RESOURCES / Spiritual Growth

Here you’ll find an ever-expanding library of resources to help equip you to lead your ministry well.

Choose from the list of categories below to find that nugget you have been looking for. Every author here believes in the life-changing power of small group ministries.

Every month, we host Group Talk, a conversation with a small group “expert” whose goal is to provide our Network with stellar content that drives us to lead our ministries more effectively.

When you are logged in to your Profile, a Red Star will appear following the title of each Resource. When you click on that star the Resource will be added to “My Favorite Resources” on your Profile where it will be handy for you to revisit or share with others.

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Replenish Your Soul: Noise Canceling Headphones for the Soul    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth


I was flying from Charlotte to San Francisco. Two rambunctious children were in my row. Their parents, up in first class, sipped wine while I babysat in the cheap seats. To make matters worse, across the aisle was a toddler who cried for the first two thousand miles. This trip had stress and frustration written all over it. To save the day I reached for my trusted travel companion: noise-canceling Bose…

 
 

What's On Your Mind: Part Three    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

This month I will continue to look at how you can stay mentally fit by looking at some practical suggestions. 

1. SCHEDULE SOME THINK TIME EACH WEEK. 

Every week, you need to schedule some alone time with the Holy Spirit. Sit down, get alone, get quiet, and think. Don’t read, don’t talk, don’t listen to the radio, and don’t watch television. Just think. Nothing is easier than thinking and nothing is more difficult than serious thinking. And nothing is more…

 
 

Image Management    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

Image management. There’s nothing particularly wrong with those two words, but when you put them together and give them to a ministry leader, it is a deadly cocktail. Image management is what we begin to do when our inner world becomes separated from our outer world. If the outward and inward are not integrated, we literally come apart. And we have seen plenty of examples in recent years of leaders whose lives have disintegrated.

Because Jesus knew the dangers of disintegration,…

 
 

Replenish Your Soul: What Kind of Old Person Do I Want to Be?    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

What kind of old person do you want to be? It’s a question you never think about in your twenties, rarely in your thirties, and only occasionally in your forties. But at least in my case hitting the big five-zero caused me to ponder this question with great frequency.

Turning fifty flipped an inner switch; I found myself asking a lot more questions. Not about next year’s vacation or the kind of car we might…

 
 

God's Strategy for your Success, part 4    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

This month I will be discussing the final principle for success. To recap, the first four principles are:

1. Be clear in your direction

2. Be confident in your desires

3. Be committed to your decision

4. Be corrected by your defeats

 Now, the final principle.

 5. BE CONSCIOUS OF GOD’S DEPENDABILITY.

 Joshua 1 is filled with promises from God. God says over and over, “Joshua, you can depend on Me. You can count on it. You can bet your…

 
 

A Pastor must be in a small group    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

A pastor must be in a small group. You need to show your congregation that small groups are so important for spiritual growth that even you belong to one. This allows you to share about your experiences, such as how being in a small group helped you during a difficult time or how the small group keeps you from becoming isolated as a pastor. I’ve been a part of a small group for almost ten years.

In addition, require your…

 
 

The Gospel-centered small group leader    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth


image credit: Creation Swap user Josiah Kopp

When it comes to talking about the marks of a true follower of Jesus, it’s no surprise that Paul starts out talking about love.

Literally, Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” This is significant because the hypocrite has one thing on his mind:

What will people think of me?

Not, “Who am I?” Not, “How can I serve?” Not, “How can I make…

 
 

What to Stop and Start in 2012    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

Stop ignoring the dysfunction

Many churches and ministries suffer from I like to call “terminal niceness”.   We just aren’t very good at hard conversations.  For the most part we are polite, sensitive, and hate conflict.  So, we beat around the bush and make nice.

One of the byproducts of our “terminal niceness” can be dysfunction at the team level.  As a leader you can’t afford to stick your head in the sand.  Turn on your “team health” radar and…

 
 

God's strategy for your success, part 3    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

This is the third installment in a four part series. Today, I am going to look at another one of the principles of success. In the last two issues, I discussed the first three principles:

1. Be clear in your direction

2. Be confident in your desires

3. Be committed to your decision

This month, let’s examine the fourth principle for success.

4.  BE CORRECTED BY YOUR DEFEATS.

Learn from your mistakes. In Joshua1:7 God tells Joshua, “Be strong and…

 
 

Beware the seduction of ambition    

  • Posted by: SGN Team
  • Posted On: 11/06/2014
  • Posted In: Spiritual Growth

image credit: Creative Commons user JapInTheGap

Ambition is a double-edged sword. When it is God-directed and Spirit-managed, it can bear tremendous fruit. When it is restrained by humility, ambition can be a powerful motivator. But when it is hijacked by self and ego, it can leave a wake of destruction in its path.

I have wrestled with this issue for most of my life. If you have leadership gifts, you know what it…