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FIND COMMUNITY IN A HUDDLE


Huddles are like small groups for small group point people, a great way to find support & share ideas! Invite 2 or more friends & start a Huddle online or over coffee today!

ARTICLES


How to “ALIGN” Your Small Group Ministry to Your Church Vision

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve GladenA downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

How to Find all the Group Leaders You Need

Announcing our new online training course that features 7 total video session taught by Saddleback Church Online Pastor Jay Kranda, Downloadable notes & lesson discussion questions! Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll HERE! Jesus said the harvest is plentiful by the workers a few. Workers have always been the bottleneck to the […]

How to Create Engaging Emails that Your Group Leaders Will Read

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE If you could save yourself three-four […]

3 Metrics to Measure in this Season

THERE IS STILL TIME TO LOCK IN EARLY BIRD PRICE! Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending “Accelerate!” The “Accelerate!” small group workshop will help you & your leadership team build a 12 to 18 month strategic plan for your Small Group […]

5 Keys to Overcoming Divisiveness with Your Small Group

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve GladenA downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

10 Ways to Ignite Fervent Prayer in your Small Group

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE Praying in a small group can […]

7 Questions to Find your Small Group’s Purpose

SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICE has been extended through Sept 30th! Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending “Accelerate!” The “Accelerate!” small group workshop will help you & your leadership team build a 12 to 18 month strategic plan for your Small Group […]

5 Ground Rules for Group Discussion

Announcing our new online training course that features 7 total video session taught by Saddleback Church Online Pastor Jay Kranda, Downloadable notes & lesson discussion questions! Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll HERE! It is vital when you start a new small group to lay down some ground rules, so everyone is […]

Is My Small Group “Up to PAR?”

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE As we prepare for the upcoming […]

3 Keys to Using Social Media Responsibly

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE While all Christians are called to […]

8 Practices to Help Newcomers Feel They Belong

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE When people visit your small group […]

What Do You Do When Politics Creep into Your Group?

FLASH SALE! Get $125 off Lobby 2021 through October 31st! Connect with & learn from the brightest small group ministry leaders from around the nations for 3 days & 2 nights in SoCal at the stunning Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center. Price includes registration, lodging & most meals. Use code FLASHSALE Every four years we as […]

How to Get 90% of Your Visitors to Join Small Groups

Announcing our new online training course that features 7 total video session taught by Saddleback Church Online Pastor Jay Kranda, Downloadable notes & lesson discussion questions! Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll HERE! One of the many helpful concepts in The Purpose Driven Church is the idea of moving people from […]

How to Respond When Your Small Group Disappoints You

SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICE has been extended through Sept 30th! Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending “Accelerate!” The “Accelerate!” small group workshop will help you & your leadership team build a 12 to 18 month strategic plan for your Small Group […]

5 Ways to Navigate Polarizing Political Discussions in Your Small Group

SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICE has been extended through Sept 30th! Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending “Accelerate!” The “Accelerate!” small group workshop will help you & your leadership team build a 12 to 18 month strategic plan for your Small Group […]

5 Ways to Engage People in Facebook Small Groups

SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICE has been extended through Sept 30th! Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending “Accelerate!” The “Accelerate!” small group workshop will help you & your leadership team build a 12 to 18 month strategic plan for your Small Group […]

4 Action Steps to Stay Refreshed as a Small Group Point Person

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry as we come out of covid by attending our Accelerate! Arizona small group workshop with Steve Gladen October 6-7 in Phoenix! Get $70 off the current registration price by using code AZ70 (code good through Sept 8th) Often, we as small group point people wear […]

3 Facebook No-No’s for Small Group Leaders

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry as we come out of covid by attending our Accelerate! Arizona small group workshop with Steve Gladen October 6-7 in Phoenix! Get $70 off the current registration price by using code AZ70 (code good through Sept 8th) The Internet in general, and Facebook in particular, […]

What to do if Someone in Your Small Group Dies

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry as we come out of covid by attending our Accelerate! Arizona small group workshop with Steve Gladen October 6-7 in Phoenix! Get $70 off the current registration price by using code AZ70 (code good through Sept 8th) The longer you are involved in small groups […]

Do You Have 2020 Vision For Your Small Groups?

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

How to Choose a Groups System That Works

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

Fall Training How-To’s

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

3 Keys to Ease Your Members back into Small Groups

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

Super Small Groups to the Rescue

This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

Online vs. In-Person: 5 Group Options for COVID Re-Entry

This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

5 Ways to Respect Everyone’s Time

This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

What’s next? Thinking Through SG Ministry in the “New Normal” [Podcast]

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

4 Creative Ideas to Foster Connections this Summer

This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

3 Keys to Revisit Your Church’s Vision for 2020

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

Navigating Pandemics, Protests & Politics [Podcast]

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

4 To Do’s When You Feel Like Quitting

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

5 Warning Signs You’re Not Growing Your Ministry

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

Group Talk United: Unveiling the New 4 Show Lineup [Podcast]

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

10 Questions Every Small Group Leader Should Keep in Their Bible

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

Should Groups Take a Summer Break this Year?

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

3 Ways to Give Small Group Leaders a Break this Summer

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small […]

7 COVID Re-entry Musts for the Small Group Point Person [Podcast]

“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen Presenting our first ever online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion […]

Developing an Anti-Racist Culture in Your Small Group

Talking about race can be one of the topics we advise our group leaders to avoid during their group time. It is layered in personal experience, history, politics, and culture that can easily lead to an out of control, polarizing conversation. BUT it doesn’t have to. Jesus told us in John 13:34-35, “Love one another; […]

4 Easy Ways to Fight Zoom Fatigue

I’m sure we all have Zoom fatigue at this point! If you don’t know what I’m taking about, you probably will soon. What may only be around 9 weeks of shelter in place but to some it can feel more like 90 weeks. We are all spending large amounts of time on Zoom in order […]

Developing an Anti-Racist Culture in Your Small Group [Podcast]

Part 1 – Your Small Group’s Role Against Racism This is PART 2 of an exclusive 2 part series regarding small groups and racism. In this episode, host Carolyn Taketa interviews Amber Sanders to talk about how you can develop an anti-racist culture in your small groups. Just click play to listen to this episode […]

6 Steps to be a Peacemaker [Video]

In these tense days, the world desperately needs followers of Christ to be peacemakers. But how do we sow seeds of peace in the midst of chaos and confusion? In this message, Pastor Rick Warren shows how being a peacemaker begins with sowing peace in your relationships, and offers six biblical ways to do just […]

The First Thing I Will Say to My Small Group Members When We Meet Again

Create your free Small Group Network account today! It is increasingly clear to me that there is a potential conflict looming. I am going to do all I can to avoid it. My group has some pretty opinionated folks who are prone to thinking that they are right and everybody else is wrong. I am […]

5 Ways for Small Group Leaders to Find Rest

Create your free Small Group Network account today! Rest takes discipline. That might sound strange to some, but it requires intentionality to maintain a consistent rhythm of spiritual practices to rest well. This is especially important in this season that has upended people’s typical routines, created added stress in the present and uncertainty about the […]

Your Small Group’s Role Against Racism

This is PART 1 of an exclusive 2 part series regarding small groups and racism. In this episode, host Steve Gladen interviews Anthony Miller – Saddleback church’s Pastor of Communications, to talk about your small group’s role against racism.  Just click play to listen to this episode below. SHOW NOTES A Faith That Plants Seeds […]

4 One-Another’s to Promote Unity in Your Groups Ministry

Create your Free Small Group Network Account Today! As churches begin to mobilize for re-entry after COVID-19, we as Small Group Point People should consider how we can promote unity throughout our small group ministries. Most of us are familiar with the 59 or so “one-another’s” recorded in the Bible. They are commands for us […]

7 Springs to Keep in Your Step During Covid-19 [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your […]

How to Cast Vision for Small Groups During Quarantine

Create your Free Small Group Network Account Today! In this short 2 minute video clip, Rick Warren of Saddleback church models how easy it is for Lead Pastors and Small Group Point People to cast vision for small groups during times of quarantine.

Online Small Group Discussion Template

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! An online small group meeting is a different experience compared to a face-to-face small group meeting. Thanks to technology innovations, people can still meet despite limitations with time and space, but it should not be approached exactly the same as an in-person group meeting. While many aspects of facilitating […]

7 Ways Your Group Can Thrive During Covid-19

Rick Warren shared recently that as of the January 1 of this year, Saddleback had about 6,000 groups. Now they have 9,000.

What’s Your Vision Coming Out of COVID-19

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Vision is your dream. Where do you want your ministry to go? What is your big picture of the future? The “why” always determines how long people will stay in Small Group Ministry. As you start a new ministry or accelerate an existing ministry, you likely have a long list […]

10 Commandments for Your Small Groups During Covid-19

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your […]

Is Your Group Tired of Talking About COVID-19?

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! This season has been exhausting for many reasons. Many of us in the ministry world are not only working remotely, but also teaching our kids while in a seemingly endless cycle of cleaning a constantly occupied home. As discussed in a recent Group Talk podcast, virtual meetings also drain […]

Give Feedback so People Grow and Receive Feedback so You Grow [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your […]

7 Ways to Conduct Effective Online Meetings With Your Small Group Leaders

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Online meetings can be a little different than normal in-person meetings.  It can be a little harder to maintain your leader’s focus when they are sitting face to face with a computer screen.  Below are 7 tips that will help you conduct effective online meetings (also works well for any meeting, […]

How Saddleback Started 3,000 Groups During Covid-19

Rick Warren recently preached a sermon where he mentioned that Saddleback has added 3000 groups during Covid-19. Saddleback started the year with around 6000 groups. They now have about 9000 groups. Wow. (https://saddleback.com/watch/a-faith-that-works-when-life-doesn-t/a-faith-that-makes-tough-choices-easier?autoplay=true) I did a deep dive into all things Saddleback to see if I could discover how they did it. I listened to […]

4 Fun Ways to Connect with Your Small Group during COVID-19

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! At this point, we are all trying to be creative and think outside of the box. I mean, I’m looking for ways to creatively cut my own hair. That’ll be a first, and you’ll know if it doesn’t go well if my next vlog isn’t a vlog. I’m trying […]

6 Ways to do Prayer During Online Small Groups

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Whether through times of celebration, times of lament, or anywhere in between, prayer is essential to the Christian life, and engaging in this vital spiritual discipline allows us to spend time with our Lord and build a deeper relationship with Him. Let us unpack 6 different ways you can […]

4 Questions For Re-entry After COVID-19 [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your […]

7 Things to communicate to your small group members during COVID-19

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! 1. That you are PRAYING for them I believe that one of the greatest things we can do for our small group members during this time is to pray for them. Reach out to each one of your members and ask them what you can specifically pray for. Doing […]

5 Tips To Do Your Best Work At Home

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! So, we are all in a season right now of working from home, that is if we aren’t considered essential personnel. For some of us as Small Group Point People, this may be the first time working from home. So, I wanted to share five things you can do […]

Tips for Overcoming Video Conferencing Fatigue [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your […]

4 Keys to Leading a Small Group Ministry During Quarantine

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Everything has changed in the past several weeks. Suddenly homeschooling has become the norm, a trip to the grocery store has become an epic journey, and most of us in ministry are getting a crash course in on-line pastoring and leadership. As small group point people, we each have […]

6 Tips for Overcoming Virtual Meetings Fatigue

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! By Chris Surratt & Brian Daniel Most of us are still adjusting to a world where screen captures of Zoom meetings have become the new selfie. In this time of social distancing, our only social contacts—outside of our households—are through a camera lens and a video screen. In so many […]

20 Things Your Small Groups Can Do Virtually Together [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? PART #5 – Protecting Your Mental Health & […]

4 Ways to Care For Your Small Group Leaders During COVID-19

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Things are changing rapidly, and for some of us, our pace has picked up, especially with the new jobs we can add to our resume: homeschooler, master germ killer, and online group guru. So, what does it look like to effectively care for your SGPP in this season? This […]

Better Connect Groups Using YouVersion Bible App

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! We’re all adapting to the impact of COVID-19 and just because we’re unable to gather physically for the time being, this doesn’t mean we can’t grow spiritually with others and help more people connect into small groups. An easy approach you might consider trying out is inviting people to […]

8 Icebreakers for Online Groups

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Just like in-person groups, online group meetings can sometimes get off to an awkward start. Group members may have difficulties getting connected, or you may have to wait a few minutes while everyone logs on. So how can you, as a leader, be proactive and set the tone for […]

Effectively Leading Groups Through a Time of Social Distancing [Video]

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! During this unique time of COVID-19, how are you effectively leading groups through a time of social distancing? Enjoy this webinar replay featuring Chris Surratt, Steve Gladen & Jared Musgrove. Related Resource: How To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms

How to Host a Secure Zoom Meeting [Video]

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! So you launched an online small group (s) using zoom – great! But you’ve since experienced or heard of others experiencing security breaches by trouble makers. Watch our 3 minute tutorial on how to host a secure zoom meeting! Related Resource: How To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms

6 Ways to Communicate with your Small Group Members During COVID-19

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! The Covid-19 virus has vastly changed the landscape of the church. In response to the stay-at-home mandates that are being issued, churches across the world have quickly been adapting and transitioning into online ministry. With the decrease of in-person interaction comes the incredible opportunity for a church’s small group […]

How To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms [Video]

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! So you launched an online small group (s) using Zoom – great! But have you learned how to use Zoom break out rooms? Watch our quick tutorial on how to use this amazing feature that will take your online small group to the next level! Related Resource: How to Host […]

7 Lessons Navy Deployments Taught me about Thriving while Socially Isolated

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! As some of you may know I was in the US Navy for 23 years. During that time I deployed on ships countless times. There are days I miss my time at sea, and then I remember that I get to have dinner with my family every night, so […]

Protecting Your Mental Health & Helping Your Leaders Thrive Emotionally During COVID-19 [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 PART #4 – So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? In PART #5 of this exclusive series on […]

How To Take Your Small Group Online

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! From the Saddleback Small Groups Team The world is looking for hope and we have an unprecedented opportunity to provide it. Your small group is now more important than ever. By keeping your members connected you can offer the care, support, and community that everyone needs, especially right now. […]

6 Ways to Use Your Pastor’s Sermons for Online Small Groups

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! Many of our Small Groups have experienced much change (and so quickly) in the recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of you may have a love-hate relationship with technology, it sure is proving to be a blessing in these days and times. Our Small Groups can […]

4 Steps to Getting Started with Online Groups

Create Your Free SmallGroupNetwork.com Account Today! During this COVID-19 crisis, everyone is either making a rush to get online groups going at their church, or already have them in place and are trying to expand or refine them. In my context, I needed to get online groups up and running from scratch, because we have […]

So You Launched Online Small Groups, Now What? [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – 10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 In PART #4 of this exclusive series on COVID-19 & Small Groups, hosts Steve Gladen & […]

Small Group Ministry in Times of Adversity

“Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people – a great way to find support & share ideas like this one here! Invite 2 or more friends & start a huddle today online or over coffee! One of the many benefits of a small group is coming together face-to-face for growing together in the […]

Learn How to Use Zoom in 5 Mins for Online Small Groups [Video]

“Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people – a great way to find support & share ideas like this one here! Invite 2 or more friends & start a huddle today online or over coffee! Related Resource: 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19

10 Checkpoints to Know if Your Small Group Ministry is Healthy during COVID-19 [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 In Part #3 of this exclusive series on COVID-19 & Small Groups, hosts Steve Gladen & Derek Olson talk about 10 Checkpoints to know if your small group ministry is healthy […]

5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 [Podcast]

PART #1 – 5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 In Part #2 of this exclusive series on COVID-19 & Small Groups, hosts Steve Gladen & Derek Olson talk with special guest Jay Kranda (Saddleback Church Online Pastor) about 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19. Just click play to listen […]

5 Ways to Keep Community Vibrant through COVID-19 [Podcast]

In PART #1 of this exclusive series on COVID-19 & Small Groups, hosts Steve Gladen & Derek Olson talk about 5 ways that you can keep community vibrant through COVID-19. Just click play to listen to this episode below. PART #2 – 5 Ways to Launch Online Small Groups NOW during COVID-19 PART #3 – […]

Lobby 2020 Highlights & Soundbites

Taking place every February in sunny Southern California, the “Lobby Gathering” is an out-of-the-box small group networking event where we create environments for small group point people to relax & connect together in casual conversations about small group ministry, much like they would in a church lobby over a cup of coffee! Enjoy the top […]

A Lifestyle of Small Group Evangelism

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry in 2020 by attending an “Accelerate” small group workshop! Register HERE While we may be able to pursue evangelism on our own and within our individual sphere of influence, small groups can also be an effective vehicle to engage those that may not have yet heard […]

How to Gather a “C-Team”

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry in 2020 by attending an “Accelerate” small group workshop! Register HERE Steve Gladen always talks about gathering a C- Team around you in your Small Group Ministry, and by C-Team, he’s not giving the team a specific grade! Any company you work for likely has […]

10 Step Coaching Checklist

We’ve all heard it before: “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The reason this statement is so broadly known is because it is true. When you truly care about your group leaders—their families, jobs, health, group, or their future with a timely word of encouragement, call, […]

7 Roles to Engage Your Small Group Members In

In less than 2 minutes, here about how Rich doubled his small groups in one month after attending an Accelerate Small Group Workshop! The New Year is here, and it’s a great opportunity for us to engage our small group members, if they aren’t already serving in some capacity.  If they are already serving in one […]

4 Ways to Get Small Group Members From Connecting to Attending

In less than 2 minutes, here about how Rich doubled his small groups in one month after attending an Accelerate Small Group Workshop! Consider this scenario: You are interested in learning about real estate. You discover there is a group of people in your area who meet regularly to discuss the topic and learn from […]

Read the Room: Leaning In Vs Checking Out

In less than 2 minutes, here about how Rich doubled his small groups in one month after attending an Accelerate Small Group Workshop! As small group leaders, some can be overly focused on relationships. Group meetings have a flexible start time and no end time. The discussion may end up centering on a single bullet […]

3 Things to Fill Our Lives with in 2020

In less than 2 minutes, here about how Rich doubled his small groups in one month after attending an Accelerate Small Group Workshop! The start of the New Year is the perfect time to pause and pray over what the Lord has in store for the year ahead. Church staff members, lay ministers, and small […]

Don’t Fall For “The Lie”

In less than 2 minutes, here about how Rich doubled his small groups in one month after attending an Accelerate Small Group Workshop! Somewhere, at some point, I started believing a lie about my ministry. I don’t remember when. It was not like I woke up one day and decided to believe the lie. It […]

3 Indicators of Healthy Small Groups

“Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world. They are a great place to find encouragement, support & ideas for your small group ministry! To start or join one click here Indicators typically measure the level of something. There are three indicators that can help us to […]

10 Tips for New Small Group Leaders

“Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world. They are a great place to find encouragement, support & ideas for your small group ministry! To start or join one click here If you had 2-minutes to share a handful of tips to help a brand new […]

4 Reasons Why “Small Group in a Box” is Effective

Less than 10 spots left! Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! For more info or to register, click HERE  How “Small Group in a box” can be effective tool for your Small Group Ministry Having the […]

20 Coaching Commitments for 2020

Less than 15 spots left! Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! For more info or to register, click HERE I have the privilege of serving as a small group coach (what we call a Community Leader) […]

3 Things New Believers Experience in Small Groups

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. For more info or to register, click HERE As we enter a new year, some group leaders may be considering the idea […]

Vision For Breakthrough In Your Small Group Ministry w/ Steve Gladen [Podcast]

In this episode, host Carolyn Taketa interviews special guest Steve Gladen who breaks down how to have vision for breakthrough in your small group ministry in 2020. Steve Gladen is the Global Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church since 1998. He oversees the strategic launch and development of over 7,000 adult small groups on […]

How Often Should you Communicate?

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. For more info or to register, click HERE There is a tension when it comes to communicating with your Small Group leaders […]

Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2019

In 2019 we’ve seen over 147,280 all-time podcast downloads to date! Join the thousands of other small group point people who have subscribed to our “Group Talk” podcast which you can find on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Play, Apple’s podcast app or linked below on our podcast page . A big thank you to our Host Carolyn Taketa, our Producer […]

Top 10 Small Group Videos of 2019

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. For more info or to register, click HERE From the many videos published this year, here are our top 10 based on […]

Top 10 Highlights of 2019

2019 was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! Enjoy this annual ministry report & get a sneak peek at some exciting things coming in 2020. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for more detailed information regarding each number listed in the info-graphic. #1) The SGN connected with, encouraged &/or equipped small group point people in […]

Top 10 Articles of 2019

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. For more info or to register, click HERE This was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! We’ve seen over 76,000 total […]

4 Ways Small Groups Can Brighten the Holiday Blues

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE My wife and I met while […]

1 Free Way to Celebrate Christmas with your Small Group

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

5 Ways Groups Can Fulfill Their Purpose During the Holidays

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

Don’t Forget 1 More Gift! (Batteries not included)

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

3 Ideas to End the Fall Season on Purpose

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE At the beginning of this season, […]

10 Food Ideas for Your Next Small Group Gathering

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

5 December Ideas for Your Group

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world at the “Lobby Gathering” 2020 Small Group networking event! Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE Although December is a busy month […]

5×5 Holiday Outreach Guide

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

Should My Small Group Be Open or Closed?

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE Small group leaders oftentimes ask which path is better to focus on: inward depth, or […]

3 Steps to Lead Group Members Toward Spiritual Maturity

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

Are you addicted to Big, Fast and Famous?

“This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.” – Rick Warren Because we know you are always looking for great bargains to stretch your budget for your small group leaders; for a limited time only, we are thrilled to offer this special […]

5 Ways to Renew Your Passion

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE Jackie Pullinger says, “God wants us to have soft hearts and hard feet. The trouble […]

How Online Small Groups Work

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE Online groups are a powerful way to provide an expression of biblical community no matter […]

Does Your Group Struggle with Praying Out Loud?

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” small group workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT You’ve set aside plenty of time for prayer at the end of your group meeting. Requests and praises have been shared. You, […]

4 Tips To Make Holiday Small Group Meetings Meaningful

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” small group workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT With the holidays coming up faster than the stores can get out their holiday decorations, it can be difficult to keep the […]

Who Is Your Mephibosheth?

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” small group workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT At Mountain Life Church in Park City, where I serve, our fall series is answering the question, “Who Am I?”, specifically looking […]

4 Strategies for Building a Balanced Small Group

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” small group workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT Balance has always been elusive for me in ministry. Earlier on, I grew skeptical of it because I pictured it as being […]

5 Questions for a Stagnant Small Groups Ministry

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT In life and in ministry, there will always be ebbs and flows to one’s feelings and impact. These ebbs and flows are sometimes due […]

3 Steps to Identify Future Leaders within Your Small Group

Do you know a college graduate ready to start seminary & pursue a full-time ministry career? Tell them to consider becoming a Lead Intern at Saddleback Church in SoCal where they can earn 1/3 of their MTS degree (Masters of Theological Studies) as an online student with Midwestern Seminary through a yearlong internship. They will […]

What’s Your Pulse?

As a Small Group Point Person (SGPP), it is essential to have a pulse. Well, to stay alive, you need a pulse! So, what does your pulse look like right now? Maybe you’re reading or watching this and your watch is telling you your pulse is fast for a resting rate. Or maybe you’re in […]

The No-Pressure Small Group Leader Recruitment Method

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT As I was walking through the crowd of people at a recent Group Connect event, I heard my name called. It was from a […]

3 Small Group Barriers and How to Break Them

Do you know a college graduate ready to start seminary & pursue a full-time ministry career? Tell them to consider becoming a Lead Intern at Saddleback Church in SoCal where they can earn 1/3 of their MTS degree (Masters of Theological Studies) as an online student with Midwestern Seminary through a yearlong internship. They will […]

How to Build a Strategic Small Group Culture

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our “Accelerate!” workshops. For more info or to register, VISIT All of us come to the table with our own experience, biases, and presumptions about what works best with starting and multiplying healthy […]

5 Things I Would Tell Myself If I Was Starting All Over

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE When I started out as a Small Group Point Person, I was new to ministry […]

7 Childcare Solutions for Small Groups

Connect with & learn from some of the brightest small group point people from around the world. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees. Lock in Early Bird price by Oct 2nd. For more info or to register, click HERE Whether you are a small group leader/ host or the small group pastor/ point […]

Small Group Leader: Are You Speaking Their Language?

Get $100 off Atlanta Accelerate now by registering as a member at smallgroupnetwork.com & using the exclusive promotional code located inside your SGN member portal. Register here Have you ever tried to communicate with someone who did not speak or understand your language? I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many countries around the world. I’ve been to […]

Is Your Group Intentionally Helping Its Members Grow Spiritually?

Get $100 off Atlanta Accelerate now by registering as a member at smallgroupnetwork.com & using the exclusive promotional code located inside your SGN member portal. Register here As a small group leader you may have heard the statement by now that “groups are the greenhouse for spiritual growth.” Small groups are so powerful, because if they have the […]

10 Reasons to Be a Small Group Host

Get $100 off Atlanta Accelerate now by registering as a member at smallgroupnetwork.com & using the exclusive promotional code located inside your SGN member portal. Register here Much has been written on, spoken on, pontificated on the recruitment of new small group leaders/HOSTS (a quick search on the SGN website, produced these results). It is a never-ending […]

When is the Best Time to Celebrate Leaders?

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

3 Preventable Reasons Why Small Group Coaches Struggle

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

3 Keys to Effective Small Group Team Meetings

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

Don’t Stop Believing… In Your Small Group Ministry!

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

4 Keys to Small Group Ministry Longevity

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

How to Host an Accelerate Small Group Workshop

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

7 Ways to Supplement Your Small Group Ministry

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

Small Group Leader: 3 Steps to Avoid Procrastination

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

4 Ways to Rally Your Small Group for Fall

TODAY (JULY 31) IS THE FINAL DAY TO LOCK IN EARLY BIRD PRICE! REGISTER TODAY & PREPARE TO ACCELERATE THE HEALTH & GROWTH OF YOUR SMALL GROUP MINISTRY! For most small groups, the summer is just a different time. Some groups take breaks for the summer months. Others change their meeting schedules to accommodate graduations […]

Leadership Investment Rhythms

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

So, you’ve asked the BIG question…now what?

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

4 Ways to Thrive in Your Season of Life

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

Who Cares! Providing Care To Small Group Members.

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

How to Inspire People to Join Groups

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! Upon registering your Huddle online, we will mail you official SGN swag & one of our leaders will follow up with you to provide you with all the support […]

Team Retreats: The Why, What, and How (Part 2) [Podcast]

Listen to Part 1 [podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/10326512/height/60/theme/standard/thumbnail/no/direction/forward/” height=”60″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”] We all need time away to recharge and be filled by God. Retreats with your staff and/ or key volunteers are a great way to value and invest in the souls of  your team members. Part 2 will focus on recommended tools, resources, and tips […]

Are You Leading Yourself Spiritually?

Start a “Huddle” this month & receive FREE swag! “Huddles” are like small groups for small group point people & are found all over the world! The purpose of Huddles is to connect small group point people together a few times a year to build relationships, find encouragement & to share ideas & resources relating […]

What To Do When Your Senior Pastor Is Not Rick Warren

Hear How Rich Doubled His Small Groups in One Month (2 min vid) What to Do when Your Senior Pastor Is not Rick Warren As a small group point person, you have probably read the articles, read the books, and listened to Steve Gladen pontificate about the importance of the senior pastor casting vision for […]

How to Respond to Pain as a Group Leader

Hear How Rich Doubled His Small Groups in One Month (2 min vid) “Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain Pain is a natural part of living in a […]

Team Retreats: The Why, What, and How (Part 1) [Podcast]

 [podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/10207856/height/60/theme/standard/thumbnail/no/direction/forward/” height=”60″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”]   We all need time away to recharge and be filled by God. Retreats with your staff and/ or key volunteers are a great way to value and invest in the souls of  your team members. Part 1 discusses why retreats are helpful, how to develop a goal for […]

3 Ways To Recruit People to Your Group

Hear How Rich Doubled His Small Groups in One Month (2 min vid) 3 Ways To Recruit People to Your Group Have you ever planned something so delicately and put so much into it and nobody shows up for the event? Imagine this for a second. Your best friend is turning 40 years old. You […]

Vital Moments & Key Decisions in Our Lives

Every soul operates similarly to a car dashboard. It tells us when we are tired, when we are revving the engine, when we are operating on all cylinders, and when we are empty. Our souls are really healthy gages that connect our heads with our hearts. In certain seasons, our heads might say, “I need […]

12 Criteria for Choosing Curriculum

HEAR HOW RICH DOUBLED HIS SMALL GROUPS IN JUST ONE MONTH! (2 minute video) 12 Criteria for Choosing Curriculum A question every small group leader contemplates when starting a new group or season is what content they will use for their study focus. Sometimes, this question is answered by church leadership if your church creates […]

7 Ways to Develop Positive Group Discussions

1 Remember it is a discussion not a lecture The role of the discussion leader is to facilitate the conversation and help people interact, not to deliver a monologue. Sharing the leadership discussion role around group members is one practical way to help alleviate falling into the ‘lecturer’ trap. Another practical step you can take […]

Normalizing the Experience

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Springtime. Warmer weather. Green. New growth. Fresh flowers. However, living in a mountain town spring has taken on new meanings for me. And one word encapsulates spring in the mountains: fickle. One day it is 75° […]

5 Keys for Small Group Ministry Growth

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Q: Is there something you missed that is preventing your small group ministry from growing? We have a vision for our small group ministry to grow. We evaluate our programs and processes, We track metrics. We […]

Book Talk – “We Need to Talk” by Celeste Headlee [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/9975830/height/60/theme/standard/thumbnail/no/direction/forward/” height=”60″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”] Do you want to have conversations that matter? Conversations are critical to our ministry and our lives. But how effective are you at engaging, listening, empathizing, focusing, learning, and caring for people during conversations? What are bad conversational habits we easily fall into? What are practical strategies to help […]

4 Tips On How To Lead Great Training Meetings

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Good heavens!  When I first started in ministry, I had no idea that there would be so many meetings!  With the meeting before the meeting, the meeting itself and then the debrief meeting, my days were shot and […]

5 Ways to Celebrate Small Group Leaders

Lock in SUPER EARLY BIRD price by July 3rd!  Over the past year, our church has been focused on learning new ways to better care for our small group leaders. One of the most essential roles of a Small Group Point Person is to celebrate the effectiveness of those participating in the ministry. While at The […]

Are Your Groups Ready for Summer?

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! I live in the Pacific Northwest, and this week the sun came back to remind us that summer is at hand. Regardless of your particular small group model, this is a tricky season. Schedules change along […]

7 Keys to Create a Family Culture in Your Group

Accelerate the health and growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Near Mpumalanga, South Africa, are the marvelous and mysterious Echo Caves. One of the more amazing plants found there is the Wild Fig tree. As far as plant life goes, these fig trees appear to be […]

Rick Warren: Small Groups & the Coming Societal Trends [Podcast II]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/9695927/height/60/theme/standard/thumbnail/no/direction/forward/” height=”60″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”] Pastor Rick Warren was this year’s keynote speaker at the “Lobby Gathering,” one of the nation’s premier small group training events. To listen to part 2 of this 2 part exclusive podcast, just click the play button above to enjoy this insightful discussion! Click here for part 1 To […]

Saddleback’s Top Ten Small Group Ministry Commitments

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Over the years we have been asked for guidance about starting, leading, and sustaining a healthy small group ministry. Trust me when I tell you, we haven’t always done it right, nor have we figured it […]

5 Tips for Navigating Disagreements in Your Small Group

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! In his excellent new book, How the Body of Christ Talks, Chris Smith highlights the fact that we live in a fragmented age, from denominations to communities to families. The reasons for this are numerous from […]

Do You Have a W.I.G?

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Did you know that wig can mean a few different things? As you were reading this you probably thought of a head covering, but this blog isn’t about that. It can also mean to rebuke someone, […]

Small Group Launch Checklist

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Leaders launching new groups want to have a strong start and welcome input on how to do it. Therefore, offer just enough guidance so they know what to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER their first meeting […]

5 Tips for Launching Summertime Short-Term Groups

  Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! A few years ago my church encouraged small group leaders to take summers off. But I believed God wanted me to lead a couple of groups that summer. A year before, I purchased a 6-week […]

Rick Warren: Small Groups & the Coming Societal Trends (Part 1)

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/9508130/height/60/theme/standard/thumbnail/no/direction/forward/” height=”60″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”] Pastor Rick Warren was this year’s keynote speaker at the “Lobby Gathering,” one of the nation’s premier small group training events. To listen to part 1 of this 2 part exclusive podcast, just click the play button above to enjoy this insightful discussion! To subscribe to our Group Talk […]

6 Ideas to Bring Healing Through the Practice of Confession

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! The practice of regular confession is largely lost in our religious circles. Protestantism, during the breaking away from the Roman Catholic church in the age of the reformation, rightly departed from the idea of penance, but […]

5 Ways to Foster Real Friendship in Small Groups

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! You have a new group. Right now, it’s mostly made up of people who are excited about what you’re studying, or just happened to live nearby and be free on Tuesday nights. How can you lead […]

5 Ways to Make Your Small Group a Party

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! I have met very few people who don’t like to have fun. Some of the most fun people I have been around are introverts that begin to warm up when the setting is right! There’s not […]

The Value of A Great 1st Experience in Your Group

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! I’ll never forget the first time that I walked into Disney World in Orlando, FL. You know you hear about how amazing it is and how it’s the happiest place on earth and so on. But […]

20 Small Group Quotes by Rick Warren

Lock in SUPER EARLY BIRD price by July 3rd!  Pastor Rick Warren was this year’s keynote speaker at the “Lobby Gathering,” one of the nation’s premier small group training events. Enjoy his top 20 quotes relating to small group ministry. “What the world needs more than anything else in our society today is the antidote […]

Creating Intentional Pathways to Small Groups

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! I recently attended The SGN Lobby Gathering at Saddleback’s Retreat Centre -Rancho Capistrano, California. What an amazing experience, being in such a beautiful environment with so many enthusiastic, talented, passionate and wise small group point people. […]

A Small Group Leader’s 30-Day Prayer Guide

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! Leadership Pastor, Jim Egli, endeavored to discover what makes the difference between thriving and stagnant small groups. His research involving over 4,000 group leaders came to the conclusion that praying leaders have faster growing groups. To […]

4 Next Steps After Returning from a Church Conference

Accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of these “Accelerate” Small Group Workshops! The Apostle Paul’s advice to Titus on attending church conferences. Did you know that the Apostle Paul spoke to Titus about key points for attending a church conference? Okay, so maybe he didn’t.  But if he did, […]

5 Ideas to Help Small Group Members “Be Present”

BEST EVENT VALUE: Lock in EARLY BIRD PRICE of $395 by April 17th! INCLUDES: registration, lodging & meals for 3 days & 2 nights at the beautiful Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center! Enjoy the beauty of Southern California, grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry! REGISTER […]

5 Keys to Becoming A Leader Who Changes Lives

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending the “Accelerate” D.C. Small Group Workshop! Lock in Super-Early Bird Price by April 18th! #1. Most important: Spend time alone with God. Jesus often slipped away from His disciples to spend time alone with God […]

Identifying and Recruiting New Leaders [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/9165350/height/360/theme/standard/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”360″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”standard”] A panel discussion on how to overcome the typical barriers of getting new leaders, and how to identify, invite, and recruit new people to lead groups. Group Talk Podcast Panelists: Bill Search – Author of “Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders” and “Simple Small Groups” and serves as Executive […]

5 Takeaways From The “Lobby Gathering” 2019

I just got back from the Lobby Gathering Small Group conference in SoCal and had an amazing time. I learned so much and met so many great people. But, if I were to sum up my highlights and takeaways, I’d say there are five things that stuck out to me the most. The world needs […]

10 Tips to Develop “Rock Star” Small Group Leaders

BEST EVENT VALUE: Lock in EARLY BIRD PRICE of $395 by April 17th! INCLUDES: registration, lodging & meals for 3 days & 2 nights at the beautiful Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center! Enjoy the beauty of Southern California, grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry! REGISTER […]

10 Traits of a Healthy Small Group Ministry

Q: Do you run your small group ministry like a company or a family? I am currently working on plans to grow and improve the administration side of our small group ministry. While doing research, I discovered the following quote: “Your church and your ministry should be run like a family, not a corporation, government, […]

Top 50 Photos from the Lobby Gathering 2019

Grow as a leader, strengthen your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending the “Accelerate” D.C. Small Group Workshop! Lock in Super-Early Bird Price for a limited time!

1 Simple Way to Improve Conversations

We have all been there. You are sitting in your small group; a member shares a vulnerable story of what is happening in his/her life. The room falls quiet as people try to figure out what to say. In desperation, another person replies with a story of his/her own, which typically begins in this manner, […]

5 Questions To Ask When Setting Group Goals

I always love the start of a new small group season.  It’s such a great time to look back on the previous season and evaluate how effective I have been connecting people into small groups and take a look at what I can do better to prepare for the next season.  You may be like me and […]

5 Essentials For Small Group Coaches

Keeping the vision for small group ministry in the forefront of your coaches’ minds helps them to stay passionate and to see clearly where their role fits in the big picture. If the small group ministry is aligned with the overall church’s vision and mission, then you have the bonus of coaches knowing they are […]

Small Groups For Singles [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/8772731/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”] Between people marrying at older ages or never marrying, co-habitation, and divorce rates, there is a large increasing population of singles in our churches spanning several decades. Yet, singles often report feeling lonely, isolated, or stigmatized in the church which typically focus on marriages and families. So how can we serve […]

How to Encourage Prayer Between Small Group Meetings

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Back to the Basics

There comes a time when your small group ministry is flourishing, growing, and multiplying. Praise God! You see all the things you’ve been praying for and hoping to see. Then, the Lord might tap you on the shoulder and say, ” I want you to go back to the basics.” At least, that’s what he […]

5 Questions to Ask Your Small Group Leaders

As a Small Group Point Person, it is so important to connect with your small group leaders regularly. This action cannot be overdone and is vital to leaders feeling valued. It is also essential to communicate in various methods throughout each semester and calendar year. Phone conversations may be more useful for one leader, while […]

Are SMART Goals Holding You Back?

Q: Are you setting SMART goals and working to meet those goals as a part of your small group ministry? If you answered yes, that is terrific. Goal setting is important for you and your team. Goals provide many benefits including: Giving a roadmap to achieving your vision and mission Focusing your team on what […]

10 Bible Verses for Small Groups on “Gathering”

Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features… 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen A downloadable workbookLesson discussion questionsAn official Small Group Network completion certificateA special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry Learn more by watching the free course introduction […]

9 Questions Before Starting Online Small Groups

The most asked question I get from pastors is always about online small groups. How does Saddleback Church do online small groups? How do they meet? How do you train leaders? Do you ship materials to group members? These are all great questions you need to be asking! The Online Campus at Saddleback Church has […]

What Do Small Groups and Hot Chocolate Have in Common?

The day after Christmas, my wife and I, along with our two girls (ages 2 ½ and 6 months), hopped on a plane and flew to southern California to visit my parents and some other friends and family. My parents, being amazing grandparents, had the food items that they knew our toddler loved, like chicken […]

Steve Gladen: Making Key Decisions for Critical Impact [PODCAST]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/8409515/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”] This podcast focuses on some key decisions that will have a critical impact on shaping the values, strategies, and culture of your groups ministry for years to come.  Steve is the Global Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church since 1998. He oversees the strategic launch and development of over […]

Do You Really Need an Onboarding Process?

What is your process for onboarding a new Small Group Leader? Is it the same for every new leader? Or is it more subjective based upon the leader’s experience? Is there a process at all or do you just figure it out new each time? Most of the Small Group Point People I know are […]

4 Ideas to ‘Kick Start’ Your Small Groups in 2019

I recently read an article from Success Magazine and was intrigued by a list they created on ‘Kick Starting’ the new year. In this blog I would like to mention 4 from the list which challenged me and got me thinking about small group ministry. Write letters to three people in your life to let […]

5 New Years’ Resolutions That Aren’t New

It’s a new year where we have new resolutions, new goals, and new dreams for the year. No doubt, an integral part to act and live out the things that will help us become who we want to be in 2019. If we don’t join that gym or have those exercise goals, how will we […]

How to G.R.O.W. your Small Group Ministry in the New Year

About 15 years ago I was attending a retreat, as I got talking to a fellow pastor she shared with me a very simple tool, a tool which I went on and used very successfully. I have utilised the formula personally when I have been feeling ‘stuck’ in a particular area of my life. I […]

Do This Before Goal Setting for Small Groups

Q: Did you know that about 90% of New Year’s Resolutions fail before the end of the year? At the start of a new year, many people reflect on the past year and set resolutions to improve. These resolutions include becoming healthy, improving relationships, volunteering more, getting organized, and becoming financially secure. The resolutions are […]

12 Book Recommendations for 2019

As leaders, one of our tasks is to continue to learn. I have heard it said that great leaders never stop learning. And in 2018, a number of your colleagues read some great books that they would recommend to you. So here are 11 books recommended by other small group point people in the Small […]

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

2018 was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! One of our Top 11 Highlights of 2018 was that we surpassed 75,000 total blog views! A big thank you to our amazing team of authors for all of the insightful content they have written this year! Here are our top 10 blog posts based on the total […]

 5 Keys to Creating Great Curriculum

#1. Always start with the end in mind. Where do you want to lead your group members?  What steps do they need to take to get there?  Make each step a lesson. #2. Back each lesson with Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word to us (2 Timothy 3:16). God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews […]

Top 5 Podcasts of 2018

2018 was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! One of our Top 11 Highlights of 2018 was that our “Group Talk” Podcast surpassed 100,000 downloads! A big thank you to our Host and Director of Podcast Communications Carolyn Taketa, our Producer and Creative Arts Director Jason Banzhoff and to every special guest who interviewed! Here […]

Can You Really Measure Spiritual Growth?

The end of the year is a natural time to evaluate the success (or lack thereof) of the past year and to set goals for the next year. However, many Small Group Point People struggle with exactly how to evaluate the ministry that has happened in the last year. But how can you measure the […]

Top 11 Highlights of 2018

2018 was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! Enjoy this annual ministry report & get a sneak peek at some big things coming in 2019! TOP 11 HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 (In no particular order) #1. We served thousands of small group point people in 100 different countries throughout the world! The SGN connected with, encouraged & equipped small […]

The Oreo Method of Discipleship

All throughout the book of Acts, we see the Early Church replicate themselves. Disciples make disciples and growing people grow people! I would even suggest that the life change happens, when we grow together, and we catch glimpses of the work God is doing with this process of discipleship. Wouldn’t you agree? Discipleship is all […]

How Did You Do? Reflecting On Your 2018 [PODCAST]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7861820/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Guest: Reid Smith Topic: How did you do? Year-end review of your church, ministry, and self. Why reflect on the past year what to evaluate? Measuring progress – hard versus soft data How do you know if group life and community is in the culture of the church? What are […]

How to Write an Encouraging Thank You Note to Your Volunteers

Q. Are you scratching your head trying to come up with some effective ways to encourage your small group volunteers? Writing a thank you note is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to let your volunteers know you appreciate them. Your words will inspire those who read them. If you don’t think a thank you note […]

5 Ways to NOT Evaluate Group Health

Toward the end of each year, a lot of people become more reflective and begin to plan ahead for the year to come. Reflection done right is not a sentimental exercise, but a strategic one that will remind you of what the Lord has done, what to celebrate, and what you can improve. A lot […]

Two Christmas Characters Who Can Challenge Your Small Group Ministry.

In this blog I want to encourage you to reflect on two of the central figures in the Christmas story; Mary and Joseph. Nothing new there you think to yourself, that’s what I normally do at Christmas time! However, this year I would like you to take the time to specifically reflect on their individual […]

8 Steps to Celebrating Communion with your Small Group

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that we are firmly into the Christmas season, which means that another year is coming to an end. While a lot of the focus is rightfully on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the closing of another year provides all of […]

Recruiting Your C-Team

Most businesses have a C Suite – the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, and so on – the top executives, the brain trust that keeps the business on track. Rather than “suite,” I prefer the word “team” from the sports arena, where one person calls the plays and a team makes it happen. Each player knows […]

Is Your Training Boring?

In his book, Planning Small Groups with Purpose, Steve Gladen says one of the roles of the Small Group Point Person is to “Keep encouraging your entire leadership team to model maturity and continued growth.” One of the ways Small Group Point People encourage growth is through training events for Small Group Leaders. However, for […]

How To Craft a Small Group Agreement [PODCAST]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7613099/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Everyone enters a new small group with spoken and unspoken expectations. Small group agreements or covenants are a helpful tool to discuss and establish the primary goals of the group as well as important guidelines for group members. We will discuss the process of establishing an agreement and the essential […]

2 Simple Things to Refresh the Vision

Simon Sinek says, “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.” I think the same is true of the mission of small groups. Really great Small Group Point People (SGPP) know why they do what they do year after year. But, as a leader of leaders, […]

5 Habits Every SG Point Person Should Practice on Sunday

A few years ago, I found myself aimlessly wandering through the church atrium. I thought to myself, “Why are you even here!?” I felt challenged in that moment to increase my presence on Sundays. Although I didn’t have a role that was expressed as vividly as worship pastor, preacher, or children’s minister, I did have […]

Small Groups in the Way of Chick-Fil-A

We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.” – S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A Founder) Infamously closed on Sundays so their employees can rest and worship, the faith-based fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has grown from one store in Atlanta 50 […]

14 Missional Christmas Ideas for your Small Group

Today I went shopping, not an unusual thing for me! However what was unusual was what I saw……..Christmas displays already in many stores! Yes it is getting close to that time of year again! I don’t know about you but I find that I have to proactively work against getting caught up in this busy, […]

Finding a Fresh Perspective

The most pivotal moments in my life involved a change of perspective. Perspective is the lens through which we see the world. Your perspective directly affects your relationships with God, others and even yourself! Before knowing Jesus, I remember struggling to understand what the Bible was saying, but when I became a believer, I saw […]

Small Group Point People: How’s Your Soul?

Our church just concluded our six-week fall sermon series and small group push. But the fall didn’t start with the start of the sermon series, it started back during the summer in getting everything ready. So it’s no wonder that on Monday, I felt a little more tired than usual. Thankfully I was scheduled to […]

Perfection NOT Required

As a Small Group Point Person, we are often asked a myriad of questions, “Why aren’t more people connecting?”, “What do leaders need to know?”, “What should my group study?”, etc. People assume since you are the Small Group Point Person you have all the answers. And it can feel like if you don’t have […]

3 Keys to Managing Change in Your Small Group Ministry

When starting a small group ministry, you are eager to see the fruit of your labor. But building before the foundation is ready always proves unwise. Whenever a new idea is introduced, acceptance of change runs pretty true to the Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Bell Curve. You will typically encounter about 16 percent eager early […]

Why Small Group Coaches?

Picture it!   Think back to getting your first small groups ready to launch;  you have spent months preparing and personally meeting with all of your prospective leaders, have held small group leader training, helped leaders find curriculum or possibly even have had a role in creating the sermon based small group study on your campus.  […]

3 Ways to Have Great “Huddle” Conversations

Have you ever wanted to share ideas and learn from other Small Group Point People? Ever wish there was a way to connect with people and share wins and struggles with small groups? Good news! Spaces for this and friends like this exist in Small Group Network “Huddles!” Huddles are created for the purpose of […]

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters [PODCAST]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7182680/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”] This month’s group talk podcast features an insightful discussion regarding the book “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters” by Priya Parker. Host Carolyn Taketa joins joins special guests Nick Lenzi (Dinner Group Director) & Andrew Camp (Former chef) to discuss the art of gathering. […]

Prepping the Soil of your Small Group Ministry

The house that my wife and I bought just over a year ago now has a wonderful little garden plot off to the side of the house. The previous owners had done a great job making it a place that will be great to grow vegetables. However, our first summer there we were just acclimating […]

5 Group-Hacks to a Stronger Small Group

How many times have you heard your grandparents or parents tell you about how they walked “up the hill, through the snow” to elementary school and back home? I always enjoyed hearing those stories and then teasing my father about how old he was, when he finished. Although very few enjoy navigating difficult seasons, we […]

3 Empowering Gifts of Accountability

I haven’t always been comfortable with the word “accountability.” It used to make me think of a person with a ledger who was critiquing my performance, recording the good and bad in my life and letting me know how well I was staying on track. Accountability felt impersonal and even burdensome. This, however, is not […]

5 Tips For Building Bridges With Immigrants In Your Community

Stephen Covey once said “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” With that in mind, I have become more keenly aware how diverse our own communities are growing with immigrants from around the world. Beautiful people who are struggling to navigate a whole new set of behaviors and norms in different cultures. I am reminded […]

5 Ways to Become a Recruiting Machine

I have never met a single Small Groups Point Person who said, “You know what, I have too many leaders, what should I do?” Most Small Groups Point People live in the constant struggle of not having enough leaders. Every now and then we find the rainbow horned unicorn of a person who says, “I […]

8 Creative Prayer Ideas for your Small Group

Announcing our new online training course that features 7 total video session taught by Saddleback Church Online Pastor Jay Kranda, Downloadable notes & lesson discussion questions! Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll HERE! It is Tuesday evening, your small group has gathered, you have had some supper, opened up about what is […]

Embracing Diversity: 3 Tips for Leading Diverse Groups

For small group point people, the line, we’re better together, is not a catchy tagline, it is a core value of small group ministry. How you apply that core value is different in each of your communities. For some, applying the idea of doing life together means finding people like you, those who look like […]

2 Keys to Add Value to those You Lead

Knowing Your People – Grows Your People In a season of recruiting Small Group Point People (SGPP), here’s what I’ve learned: Knowing them ultimately grows them! In other words, knowing the people you serve with is what enables growth to take place. The more that people feel respected and known, the more they share that […]

What Should Groups Study? w/ Chris Surratt

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7054617/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Topic: A question we frequently field from our small group leaders is, “What should we study?” There is an overwhelming range of materials and topics to choose from and it is critical to choose curriculum wisely. What a group chooses to study has a significant impact on group dynamics and […]

Rick Warren: Why You Need the Safety Net of a Small Group

With close to 30,000 weekend attenders across all 19 campuses, Saddleback church is proud of the fact that they have more people in small groups than actually attend on the weekends! Enjoy this quick video of Pastor Rick Warren sharing why everyone needs the safety net of a small group!   Enjoy the southern hospitality […]

4 Things Jesus Wants for Community Builders

One of the most rewarding roles in the local church is serving as the point leader for small groups because you get to be a catalyst for growing the kind of community we see in Acts 2:42-47. However, I’ve found it can be one of the loneliest roles on the planet. Ironic, isn’t it? The […]

Its More than Missional: The 5 Verbs Your Groups Need to Live Out

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued […]

Community Formation and Stone Soup

A little while ago, I wrote on the power of food as it relates to being formed into community. Because of our technological age, which is premised on easy everywhere, we have somehow become less connected. Authentic, transformative relationships seem harder. One of the most beautiful aspects of eating together is in the mutual recognition […]

3 Ways to Capture Small Group Momentum

When you meet me, it won’t take very long for you to figure out that I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. I have been since I was 5 years old. As a result of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, I have received hundreds of offers to buy books and products celebrating last season. […]

8 Approaches When Dealing with a “Discussion Dominator”

Most groups have one or two people who tend to dominate small group discussion times and seem to have all the answers to the questions! They tend to speak first, with much authority and sometimes can be so intimidating that others do not participate and instead take a back seat. So how do we train […]

How to Navigate the Loss of a Loved One with Your Small Group

I don’t know who said it first, but there is a quote that says, “Silence speaks when words fail.” At one point or another, we will encounter a moment when we won’t know the words to say. Maybe you’ve been there before. That’s often what the loss of a loved one does. Initially, it leaves […]

Building Authentic Relationships: 4 Small Group Tips from 1 Thessalonians

Every disciple is called to make more disciples, and small groups are in the trenches of discipleship making. Small groups are fantastic places to learn, but more importantly, they are the best place to build authentic relationships and learn together. Creating an environment that elevates authentic relationships is a challenge, but a great example can […]

Downloadable Resources to Help Start Your Church’s Small Groups

If you are a new Small Group Point Person or your time and resources are limited in leading groups, this post is especially for you. One of my favorite parts of the Small Group Network is the eagerness to share knowledge, experience and resources with other Small Group Point People in order for all to succeed. […]

5 Ways to Help Your Small Groups Have More Fun

Are you a small group point person who is trying to empower small group leaders to have more fun in their groups? Need to help group leaders create a welcoming and fun environment to increase connection between people? Here are 5 Ways to Help Your Small Groups Have More Fun: Bring Something With You A […]

Free Market Groups, Semester-Based Groups & Reaching Millennials: An Inside Look at National Community Church’s Innovative Culture [PODCAST]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6918670/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]This month, we take a look inside one of the most innovative “teaching churches” in America, National Community Church in Washington DC. They are well-known for establishing “Free market groups,” semester-based groups, and effectively reaching millennials in a transitory urban environment. Guest: Laura Holland Bio: Laura Holland has been serving as […]

The 2 Main Questions a Group Leader is Always Asking

The people we lead have big jobs to do. No matter how accessible we make the role of a group leader or host, at some point, everyone realizes that serving others gets complex. Just think about all the questions that run through a group leader’s mind as they try to lead and care for the […]

New People Need New Groups

In his new book Planning Small Groups with Purpose, Steve Gladen asks this question, “What is your plan for connecting people into groups?” This is obviously one of the biggest questions any small group point person needs to answer. When formulating your plan, the underlying truth to keep in mind is that new people need […]

Lead from Authoritative Vulnerability

I continue to reflect on Priya Parker’s excellent book, The Art of Gathering. In my last post, I talked about her principle that gathering is about people not just a checklist of logistics. But once we have the people in our midst, how do we lead? Parker suggests that the best hosts lead from a […]

How To Protect Yourself from Burn Out

It’s been about five years since it happened and the thing is…I didn’t see it coming. I guess I should have, everyone around me could see it happening…but man, I sure didn’t. I could hear God but I wasn’t listening. To be honest, I really didn’t like what He was saying. I can remember the […]

C.O.A.C.H. [5 Big Ideas in Coaching Coaches]

Q What does it mean to be a coach? Let’s take a look at what the valuable role of a small group coach is and what actually happens when they invest in the life of a small group leader. I would not be writing to you today if someone had not noticed something in me, and […]

3 Ways to Keep Momentum Going in Low-Key Seasons

I once heard John Maxwell say, “When you have momentum, don’t take a vacation.” As funny as this is- it’s really true. Why would you stop the momentum? When you are surfing, you wait for the wave to build, then you ride it out. You don’t just stop mid- wave and get off. You ride […]

One ‘Must Have’ Resource for your Small Group Ministry.

During the month of June 2018, an eagerly awaited resource landed on the shores of Australia. Many hours of time, energy, writing, administration, and finances had been invested to ensure a safe arrival! Steve Gladen was here and the Australian Small Groups with Purpose Conferences would soon begin. As the day of the conference approached, […]

10 Books for the Small Group Point Person this Summer

I have learned that if I want to succeed in leading others I must first lead myself well.  And for me that includes reading great books.  For 2018 I set an ambitious goal for myself to read 100 books by the year’s end.  I did it to invest in myself.  I’ve learned so much that […]

T.E.A.M. [The 4 Attributes of a Small Group Leader]

Leadership development is hard; both in business and in churches. Small group point people across the country are struggling with the same question, “how do I find more leaders?” As our church grows, the need for more groups and group leaders grow as well. It’s easy to simply fill the gap with anyone we can […]

6 Beliefs That Can Stunt Your Growth in Leadership

We all have acquired various beliefs that lay the foundation for how we lead our teams. Some of these beliefs are propelling you forward, while some are limiting your trajectory. What are these thoughts? How are they hindering your ministry? Here are six beliefs that can stunt your growth in leadership. YOU MUST BE THE […]

4 Shared Best Practices of Recruiting Small Group Leaders

I was so fortunate to attend the Small Group Network (SGN) “Lobby Gathering” this past March.  Being together and talking with other small group leaders who get the joy and challenge of creating, encouraging, building and leading small groups on a church campus speaks my love language…connecting people. If you have not been to the […]

Community For Our Military

One of the things I am thankful for in my life is my time in the US Coast Guard. I spent eight years in the military and about seven of them on different ships at sea. I learned sooo many different skills and life lessons in those years. One of the most valuable lessons I […]

Steve Gladen: Ten Things To Consider When Recruiting Your Team [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6770441/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Who do you want on your team? And how do you recruit people to join you? Small groups ministry cannot be done by yourself. We all need a team of people with different personalities, gifts, and skills to build a thriving groups ministry. Listen to Steve share the top ten […]

5 Keys to Building a Solid Foundation for Your Small Group Ministry

I have displayed on my office whiteboard, “Vision without implementation equals hallucination.” I believe in vision, and you’ll hear me talk quite a bit about it in this book. If you don’t have a plan for implementing your vision, you are wasting your time. Success involves the management of ideas. Ideas can provide wonderful breakthroughs […]

Small Groups: Start with People

Start with people. Sounds obvious, right? After all, you and I, as small group point people, are in the business of connecting people. But this question has come to the forefront of my mind recently, as I read Priya Parker’s excellent new book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. We […]

The First 90 Days as a Small Group Point Person

If you are new to the role of Small Group Point Person, my hope is that this post will  set you up for success. If you have been in your current role for a while, this post will hopefully allow you to do a reset/refresh of your ministry and see if there are changes needed. […]

Church Websites to Stalk as a Small Group Point Person

Redesigning your church website or just want some ideas for your small group page? We’ve scoured the internet for you to find the best church websites for you to stalk as a small group point person. Here is the list of web-links you can bookmark and get ideas from. Hoboken Grace Highlands Fellowship Cooper City […]

Capturing Stories in 5 Easy Steps

I have a  few stories I’d love to share with you. Stories like Josue, who said, “Small groups have been God’s way of working in my life on the theme of building community and restoring real community and relationships in my life.” Or Nicole who said, “Small groups for me are like family.” These aren’t […]

4 Steps for a New Small Group Point Person

Congratulations! You are the new Small Group Point Person for your church. Now what? Small groups are a great way to help people across your church get connected, both to Christ and with each other. Small groups can help your church develop future leaders and create a pathway for spiritual formation. Small groups can do […]

 4 Not-So-Big Ways to Launch More Small Groups

Over the last few years, the area of launching more groups within our Small Group ministry has been a great target of growth for our team. It’s challenged current and past systems within our church, pushed our level of leadership to new places and helped us wave the banner for seeing healthy group growth for […]

How to Create Small Group Curriculum with the Content You Already Have

By Kevin Lee / Online Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church If I have to pick a single factor for Saddleback’s small group growth, it would be the H.O.S.T. strategy. This strategy allows for a person with minimal knowledge of the Bible to lead a very purposeful small group discussion. If you don’t know about […]

Joel Comiskey: Increasing Evangelism in Small Groups [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6684930/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Since evangelism is critical part of discipleship, it is typically a high value for our churches. However, practically speaking, many of our groups do not engage regularly in intentional outreach to nonbelievers. In this episode with Joel Comiskey, we focus on why evangelism helps small groups thrive and how we […]

5 Best Practices for Short-Term Community Over the Summer

For those of us who are headed into summer season, this post is for you. If you aren’t approaching that season yet, file this post to read at a later time!  Summer can be a challenging, yet deep time for community, can’t it? I mean I live in this tension over the summer between slowing […]

When Volunteers Let You Down

When I first became a small group point person within a local church I approached it much like a farmer working to grow something. I got up early, labored long, and diligently cared for growing the ministry and mission. I thought this is the way to be successful and the way to model success. I […]

Carl George: The Past, Present & Future of Small Groups Ministry [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6588711/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Pioneer of small groups ministry in the United States, Carl George has been an influential voice in churches for decades. Here, Carl shares his thoughts on the small groups movement over the years including trends, concerns, and the future of small groups ministry in the current cultural context.  Carl George, […]

3 Creative Opportunites for Launching New Small Groups

If you were to take a snapshot of my google searches over the last little while you would notice a common theme. ‘How to sew a zipper into a purse.’ I have been making some purses to give away as gifts and I wanted to know how to sew in a zipper. Interestingly, once I […]

Why Every Small Group Point Person Should Attend “Accelerate!”

We all enter into ministry for a variety of reasons. For me, I love seeing people grow spiritually through a rich experience of biblical community. I have been blessed with incredible community, experiencing firsthand how transformative small group Christian community can and should be. I want to shepherd people into that experience. That last sentence […]

3 Ways to Make Small Groups Missional

It’s one of the words that have become in vogue in our church culture lexicon is Missional. My auto spell check always changes it to “mission” or “missionary.”   My internal conversation goes something like this…”no, no it’s Missional, you know missional… to, well, umm” and my mind moves to an outdated term I have long […]

Are You Modeling “Better Together” Leadership?

The story begins in Exodus 17 where people are grumbling…and blaming Moses- “Why did you take us out here? Isn’t this journey ever going to end? Why can’t we find water? Didn’t you say God would provide?” Then, God tells him to go stand in the Nile river and strike the rock so water may […]

3 Keys to Casting Small Group Vision to your Senior Pastor

“You are not the lead Small Groups person at your church, your Senior Pastor is the lead Small Groups person at your church.”- Steve Gladden This statement brings clarity to the reality that the voice that carries the biggest weight in any church is that of the Senior Pastor. And this applies in small group […]

5 Essentials in Promoting Small Groups via Media

As Small Group Point People, we are all constantly looking to engage the people around us. One commonality point people share is that we understand that we are better together. I know that I am constantly looking into how to grow our groups’ impact and how we can best help new people realize their purpose […]

Get “Leading Small Groups with Purpose” e-book for $2.99 May 1-31!

Whether you are a new small group point person, a seasoned leader who feels your small group ministry lacks purpose, or the groups pastor who is itching to move your small group ministry to the next level, Leading Small Groups with Purpose is the road map to follow. Steve Gladen, the global small groups pastor […]

4 Not-To-Miss Steps for New Small Group Point People (Video)

I was recruited to lead the groups ministry of a growing multi-site church less than two years ago. This was after being a student pastor since the year Mulan came out in the movie theater (that’s code for a long time ago). This was new territory for me. As I look back on these last […]

New Group Talk Podcast: Biblical Engagement in Small Groups

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6466713/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]The New Group Talk Podcast Welcome to the new “Group Talk Podcast!” In this month’s episode you will notice these exciting new updates… An updated intro featuring new music and the new voice of Mike Kozlowski  New Producer Jason Banzhoff highlighting upcoming SGN Events A new outro highlighting the purpose […]

Are Small Groups Still Important? 2 SGN Conferences coming to Australia in 2018!

Q Are Small Groups still important? How would you answer this question? Those who look after small group ministry in local churches would answer YES! Those who are small group leaders would hopefully say YES (although their response may be dependent on how things are going with their individual group!) And I have no doubt that […]

Building a Healthy Team of Small Group Leaders

How does a small group point person become a leader of leaders? Each small group point person faces the challenge of building a group of leaders who are gifted, willing and able to be part of their small group ministry. This challenge isn’t always straightforward; great small group leaders don’t always appear at your doorstep! […]

Small Groups: 3 Things for Walking a Tight Rope

Andy Stanley says, “Some tensions are to be managed, not problems to be solved.”  I was recently convicted by a conversation I had with a Small Group Point Person. He said, “With all of the groups you oversee, how do you know what is taking place in all of them? How do you know the […]

5 Themes for Developing a Church-Wide Small Group Culture

At the 2018 SoCal “Lobby Gathering” a few weeks ago (Register for 2019), I had the privilege of leading a conversation on developing a church-wide small group culture. It was great to sit with other small group point people, and listen to where they are in the process, but more specifically, what was working and […]

If You’ve Ever Drunk From a Fire Hose… (My Personal Post-“Lobby” Prayer)

If you’ve ever drunk from a fire hose, you’ve got an idea of what the Lobby Gathering is like. Every year that I’ve been a Small Group Point Person, I’ve gone to the Lobby Gathering. And every year it has easily been three of the most valuable days that I’ve spent networking and learning. But […]

5 Ways to Fail after a Conference

I enjoy attending conferences and usually come home inspired and ready to take the next hill for Jesus. I recently returned from The Lobby Conference 2018 (You should be there next year, sign up here). It was an amazing time, and I learned a ton from the speakers and from individual conversations with other Small […]

5 Things All Small Group Point People Need To Know

Looking back on my start as a small group point person a decade ago, I see how much it mirrored my start as a small group leader nearly two decades ago.  I was idealistic and opinionated, I was eager to learn and dove in to find out.  I tried to inform myself on the models, […]

6 Ways to Get Better at Leading

“When the leader gets better, everybody wins.” -Bill Hybels. This is one of my favorite quotes. It is also a personal challenge for me. The quote reminds me that if I want my team to get better and if I want those I lead to get better, then I have to get better. This is […]

“Accelerate!” Your Small Group Ministry at One of These Workshops!

“Accelerate!” is a 3-day workshop designed for small group point people and their leadership teams! Check out this quick video from Founder Steve Gladen on why you should consider attending one! ACCELERATE! Utah April 23-25 Mountain Life Church – Park City, UT Register HERE    ACCELERATE! Minnesota May 21-23 Grace Church – Eden Prairie, MN Register HERE REGISTER […]

Group Talk Podcast: Live with Steve Gladen from the “Lobby Gathering”

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6395974/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Pastor Steve Gladen answers questions submitted from the 2018 SoCal “Lobby Gathering” participants on a variety of small groups ministry issues such as… Leadership development Group leader coaching Creating a small groups church culture Leading up Group multiplication Soul care Future of group life. Guest: Steve has been Global Pastor […]

The Best 20 Ice-Breakers for 2018

I once read an article by Karen Wilk which challenged me think about the term ice-breaker. In the article she encourages people to use the term ‘community makers’ rather than ‘ice-breaker as it more accurately describes the aim of the activity – to develop community and connection in your group. I love that idea so […]

We Are All CEOs: 3 Ways to Encourage Your Small Group Leaders

The Power of Encouraging Words We see in Scripture that David was regularly “strengthened by the Lord.” Some translations say, “He encouraged himself in the Lord,” which means to strengthen or prevail (1 Samuel 30:6). And while I believe that God can give us a new spirit of strength in a way that we cannot, […]

Instagram posts you NEED to see as a Small Group point person

Not feeling creative these days?  If your ministry has been as blah and boring as Arie and Lauren B on the latest season of The Bachelor (a Monday Night Show in the US) than take a look at these Instagram posts to spark some fresh ideas. Do you post your work on social media? Use […]

4 Ways You Can Use Social Media to Grow Your Groups This Week

Social Media isn’t just a hip trend that has millenials hooked; it’s the direction that technology and society are continually developing together.  Small group point people know and champion that community is an essential part of life – so it shouldn’t surprise us that media has become social! Every person in this world desires to […]

4 Reasons Your Next Mission Trip Should Start as a Small Group

This last year we hosted our traditional “Mission Trip Interest Meeting” for a trip to Israel, which was little over a year from taking off. This meeting had a little twist to what had been our norm for a few years. This endeavor, spearheaded by a church volunteer, had an increased intentionality behind it. Drew, […]

5 Ways To Recruit New Leaders

As every new small group season approaches the need for new small group leaders always seems to rise to the surface. Your church may be in a season of growth, you may have had leaders step away, or you may be in the midst of launching a church wide campaign. The fact is, as small […]

Fully Developed Disciples

“You’re always doing curls for the girls.” When I was a high school football player, that is something we would say to a teammate in the weight room in jest. The comment was for a guy who was consistent with his arm curl weightlifting routine but not-so consistent with his lower body and legs exercises. […]

Countdown to the Lobby Is on!

The Lobby (March 13-15) is less than a month away. The good news is it’s not too late to register, but time is ticking. If you are still waffling on whether to pull the trigger or not, let me share why you definitely need to come, from one small group point person to another. First […]

Top 5 Things Not To Do When Coaching Small Group Leaders [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6261121/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]We would all agree that small group leaders need the support, mentoring, and care that a coaching system can provide, but it continues to be an area of ministry that is challenging, and often a source of confusion and frustration. In this exclusive interview, Host Carolyn Taketa talks with Allen White […]

4 Things Your Small Group Leaders Need in 2018

Yesterday I walked past a kitchenware shop and saw a gadget called a ‘herb grinder’. The advertising announced that this was something I needed and that it would revolutionise my life, (no longer would I need to chop herbs with a knife…… I could simply place the herbs in the empty cavity, push the button […]

Five Reasons to attend an Accelerate! Workshop

How much time do you spend just thinking about small groups? How much planning and preparation time do you have? If you are anything like me, most of the time you are just trying to keep your eyes above water.  I can’t tell you how many times I have wished someone would just spell out […]

Coming To Australia This June – Two SGN Small Group Conferences

The Small Groups with Purpose two-day conference is coming to two Australian cities, Melbourne and Sydney, in June. Steve Gladen, author, founder of the Small Group Network (SGN) and Small Group Pastor at Saddleback Church will be teaching live at the conferences. When and where? Melbourne on 15-16 June and in Sydney on 22-23 June. […]

10 Ways to Provide Care for SG Leaders

One of our greatest privileges as Small Group Point People is to care for our leaders and team. I was sitting in a meeting with other leadership a few weeks ago and said, “I feel so disconnected from some leaders. What can we do to be better at caring for them?!” Our team started braining storming additional ways […]

3 Ways To Celebrate and Encourage Small Group Leaders…

Being a dad of three boys under the age of twelve, cartoons are usually one of our major sources of entertainment. Currently our two (almost three) year old’s favorite cartoon is the Trolls Holiday special (THS for short) and let’s be honest real quick, any one who is the parent of a threenager knows they […]

4 Ways to Avoid Burnout in 2018

As small group point people, we hit the ground running in January—getting new groups started, getting old groups started again, getting people signed up, and all the administrative tasks that go along with this. We think we will get to breathe once this is done, only to find that our to-do list is longer than […]

5 Ways to Get Prepared for 2018

Are you prepared for 2018? January is almost over, but it’s not too late to craft a strong plan for the rest of the year. Here are 5 ways to prepare for 2018: Evaluate Where You Are At Every set of directions include a starting point. It’s hard to chart a path if you don’t […]

4 Seasons Of The Soul

Every soul goes through seasons, just like the seasons within a calendar year. Winter, spring, summer, and fall are all seasons of the soul that we encounter. Maybe where you live, you don’t encounter every season outside, but your soul does on the inside. While one person may be in a time of spiritual spring […]

You Will Never Guess What I learned From Panera About Small Groups

On a Saturday afternoon while eating lunch at Panera,  I began to notice a long line forming at the front counter. A friendly high school student behind the register. She smiled and worked hard to get orders in. There was a line of people waiting. I watched as a few more families walked in. It […]

5 Best Practices When Organizing a “Huddle” Gathering

By Cynthia Considine Here are some of the things that I have found to be helpful when preparing for a Huddle Up: #1. Publicize the date, time and location early and often! I find that most small group point people are very busy with competing priorities at their churches or places of work. Research shows that […]

The “Hot Topics” of Small Groups Ministry [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6175067/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”] Q Do you ever wonder if the issues in your small groups ministry are unique to your environment? Q Are you curious to know if others are dealing with the same challenges? In this podcast, host Carolyn Taketa interviews special guest Amy Jackson where they survey the landscape of […]

3 Goals for Growth in 2018

As we begin the new year, it has got me thinking about growth. Specifically, how can we grow and build our small group ministries in 2018? What if we started by setting some goals for ourselves – I have noticed that when I grow there is a ripple effect which also has an impact on the ministry God […]

5 Time Saving Hacks For Training Small Group Leaders

As a small group point person you’ve been reading books, watching videos and huddling with other point people to learn best practices in all things group related. You know all the things. Or getting there. You’ve led leader trainings and they’ve been um…. fine. Sometimes even great. Especially when all your leaders show up. High-5 […]

2018 Vision Day with Steve Gladen

Every year, Pastor Steve Gladen invites all of the small group pastors from each Saddleback Church campus to his home to talk about vision. The day is filled with laughter, meaningful conversations and strategic information intended to create unity across all campuses! Feel free to use any of these ideas or the message notes below […]

3 Tips for Goal Oriented Groups in the New Year

1- Ask Questions 2- Reflect on the Good 3- Set Goals to Improve  As the adage says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, and I believe that is true. The thing I love about December is that it is a bridge, or a grace period, between the time we are reflecting on what we […]

5 Ways To Expand Your Network (And The Small Group Network)

Most small group point people I know are amazing at helping people connect and build relationships. However, they also seem to have the hardest time connecting to other small group point people. It is a strange paradox that expert connectors seem to run solo most of the time. The goal of the Small Group Network […]

4 Ways Churches Can Attract and Engage Millennials with Small Groups

As ministry leaders and Small Group Point People, we have all read the reports and articles of those a part of the millennial generation that are disconnecting form the Church. Your church may be experiencing this in one or many ways. In our church we have a good level of attendance from the younger demographic […]

Powerful Small Group Insights from Jakarta Indonesia

Alvi Radjagukguk is the pastor of small groups (and as of January 2018, the pastor of Community, consisting of seven other ministries) at Jakarta Praise Community Church in Jakarta, Indonesia. We chatted recently about his life and ministry. How did you get into ministry? In 1995 I was studying Finance and Marketing at a university in […]

Small Group Network: 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts in 2017

We are blessed to have such an incredible team of authors who write for us each month, and all of whom are real Small Group Point People! A big thank you to each of our SGN authors who consistently give of their time to write such creative and inspired content! From our many blog posts published, […]

5 Ways to End 2017 Well

As a small group point person it can be tempting to always look ahead. You need to be especially connected to your church’s calendar to plan ahead. The pipeline of new leaders will not fill itself. Ministry growth takes investment so you look forward. However, looking back can be just as important and influential as […]

The Top 5 Podcasts of 2017

You have likely heard the adage leaders are learners and though the saying is clichéd I’ve found it to hold truth. Like many small group point people, I find myself challenged to grow and learn more and more.  One of the great things about a year coming to an end is all the yearend reviews.  […]

I Attend a Church with No Small Groups

So your church doesn’t have a small groups ministry yet? The key word is “yet” and I think you are the person to help get it going. I’m not asking you to launch the entire thing by yourself. I’m suggesting you host one small group to help show the impact a small group ministry could […]

Steve Gladen: Maximizing Your Small Group Budget [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6037726/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Q Do you serve as a Small Group Point Person in your local church? Would you like to learn how to maximize your small group ministry budget for this new year? If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place! In this exclusive Group Talk Podcast episode, host […]

4 Lessons Learned While Adding a New Type of Small Group

Over the past semester, some of our Small Group point people began a new small group type. After researching and landing on using the Freedom curriculum as a study our church could use, some of our SG point people attended the Freedom Conference at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. Needless to say, this […]

5 Ways Cooking Is Like a Small Group

With the holiday season firmly upon us, many of us will be doing our fair share of holiday baking. Holiday parties with our small group. Holiday parties with our leaders. Holiday parties at church. You get the idea. In the midst of this cooking frenzy, I began to think of ways cooking is like leading […]

Spotlight on our Adelaide Australia Huddle Leader

This post is from a recent conversation with Trevor Schiller of Hope Valley Uniting Church in Adelaide, Australia. Trevor leads a Small Group Network huddle and is the volunteer point person for the small group ministry in his church, serving with Pastor Scott Button. Trevor’s daytime job is as a solar sales consultant. What’s the […]

4 Steps to Create a Thriving Environment for Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation is a process that involves genuine change in a person’s knowledge of and relationship with Christ. The process is ongoing and the goal is that each person positively influences others along the way. Small group ministries are often the strategy for spiritual formation in the church. Small group point people don’t want to […]

3 Questions for Developing a Grateful Heart

As I have been reflecting on this Thanksgiving season, I’ve realized there are areas in my life that I need to learn how to be grateful. It’s not that I just need to suck it up and be grateful. I have to learn to choose gratitude. There’s a difference. Do you know what I’m talking […]

5 Benefits of a Small Group ‘Thank Tank’

I know what you are thinking – is that a ‘typo’? Have the Small Group Network communications team not proof read this article properly? What does she mean ‘Thank Tank’? I have never heard of such a thing! Is it like a fish tank, a rain tank……some other type of tank native to Australia? OK, […]

10 Reasons I am Thankful for Small Group Leaders

During my Navy career, my wife and I had the opportunity to live in Sicily, Italy for four years. I remember my sister calling during our first November in Sicily and asking how the Sicilians celebrated Thanksgiving. The answer, of course, was Sicilians do not celebrate Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving is a distinctly American and Canadian […]

Not Lame Gift Ideas For Small Group Point People

It’s that time of year where small group point people find themselves on Pinterest and the SGN Facebook Group looking for gift ideas for small group leaders. Free t-shirts are great and all, but it might be time to try something new. Need fresh ideas for what to get your volunteer team this Christmas? Here […]

Top 5 Sticky Issues in Small Groups [2 Part Series Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5944777/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Are you dealing with any sticky issues within your small group ministry? If so, you’ve come to the right place! With more than 20 years of small groups ministry experience, Bill Search has led the discipleship charge in churches from the Midwest to California ranging in size from 1000 to […]

4 Ways To Navigate Change

I have to admit something…and it may even sound weird or strange to some of you, but I love change. I absolutely love change…I tend to thrive in seasons of change. One of the biggest reasons why I love change is because I can get bored pretty easily. I have the tendency to loose focus […]

4 Scientific Reasons Small Groups Should Practice Gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Gratitude is central to our walk as Christians. We see the important role it plays in relating with God and others.   In our modern age we have the benefit of science, […]

Vision, Vibrance & Vulnerability: The Church Needs Small Group Point People

Small group point person the Church needs you.  You are the voice echoing the call in Hebrews to not neglect meeting together.  Your voice reminds us that left alone systems move toward less connection not more.  You champion, you encourage, you bring vision for what could be in the lives of unconnected people, you are […]

Now Hiring: Discipleship Entrepreneurs

Dear Church Leader, If discipleship is boring to you it will be boring to those following your leadership. While nobody would openly confess this to be the case in their own context, it is an all too common occurrence in our modern church era. This is an unfortunate outcome given Jesus’ charge in Matthew 28:19 […]

4 Ways to Speak Your Team’s Love Languages

Have you ever read about Five Love Languages? While it’s usually a tool used to strengthen marriages, at its core it’s just about how different people receive love in different ways. So this November, as we all get our friendly yearly reminder to thank our leaders and hosts in big, meaningful, extravagant ways, let’s take […]

What Am I Thankful For? What Are You Thankful For?

“What is one thing your church does really well?” An easy question to answer, you would think. But I had to think about it for a while when I was asked it by a friend during a recent Salt Lake City huddle. I struggled with this question because too often it is not the good […]

5 Takeaways from The Lobby Gathering

It’s November and I am still thinking of my very first experience, eight months ago, at the Lobby Gathering. I attended not really knowing much about the Small Group Network, what the Lobby Gathering was or even what all I’d do once I arrived. Just in case you are interested in attending but are in the same […]

What Every Small Group Point Person Needs to Measure

Do you have a dashboard for your ministry?  Your car has a dashboard with a clear indicator of fuel levels, speed, and engine temp. Your Fitbit or Apple Watch track your steps and activity level. A little bundle of joy rock your world? Healthy baby check-ups are coming your way. Babies are measured. Kids are […]

4 Keys to Hard Conversations

Hard conversations can be challenging. They are never fun. And truthfully most of us would rather not have to have any hard conversations. However, sometimes they are necessary. Maybe there is a Small Group leader who is teaching something contrary to the church’s core values. Or maybe a Small Group member is using their group […]

Same Team: 3 Reasons to Network with Other Small Group Point People

As a new small group point person, the idea of creating community can be overwhelming. Perhaps there is a poor history with small groups in your church, or you’re struggling to find the needed support for the small group ministry. Maybe you have the needed support, but not the knowledge or track record of small […]

Radical Hospitality

Cesar Chavez who was a civil rights activist once said, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Have you ever been to someone’s house where they treated you as if you were royalty for no other […]

4 Pivotal Questions Small Group Point People Should Ask

I learnt today that one of my son’s favourite actors Christian Bale (aka Batman!) will play the lead role in an upcoming biopic based on the life of Dick Cheney. The film does not yet have a title or release date but I am very keen to see how Bale, who apparently is unrecognisable, (as himself!) undertakes the […]

4 Small Group Leadership Insights (and a video) From A European Huddle Leader

This post is from a recent conversation with Frank Kozub of Oasis Pentecostal Church in Jastrzebie, Poland. Frank leads a Small Group Network huddle and is the point person for the small group ministry in his church. Frank is also a small group leader, one of five small group coordinators and a member of the […]

5 Small Shifts to Transform Your Small Group Ministry [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5944744/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Have you ever wished that there was a miracle formula for small groups ministry? A silver bullet that would guarantee that everyone in your church would be in a biblical Acts 2 kind of small group where people would grow to love God deeply, where lives would be radically transformed, […]

Small Groups On Mission

One of the greatest seasons of joy and growth, both spiritually and numerically, I’ve experienced in ministry is when our small groups really embraced the idea of being Small Groups on mission. It took vision, direction, intentionality and many tough conversations to take the idea of small groups on missions from a cool catch phrase […]

3 Simple Strategies to Increase Dialogue in Groups

As a small group point person, you understand the complexities of building strong community and how intricate a process that is. However, you also want to put simple, easy-to-implement tools in the hands of your small group leaders. Some groups benefit from a nudge in the right direction. One change or addition can open a […]

3 Reasons to Fight for the Right to Party

As groups point people,we all have grand visions and hopes for what happens in those groups; things like accountability, service, knowledge, community and transparency. We even have tools to get those results, including Bible study, sermon discussions, video content, service projects, and prayer times.While all of these tools are clearly important, sometimes we forget one […]

12 Keys To An Effective H.O.S.T. Ask

The H.O.S.T. Ask can be a “game-changer call-to-action” for churches desiring to connect every person in their local body in biblical community. It’s a signature move reserved only for the Lead Pastor during a weekend service. If executed strategically, it can draw in willing vessels who are hidden in crowd. This one move can supercharge […]

One Simple, Easy Way to Care for Your Leaders

Like many of you, I have struggled at times on how best to care and shepherd my leaders. Emails, phone calls and notes are great, but when push comes to shove, I yearn for the personal face to face contact with my leaders. And the best time to do this is when they are already […]

How To Ramp Up Your Recruitment Game

Watch Pastor Rick Warren deliver 4 points at this years HOST Gathering that launched over 1,000 new groups. Watch HERE

3 Things I Wish Someone had Told Me

Oscar Wilde said, “experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.” Having been a Small Group Point Person for a number of years now, I have accumulated lots of that type of experience. My hope is that by sharing what I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out in […]

4 Advantages to Using Social Media for Small Group Point People

Social media is a crazy world. Each day as I jump on Facebook, I have to prepare myself to weave through the  political rants, embarrassing-too-much-information posts and cat videos to find my way to the Small Group Network page or SGN group (#shamelessplug). Social media can be a toxic place but there is so much good […]

Small Group Point People: 3 Ways to Steward Your Influence

Influence is “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.” We all have the power to positively influence others, and the best kind of leadership is the leadership you give away. It’s when you use your influence to […]

SMALL GROUP IN A BOX: Recruiting Leaders You Do Not Want To Miss

A trend in recruiting group leaders you do not want to miss! By: Gina Abbas If you’ve been on social media lately there is a recruiting trend Small Group point people are going crazy about! It’s a Group in a Box. It’s basically a snazzy box filled with everything you need to launch a small […]

5 Apps that are Actually Useful for Helping Small Group Point People to Lead Well

Leading ourselves well begins with stewarding our greatest resource, time. Managing our time well requires diligence and it requires a plan. Last year I posted a Small Group Network article, 7 Absurdly Awesome Apps for Groups Leadership. Many of those apps I use every day, along with a few others, to help me lead leaders […]

3 Reasons to Highly Anticipate Steve Gladen’s New Book

With almost 20 years of leading small groups at Saddleback, when Steve Gladen (the founder of the Small Group Network) speaks or writes, we are wise to listen. Many of us have greatly benefitted from his wisdom whether through his previous books, through the Small Group Network, or through the conference he and his team […]

5 Benefits of Using the Small Group Network App

As a small group point person, you’re always looking for another resource. Typically, we are the only one at our church that does what we do. It’s our responsibility to find out best practices, and identify the new trends to get people connected using groups. From huddles to podcast, the Small Group Network has the […]

5 Habits of Successful Small Group Point People in Delegating Care

I have served at my church for over eight years. During this time, we have grown our small groups from the 30s to now 125+ and we’ve added an additional campus. At each measurable season of growth, the importance of delegating care has been increased. In this time we’ve watched other ministries, studied our wins […]

5 Things You’ll Miss if You’re Not at the Lobby Gathering

If the Lobby Gathering isn’t already on your calendar, it might be time to stop what you’re doing and sign up. (but don’t stop reading this post… stop the other things you’re doing!) Conferences are great, right? 2 or 3 days chock full of information that’s all wildly convicting, way over your head, and only […]

Doing Groups Ministry in a Multisite Context [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5755120/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Q Do you serve in a local church ministry? Are you a small group point person? Are you doing groups in a multisite context? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then this Small Group Network podcast is for you as it will encourage and equip you regarding general ministry […]

3 Ideas to Help you Care for your Leaders

My husband and I recently travelled from Australia to New York, while we were there we visited the 9/11 Memorial Site. It was a very moving experience for us, however amidst the sadness I heard this story; “A Callery pear tree became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks […]

Two Questions That Every Small Group Point Person Should Be Asking

As a small group point person, you know to ask what’s happening in groups. It’s the only way to know how best to help. What topics are you discussing? What is the next study you’re planning? What is your attendance like? What is the number of new people you can take? But if that’s the […]

Confessions of an International Small Group Point Person

This is a message from one pastor leading the small group ministry in a church outside of North America. “There are many things that we have in common with our brothers and sisters in small group ministry in other countries. Yet, here are some pronounced differences between what we see in North American ministry and […]

Lasting Impressions of Value

You are valuable- I may not know you, but I know you are valuable. Jesus tells me so in the story of value in Luke 12. He is talking about the birds of the air and the clothes we wear and states, “Of how much more value are you than the birds” (12:24, NIV). But, […]

3 Things Stopping People from Joining Your Groups

We’re all dying for a place to belong. But for many of the people we serve, it’s hard to believe that authentic and safe community actually exists. The radically inclusive and welcoming nature of Jesus’ life and ministry was confusing, , challenging and frustrating for the religious people around Him. How strange to see this man […]

5 Lessons Learned from This Past Year That Every Small Group Point Person Needs to Consider

The end and start of a church fiscal year is a great time to evaluate and plan for a new year. For me, that time is right now, which coincides with the launch of a new season of small groups. I have been spending time reflecting, thinking, and praying over what I have learned, but […]

3 Steps to Prepare Small Groups for Growth

My wife loves to garden. She gains a deep sense of accomplishment every time our house is surrounded by beautiful flowers. On the other hand, I abhor gardening; because it is usually associated with hours and hours on my hands and knees working the soil. I would rather save myself the time and pain by just […]

7 Ways to Care for your Ministry that Require Zero Talent

Each Small Group Semester brings a different set off challenges and goals I look to strive for. I will aways set a new numerical goal for groups, next steps emphasis and I always look for a few areas that need improvement within my role. It seemed that almost every semester I circled “better care” for […]

3 Ways to Grow Through a Crisis

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b Make a list of the top 3 times of growth in your life. Odds are quite high that 1, 2, or 3 of them were “troublesome” times. Maybe you brought the trouble on yourself by going to graduate […]

How to Launch New Groups and Find New Leaders [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5663392/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]If we were to ask you, “what are your top 3 challenges in your small groups ministry?” One of your answers would probably be related to getting new leaders or starting new groups! Whether you are launching a new small groups ministry at your church or growing an existing one, it […]

Spiritual Rhythms

One of my favorite classes in my under-grad was Ministry Observation, which I took my freshman year. I know, it doesn’t sound super exciting or life changing by any means, but man…I loved this class! We would, as a class, visit various different churches in Southern California; write critiques and analysis papers about our experience […]

5 Transferrable Principles You Can Learn from International Small Group Ministries

With 37 Small Group Network huddles in countries outside the US and Canada, what can you gain from the lessons of small group ministries all around the world? Check out these five transferrable principles: Never let a previous experience with groups deter you from trying new groups-based strategies. Many churches in Eastern Europe and other areas tried different […]

The Oreo Method

Do you like Oreos? What is your favorite part? My favorite Oreos are the golden ones- the crispy outer shell and that sugary cream center. Leadership is a lot like Oreos. No, leadership is not crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside. But, they do have more similarities than you would think. An Oreo […]

Look Up, Look In, Look Out

About two years ago, I began to wrestle internally with what was going on within my life and ministry. I didn’t feel particularly close to God, His calling on my life, and even my relationships were starting to pay the price. I felt as if I had grown into a stagnant relationship. I knew I […]

3 Keys for Keeping the People Engaged: Enlisted, Employed, Empowered

When we moved into our new home, we made cutting the grass our oldest son Cade’s responsibility.  He mowed periodically at our old home, but when we moved in here, it became his responsibility, his to own.  The other day I asked him to mow the front yard.  Later in the day he looked out […]

Creating Group Clarity

Imagine these people are attending a new small group, they do not really know each other or have any significant background about one another. Paul -his group experience has been one where the leader did everything Karen and Joe – have never been in a small group Sue – in her last group, leadership was […]

COMMUNICATION: 3 Tips to Ensure that You Get Heard

All too often, our communication falls flat.   The average email open rate is usually around 25%. We’ve all had times where half our team is frantically texting us with questions… that we answered very clearly in last week’s email.   Personally, instead of just trying to change WHAT I communicate, I’ve started focusing on HOW I […]

Mark Zuckerberg on Small Groups and Facebook’s Future

In a recent interview with WIRED*, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, shared that small group ministry is a model he considers when he looks to the future of his social media website. It’s an intriguing comment from the marketplace and it’s loaded with transferable insights for disciple makers. I think it’s important for me to note […]

Do Your Leaders Have the Gratitude Attitude?

I was speaking to a friend recently about a particularly hard time in his life. Work was a mess, there were family curve balls, and he had some friends who betrayed him. There was almost nothing left to go wrong. Until that final thing went wrong.   “I was turning into a cranky old man […]

Leading from a Healthy Soul: How to Avoid Ministry Burnout [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5538732/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Q Are you feeling burnt-out as a ministry leader? Q Do you know other ministry leaders who are on the edge of burn-out? If so, you’ve come to the right place… The greatest gift you can give those you lead is your own healthy soul. So often, as pastors and […]

Four Helpful Lists that Make Evaluation Clear and Effective

Our primary role as leaders is to look forward, to see the future that CAN be, so that we can help people get there. But without looking back and evaluating, we never know if we are making real progress. And even when it feels like we are moving forward and getting better, evaluation helps us […]

3 Tips When Launching Interest Based Small Groups

God is so creative in how he made the human race to be so diverse! Different nationalities, unique languages, beautiful skin colors and various interests! Here are 3 tips when launching interest based groups… #1. Recruit leaders with an Appeal to their Interests  It’s crazy how two complete and total strangers who have never met […]

Feeling Discouraged? Five Secret Weapons You Can Use Today!

The great rock band R.E.M. wrote a song, Everybody Hurts, in which the refrain goes, “everybody hurts sometimes.” As anyone in ministry knows, they weren’t kidding! Discouragement is one of the primary obstacles facing every one of us as small group ministry leaders. No one seems to be immune from occasional moments of feeling defeated […]

3 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Build a Healthier Groups Ministry

We just had the Purpose Driven Church Conference at Saddleback. There were thousands of pastors that came to learn and grow. I was talking with one whose question was really good.   How can we possibly make sure groups don’t go crazy? I mean, we have so many scattered all over the place. We don’t […]

2 Exclusive Resources to Energize Your Small Group Ministry

#1 SMALL GROUP LEADERSHIP TRAINING KIT Q What is your strategy to recruit and equip your small group leaders? Q Do your group leaders clearly understand their assignment? Created by Steve Gladen, Global Pastor of the Small Group Ministry at Saddleback Church, this resource is designed with you, the Small Group Point Person, in mind. God doesn’t call […]

How Can a Small Group Network Huddle Change Your Ministry?

Let me share a story with you about a friend. To keep his identity safe, I’ll name him Roy. It was December of 2015. Roy was a young pup in ministry with less than 2 years under his belt. He was struggling with where God had him in that very moment. He was also struggling […]

4 Tips for Recruiting

I don’t know about you, but I always need more small group leaders! The work God is doing in our congregation is rooted in community, so I have four tips that have proven to be helpful! Pray For Your Potential Leaders- It’s all about the prepping. Before I even make an ask of somebody to be a small […]

4 Ways to Incorporate ‘Care’ into Small Groups

#1 Make it Simple Caring is all about making the ‘other’ our focus so caring for group members does not need to be complicated. Sometimes it is the little, simple things which can make a huge difference. Sending a text message or making a phone call just to say hi or to follow-up a prayer […]

3 Areas of Growth After Learning the Hard Way

I am not writing this as an expert, but I am currently learning some valuable lessons the hard way. In May, as this Small Group Semester came to a close, I began to call a few groups to ask about their summer plans. As I hung up the phone with one group leader, my worst […]

The Nuts & Bolts of Sermon-Based Curriculum for Small Groups [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5452736/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]“What will our groups study?” This is a common question in groups ministry and one that is critically important in shaping the dynamics and discipleship process of a group. The sermon based model has been increasingly popular over the past decade and can be a valuable tool to helping groups […]

Why Do You Do What You Do?

When is the last time you had a powerful sense of your “why”? Are you feeling fully connected and motivated? At a training last week the facilitator showed a video created by Cleveland Clinic, a medical practice in Ohio. The title of the video was, “Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care.” The rest of […]

The 5 Best Reasons You Should Start a Huddle

Maybe you’ve been considering starting a huddle. Perhaps a Small Group Network leader has been bugging you to do it. But, while you’re thinking seriously about it, you still struggle with a deeply personal question: what’s in it for me? Essentially, there are five personal benefits that you gain in starting a huddle: You’ll learn […]

Preventative Maintenance > Fixing The Whole House

You need volunteers to support your small group ministry. You need to build your infrastructure. EVERY church does, including Saddleback! Infrastructures don’t build themselves, repair themselves, or naturally strengthen over time, whether we’re talking about physical structures or ministries we’re called to lead.   In Southern California, most homes are built on a concrete slab […]

Getting To Know You

The earliest model of Small Groups at our young church was centered around three phrases: Know and be known. Love and be loved. Serve and be served. As our church grew, we leaned into that mantra to help people connect with God and with one another. In 15 years, a lot has changed. As culture shifts and technological […]

Small Group Q&A: Adam Workman of Sandals Church

Q Do you need some encouragement, fresh strategies and practical advice as a small group point person? If your answer is “Yes,” then you’ve come to the right place! Adam Workman is the Discipleship Pastor at Sandals church in Riverside CA as well as the Small Group Network regional leader for Southern California/ Hawaii region! In this […]

Why Safety is Priority #1

We all want people to grow, and it’s safe to say that we are all on the same page about groups being a primary driver in that growth. But what is it about groups that move people down the path of discipleship? What paves the way for healing, learning, and transformation? The more complete answer? […]

Vision: Five Fundamentals for Keeping it Clear

We’re moving.  It’s a bit of a daunting task, preparing a home, especially when you’ve lived somewhere for nine years now.  There are all these little things that need to get done. Things we’ve lived with and hoped to get to one day, but now one day is today and we must prepare our home […]

Soul Care

I recently read a book that has changed the trajectory of my leadership, “Hows Your Soul?” by Judah Smith. In it he says one line that serves the entire purpose of the book, “A healthy soul is paramount to a healthy life.” Just a one liner gut check. A healthy soul is paramount to a […]

Align Your Small Groups With The Weekend Service

This video shows you one way to align “Temple Courts” and “House to House”. The weekend message was from Psalm 23, He anoints my head with oil. The Small Group Leaders were the anointers. On this Small Group Host Gathering, Pastor Rick broadcasts to our 18 campuses to train the small group leaders. Catch the […]

Building a Small Group Ministry Model – 4 Things I Learnt from a Bus Company

Destination is integral Think about it. You don’t get on board a bus unless you know where it is going! You look at the sign or number of the bus and jump on when you are sure it is going where you want to go. It is the same when setting up a small group […]

Are Your Leaders Getting the Appreciation They Need?

Look up the definition of the word, “appreciate.” You might find this definition: “To recognize the full worth of.” It’s a definition I recently came across. It made me realize this is a practice that’s desperately needed for our ministry leaders. Whenever I share my testimony I mention the first small group I was ever […]

4 Ways to Start Small Groups During the Summer

I was fueling up at Costco last Friday evening and as I looked around I became aware of one thing, Summer is here!  I watched a handful of trucks pull in with boats to be fueled for a day at the lake, two mini-vans packed tight with what appeared to be items for a weekend […]

The Power of Food and Community Formation, Part 2

Last month, I began a series of posts on the power of food and community formation. Throughout Scripture, shared meals around a shared table become the primary vehicle through which God shares and invites His people into the redemption of His kingdom. Not only did God use the table to invite us into redemption, but […]

Designing Your Small Group Ministry Model

One of the initial steps to take in order to launch (or re-launch) a small groups ministry, is to design and define your groups model. Paying close attention to this step will reduce confusion, attract the right leaders and filter out peoples’ personal agendas and/or past experiences. There are roughly ten or so different small […]

Small Group Terminology: Reconsidering Common Terms Used in Groups Ministry [Podcast]

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5338073/height/26/theme/standard-mini/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/” height=”26″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”mini”]Words are powerful. As small group pastors and directors, a critical part of our role is to use words to shape vision, empower, encourage, and connect with people. But, is the terminology you are using in your ministry inadvertently creating barriers, limiting vision, and miscommunicating expectations? Andrew Mason is the Small Groups […]

One IS the Loneliest Number!

ONE IS the Loneliest Number! The opening line of the Harry Nillson song goes like this; “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do”…… Nillson’s song was covered by the band Three Dog Night and reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. That is a long time ago, but the opening […]

How a Fire Pit Revolutionized My Coaching Strategy

No matter how many groups you have, what group model you use, or what part of the world you are in, one thing is true in all of our ministries: group leaders need coaching! Throughout my time hanging around the Small Group Network in our local huddle and at the Lobby Gathering, I’ve noticed that […]

Small Group Leadership: Starting From Scratch

I’m new at this. I took on leadership of small groups at my church in early 2017. Immediately, I signed up for The Lobby – my first small group conference experience! It was exciting – and a bit intimidating, to be honest. I felt like the new kid in school. But I came home feeling encouraged, equipped, and motivated to […]

4 Influencer Imperatives in Small Group Leadership

Bill Hybels in his 2005 Global Leadership Summit address “These Things We Must Do” gave four points, imperatives, we as leaders must do.  He implored us to: Keep the vision clear Keep the people engaged Make your meetings memorable Pace yourself for the long haul This is a great list. It is simple and doable.  It can […]

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