Category Archives: Small Groups

Review of Change Homelessness

It’s always exciting with people you respect join in a cause your passionate about.  Today Mark C. Howell posted a review about the project Change Homelessness on his blog.

Thanks Mark.

How are you using your social network resources to encourage others?

You ask….I answer!

Occasionally people will email me with a great question.  Rather than just sending the info back to them…I’m posting it.  Here ya go.

Q.

Subject: SG Trainings

Hey Loran:

When do you do your SG Trainings?  I believe you did yours during the services, and asked them to attend one of them, true?  Has this worked well for you?  What are the pros and cons of this?

A.

Since we don’t ask people to stay for both service & Sunday school…it works well. I get about 65% attendance to the training. Typically the majority of those who don’t attend are either serving somewhere in ministry or out of town. I find it very successful.

Here’s what we do (Pro’s I guess….):

S2 training (Shared Skills)

Services: 9AM, 10:30AM, 12 Noon

Training 10:30AM & 12:15PM.

This way they can attend their service and then come to training.

It forces me to keep the training down to 1 hr 20 min.

We have six essentials and rotate the topic.

Lots of table discussion

We feed them brunch/lunch

I give out free stuff.

I ask the leaders to invite their co-leaders/apprentices to come.

I repeat the training on the Tuesday after the Sunday training for the Pastors (They typically can’t attend the training on Sunday). I have them invite their spouses to the Tuesday training. We typically have a Pastors staff meeting every Tuesday at 8:30….so for that Tuesday we do Group Leader Training.  I also host a Grouplife leaders conference in October.

Con’s…..overall vision. People that attended one training think they’ve been there done that and don’t need more. I need to continually cast the vision for ongoing training. Side note: people want ongoing training…. They just don’t know how to package it and value it when it’s offered. I can directly point to the successful groups and failing ones and tie that into their involvement in ongoing training.

Limited time?

Can’t get too specific due to time & audience. I invite all leaders (men’s, ladies, marrieds) to this training at the same time. (future, I might split up the weekends and do marries one weekend and men/ladies the next…..not there yet).

People might choose training over service….not good.

Believe it or not…room availability.

That’s it for now.

LL

Ask Another?


I’m so excited

Tonight we launched three new Crown Financial groups representing 40 people.  This is so exciting because #1. They’re connecting in community and #2…they’re learning Godly principles for their finances.  Watching all those people meet their new leader for the first time and check out the rooms that they’ll be meeting in made me feel great.  I love my job!  I could take nights like tonight 3-4 times a week.  Thanks Michelle, Amy, & Greg for stepping up and leading these groups.  You’ll have a special gem in your crown in heaven and a Starbucks card from me for taking what God put in your bucket and simply pouring it into someone else.

What are you excited about tonight?

John & Charissa

I had a great night tonight with John & Charissa Bensen.  This is why I love ministry.  I get to hang out with cool people like John & Charissa and then they step up and join my team.  I’m very excited about their new small group starting (back) up this fall.  I really think they’ll do an awesome job leading this group of couples.  They’re also expecting a little baby girl in a few months.

I love hanging out with cool people.  John & Charissa…Thanks for having dinner with me tonight.

What’s cool about what you did tonight?

Bag em & Tag em

Today was a great day.  If my church office was an environment where we had a bell right inside the door and when you close a sale….as you walk in the door you ring the bell and everyone would cheer……..I would have rang the bell twice.  Days like today are why I love my job.  I got to meet with 2 really sharp couples and chat with them about leading a small group this fall.  Both couples were very receptive and ready to lead.  I love days like today.  Don’t get me wrong.  To have a day like today literally represents with couple one the culmination of a 10 year relationship, about 14 connection points over the last 13 months and patience.  With couple two it represents persistence when I felt God leading me to engage in relationship, relentlessly pursuing the connection, making my calender fit in theirs so I could meet 7 months ago, engaging with their agenda and easing in my desire for them, sharing the right vision, inviting them into my community for 5 months, navigating the conversation, & knowing when to back off and say, “welcome on the team”.  I celebrate the big step these couples made today.  I am moved by the impact that today will have in the lives of the 10 other couples who will be led by them in the next couple years.  Engaging with people and encouraging them to use their gifts & talents for ministry is no short term gig.  You’ve got to be in it for the long haul and side step many (and I mean many) let downs to have a day like today.  I’m grateful to be part of such a great church and I’m humbled that God would choose to use a knucklehead like me to impact people for Christ.

How was your day?

Multiply and start something new…

This is our married small group.  We’ve been meeting weekly for the last 16-17 months (with time off for good behavior).  All good things come to an end…or Mulitply as I like to say.  As the grouplife pastor it is vital that I model multiplication in our groups weather I like it or not.  Personally I would have preferred to hang with this group for another season…but it is time for us to multiply and create this same environment for more people.  Multiplcation is hard to do….(sung to the tune breaking up is hard to do).  Please note…this picture does not represent everyone in our group.  We’re missing the Brundages, Dawn, & my friend Tim.  Tim died of cancer last October.  Thats his wife Laura standing between Brenda & I.  Evan though our group is multiplying and we won’t be gathering on a weekly basis….people like Laura will always be right in the middle of everything we do.  For that matter…everyone in our group will be close and share a special time of connecting and growing in our faith together.  It’s sad to see this season come to a close….  I’m anxious for the next small group season.  Will God bless us with a group as good as this one?  Will we love them the way we love these people?  Yea, even the grouplife pastor asks these questions.  This is why I love doing what I do!

Note:  Sorry for the blurry line Fisburn.  Not intentional…..something on the lense…

Who are you doing life with?

Dinner with Adam & Amy

Last week Brooke & I had dinner with our friends Adam & Amy Ford.  They’re pictured here with their cute 2 yr old Tatum.  We had a great time eating Papa Johns pizza on a Thursday night.  Adam & Amy are going to lead one of our “Just Married” groups this fall.  I’m very excited about this because they’re very cool people.  Just the fact that I was able to eat dinner with them increases my cool quotient by at least 5.  Here are reasons that Adam & Amy are cool:

10. Cool Glasses

9. Cool black T-shirts

8. Cool new car

7. Cool BMW motorcycle

6. Amy reminds me of my cool Sister-in-law ROXX

5. Look at the picture….they’re cool.

4. Related to Erik & Tammie….That’s cool

3. Leading a “just married” small group this fall…..very cool.

2. She’s a therapist…scary cool

1. He works at Starbucks…(angels singing)….totally cool!

Enough of the fun.  We had a great time hanging with Adam & Amy.  The best part of my job as Grouplife pastor is getting to hang with leaders like Adam & Amy.  I’m really looking forward to having them on my team and connecting many couples in community with them.  Welcome to the team Adam & Amy.

Who do you know that is cooler than you?