. If all of your answers start with, “Someone once said…” instead of, “I am dealing with…” then you’ll never be comfortable in our small group.
  • We’re diverse. If you’re looking for people that are just like you, who look, smell, act, read the same books, live on the same side of town, have the same number of kids…keep moving. You’re not going to find that here.
  • Our group is going to end soon, and I’m going to ask each group member to take a step of faith and lead a new group…each one of them. No moss will be gathering with us. If you like moss, find another group.
  • We serve together. Don’t want to serve? That’s fine. Just don’t get frustrated with us when we ask you to join us in making a difference in our community.
  • We have fun. Every week. We laugh so hard that we snort. We play games, share stories, and study the Bible…all while having fun. I wrote more extensively about the importance of having fun in small groups HERE. If you don’t like having fun, you’re an old codger. And old codgers don’t last long in our group.

* image credit: iStockPhoto user Digital Skillet


Sparking change

It’s ok to do things differently.

Create.  Move.  Stir.  Inspire.  Experiment.


But when you’re making the changes, don’t spark change by slamming other systems.

Slamming other churches and leaders isn’t

  • professional
  • Kingdom-oriented
  • God-honoring
  • ethical
  • long-term beneficial
  • good leadership

In the long run, what you’ll find is that stirring people to change through dissension will create leaders that are divisive, unruly, and un-leadable.  When they have an idea for change, instead of working through it and wrestling through the details, they’ll begin ripping other systems…maybe even the one they helped you create.

It’s hard to see how God is honored when our systems and churches flourish at the expense of others.

Unity is a difficult concept to maintain.  But it’s worth the effort, for your organization and your community.

Instead of the wanted change communicated through the lens of disunity and pride, try something different.  Cast vision for change because you’re confident about what God wants.  Because He has stirred your soul.  Because your community needs the Gospel.  Because your local church needs you.  Because He’s calling you to lead.

But don’t throw other churches and leaders under the bus in the process.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:3-6




Unity, 11s on the 1s

If you’d like to catch up on this series, click HERE.


Let’s not divide and condemn concerning secondary matters. God loves unity.


A Healthy Small Group…

I recently said this on Twitter:

So many problems in life could be solved by a healthy small group.

The responses I received really made me think about what components go into producing a “healthy” small group.

A “healthy” small group is one that accomplishes “the win” for your system.  Which means that a healthy group at our church may look a little different than the one at your church.  And that’s ok.  Step 1 is defining “the win.”

But there are certain things that “winning groups” do, right?  Do you encourage those things?

Here are a few that I’ve come up with for our system.

A healthy small group…

…stirs your heart to action.

…helps remind you who you are in Christ.

…helps you realize the all-encompassing nature of the Gospel.

…pursues unity.

…is full of people taking steps of faith…together.

…helps you realize the fullness of Grace.

…helps remind you that the troubles in this life will one day be over.

doesn’t wait until the group meeting to speak encouragement to one another.

…shares group responsibilities with each other.

…relies on each other when needs arise.

…isn’t satisfied with surface-level prayer requests.

…serves others.

…serves each other.

…has fun together.

…laughs together.

…gives people safe space to explore their faith.

…is a safe space for non-believers.

What would you add to the list?


Our crazy staff

Building team camaraderie is important.

Laughing together as a team is essential.

Building unity is an undeniable advantage.

Doing stupid videos for Remix…probably not a must, but at least we made fools of ourselves!

Do you need a Sin Cage 2009?


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