The Secret to learning better and more!

 Do you want to learn more and retain it better? Then teach someone what you have learned. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that the student hears less than 1/3 of the content that the teacher studied in preparation. The teacher is a student first. Imagine how the effectiveness of our Christian education would increase if everyone took the responsibility to teach someone else what they were learning….

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10 Helps for Small Group Community

Few other tasks in the family of God surpass the contribution by those who are willing to make disciples of Jesus through small groups. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind. •  Remember you are not alone. God knows everything about you, and He knew you would be asked to lead your group. Even though you may not feel ready to lead, this is common for all good leaders. God…

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6 Reasons Every Church Needs Small Groups

Most people are intimidated to speak in front of a crowd. It has been said that many people would rather be the person in the casket than have to stand up and speak in front of people at a funeral. This means that most people would not feel comfortable teaching a class of twenty or more people.  However those same people would feel comfortable teaching a small group of 8…

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Surviving Ministry

How can we have a long and fruitful ministry, not just one where we survive? There are 20,000 pastors that resign from their churches every year for lots of reasons. That is somewhere between 1500 and 1800 pastors who are stepping down from their ministry assignment. 80% of seminary graduates are not in ministry five years after graduation. The call to ministry is certainly a “Dangerous Calling,” as David Paul…

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Retirement is for the Birds

The Law of Entropy says that everthing, left to itself, will naturally move in the direction of randomness and decline.  Businesses decline, marriages decline, bodies decline, churches decline.  85% of churches have plateaued or are in decline. Every marriage starts with hope and excitement, thinking that the honeymoon will last forever.  No one ever plans for the marriage to decline and even fall into the slippery slope that leads to…

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8 Spiritual “Health Benefits” of Small Group Ministry

        What are the long term “spiritual health” benefits of creating a strong small group ministry in the local church? Gifts – Small groups provide the opportunity for every spiritual gift to be exercised.  In a larger worship service, only a few people exercise a spiritual gift, the pastor exercises the gift of preaching or teaching and Worship Pastor and team use their spiritual gifts and talents…

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Share the Joy Through Delegation

EPHESIANS 4:11-14 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of…

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Life Values

Intimacy with God The first priority is worship.  It is the ultimate practice that leads to all other Christian habits and disciplines. The Christian life flows from a heart that is fully surrendered in worship to our Creator.  Worship flows from relationship, not religion. God wants to be wanted, by those who give Him their full devotion. “Come, let us bow down in worship. Let us kneel before the Lord…

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Why Connect to a Small Group?

Moving people from rows in a church, to circles in a living room is just the beginning of the process of building the kind of community that is on the heart of Jesus. We are seeking the kinds of groups that Jesus would lead, if He was here in the flesh. Life giving groups experience the presence and power and enabling that comes from Jesus as He meets with His…

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The Real Reason Saddleback Connects So Many in Groups

By Mark Howell Ever heard the stories about Saddleback’s thousands of small groups and wondered what they’re really doing?  Maybe you heard the rumor that with Decade of Destiny they launched enough new groups to break 5,000 groups for the first time.  Not 5,000 people in groups.  5,000 groups! Want to know how they’re doing it? I hint at the reason in one of my most popular articles (The Top 10 Reasons Saddleback Has Connected Over…

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The 10 People Nobody Can Help

by Joseph Mattera I’ve been involved in pastoral ministry for 30 years, and I have a desire to help everyone. But, I have learned the hard way that I cannot help every person who attends our church or who comes to me for input. The following are 10 kinds of people I have identified that are so entrenched in certain habit patterns that I cannot help them advance to the…

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Three Skills of a Spiritual Coach

Without reproduction, disciples making disciples, the church will eventually die. Dave Johnson talks in this article about “apprentice leaders,” which is just another term for someone being discipled intensionally so that one day they will disciple someone else.  Hope you resonate with this like I do… Pastor Stan The Three Roles Of Every Great Coach If I was to keep track of only one metric at COMMUNITY, I would want to…

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Hiring Staff

John Hamm writes in “Unusually Excellent, “A key part of every leader’s job is building and leading teams. The first part of building a team is to get the best possible people on the team. There is no substitute for talent! Hiring great people is arguably the highest-leverage activity that leaders undertake, and many successful leaders spend half their time engaged in issues related to talent and team.” The best…

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Praying for Pastors

The statistics are not pretty! I could not read Paul David Tripp’s book, “Dangerous Calling,” without wondering why anyone would want to become a pastor, which is why the calling of God is essential.  It is not for the faint at heart.  The book has wonderful suggestions for breathing health back into vocational ministry, while it highlights scary facts of the current condition of the church (and of pastors) that…

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Lifelong Learners…

If you’ve ever been to Israel, you know there’s a real contrast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is full of water and full of life. There are trees and vegetation. They still do commercial fishing there. But the Dead Sea is just that – dead. There are no fish in it and no life around it. The Sea of Galilee is at…

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Resolving Conflict

Conflict is a reality on this planet. Conflict is going to happen in our marriages, in our churches and in our business relationships. The real issue for Christ followers, is “how we handle conflict when it arises.” There are some personalities that “do not play nice,” whether it is in a marriage, a church or in the workplace. As Christ followers, we don’t want to be those people who “don’t…

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