By Steve Gladen
Because of where I work and what I do, God has positioned me too often be in the public eye. But it is often the people around me that really make things happen. One such person has been Cheryl Shireman.
In 2006, God laid it on my heart to launch the Small Group Network. And after its beginning, God brought Cheryl to my attention in the form of a email in mid 2007. She was frustrated with the process of joining. But she wasn’t just about complaining, she wanted to help be a solution. LEADERSHIP TIP: when people show a concern or frustration, they are letting you know a passion area—get them involved as part of the solution! Anyhow, one thing led to another and soon Cheryl took on the role of Network Coordinator. Under Cheryl’s leadership the SGN really began to get systems and processes. The SGN grew and is now reaching beyond the US and going international.
Cheryl has lead by example, walking with Ministry Leaders through their good times and bad. She has been our spear-head of communications and web presence. Her contribution to making the SGN what it is today is immeasurable.
As seasons change, so does the nature of how we are to be serving our God. For Cheryl, she is now hearing the call to pursue a life-long dream of being a novelist. This past year, in addition to her SGN role and contributing to numerous other works, she has authored and published four novels of her own. As her writing is now demanding more and more of her time, she has determined that it is time to hand over her SGN duties to the next generation of leaders.
On behalf of the entire SGN, I want to thank Cheryl for the countless hours of dedicated service to the Network and wish her well in her new season of ministry.
As only God can do, Ben Reed appeared on the Small Group Network radar. Ben serves as the Small Group Pastor at Grace Community Church, a multi-site four-year-old church plant in Clarksville, TN. Ben is known in Small Group circles for his blog at http://www.benreed.net. Ben will be coordinating social media and communications as he oversees the SGN e-Newsletter, social media and website. You can connect with Ben via Twitter or Facebook.
Ben recently told me that when he first became a Small Group Pastor, he looked for others who would walk with him on the journey. Thankfully, a few pastors stepped up to help and they introduced Ben to the SGN. Ben hopes to be a blessing to the organization that blessed him. Welcome aboard, Ben.