Community Group Starter Kit: Our Commission

Currently, our team is in the middle of building a new resource called the Community Group Starter Kit. Over the next few weeks, I will share posts influenced by this kit, but intended not just for The Chapel, but for whomever is interested in learning more about Community Groups. The posts will go over the WHY, WHAT, HOW, WHEN, WHO, and WHERE of Community Groups. Today, we start with the WHY: Our Commission.

The Communal Commission

As a Westerner, one of the most common mistakes in interpreting the Bible is to read passages individualistically. This happens often with the Great Commission. We hear Jesus’ charge to make disciples of all nations and we feel the weight of that responsibility solely on our shoulders.

This is where a Southerner’s Bible translation would be helpful, because the Great Commission would be read like this…”Therefore, [y’all] go and make disciples of all nations…” When we consider that all the gospel-commission passages (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 1) were given to a group of people and when we look at 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4, we realize that the Great Commission is not given to an individual, but to a community. Michael Goohen says it well, “The Great Commission…is not a task given to isolated individuals, but an identity given to a community.”

We realize that the call to make disciples of all nations is something given to the church collectively and the only way that we will accomplish it is three-fold: by doing it together, by each person having a role, and by every person playing that role.

We understand the idea that a community influences an individual, because if we were to write down those that have impacted our life spiritually it would be a list of people, not just one person. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a church to raise a disciple.

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6 Reasons Why I Love This D-Group Model

Over the last two years, our church has started doing Discipleship Groups (D-Groups). This is a gender specific, closed, group of 3-5 people who gather for a season of accelerated spiritual transformation (see a quick explanation here). Through my ten years of attending similar groups, this is by far the best model that I have ever been a part of. Below are six reasons why I love this model and how it has impacted my walk with Christ!

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Discipleship Group Explained In One Picture

If you asked ten churches how they do discipleship groups, you would get ten different answers. Everyone does it differently. Some emphasize theology while others emphasize spiritual disciplines. Some churches include heavy homework (reading, memorizing, etc.) and others are more relaxed.

We have learned a lot from the Replicate Ministries model of Discipleship Groups (D-Groups). These are gender-specific, closed groups of 3-5 people that meet for 12-18 months for a season of accelerated spiritual transformation. Below is a picture that our Next Steps Team developed that explains how this group works.

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3 Key Guidelines To Successfully Following Up With Guests

Over the last seven years, one of the most important responsibilities I have had is helping people move from attending our service to becoming faithful members of our church. As I have developed a Guest Follow Up system for our church, I have tried a lot of different approaches. Many of these approaches have not been my best ideas, but thankfully, a midst many underwhelming solutions, there have been three principles that I have discovered along the way that have greatly improved how we follow up with guests.

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3 Reasons That Life Change Happens Best In Circles, Not Rows

If you spend any time on our church website or social media you will see a common phrase: “Life change happens best in circles, not rows.” This is a catchy saying that speaks to how God has designed us to live in community with fellow believers. As someone who spent the first eighteen years of his life not attending a group and the last decade spending nearly every week in one, I can truly attest to how special biblical community really is. Despite being in many different types of Community Groups (co-ed, men-only, college, young adult, multi-generational, married with kids) I have seen each group include three unique moments.

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4 Reasons Why Guest Services Is Crucial To Sunday Mornings

Over the last two years, I have had the privilege of leading our Guest Services ministry at our church. In the last year, we have grown significantly with many of those new people not being involved in a church in 5+ years. As I have led our assimilation class, when guests share about their experience and why they decided to join our church, most people mention the impact Guest Services had on them. From my conversations with our guests, here are four of the biggest reasons why Guest Services plays a crucial role on Sunday mornings.

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5 Ways To Regain Control Of Your Workweek

When I was nine years old, I attended a summer camp called King’ Camp, where I rode horses for the first time. At the end of the week, our counselors took us on a trail ride around the property. After a week of practicing, I rode the trail with as much confidence as Will Smith in his box office hit (or miss), Wild Wild West. This nine-year old’s swagger came to an abrupt halt as I rounded the last corner and the horse saw the barn. Much like a runner who sees the finish line, the horse went into a dead sprint. I immediately went from casually and confidently holding on with one hand to having a death grip on the reins. No matter how loud I yelled “Woah” and pulled back, the horse was full-steam ahead. I had lost control. The joy ride was over and now I was just holding on for dear life.

Our workweek can fill a lot like this. At one point we were in control of our schedule, our to-do list got done, and we had some breathing room, but at some point along the way we lost control of our workweek and it gained control of us. Much like the Somalian pirate in Captain Phillips, our schedule looks at us and says, “I am the captain now.”

As I felt myself losing control of my workweek, I took five simple steps to regain control. These aren’t silver bullets nor are they a magic potion that gives you more hours for your workweek, but they do help you maximize your time. Most of these principles can be applied regardless if you have full control of your schedule or not. If you don’t think you can make the change due to a boss, have a meeting with him/her and ask if you can start doing one of these practices.

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How To Increase Your Productivity: Why Faster Isn’t Always Better

If a genie gave you the ability to work 20% faster, could you finally get your business to the next level? If those difficult tasks you had could be resolved with the click of one Staples EASY button, could you finally get your inbox to zero or your to-do list complete? If you could execute tasks quicker and more efficiently could you make the big moves that you have been dreaming about?

The myth about productivity is that if we had more time or if we could work quicker, we could accomplish everything we need to. But what if efficiency is not the most important factor for our productivity?

Consider if I went to go see the Celtics-Lakers game in Boston. It doesn’t matter how fast I drive or how quickly I got to Boston Garden, if the game was actually played in Los Angeles. A quick pace is only as helpful as a clear direction. In our work week, we have to know what our goals are and what responsibilities will contribute the most to accomplishing those goals. This is why productivity is about priority, not pace.

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7 Barriers That Prevent Leaders From Empowering Others

In previous posts, I wrote about what empowerment is and why it is so important in leadership. Even with this clarity, there are barriers that prevent our conviction from being implemented in our ministry/organization. Below are seven barriers that prevent leaders from empowering others to help with projects, programs, processes, and people. Over my decade of ministry, I have allowed each one of these barriers to prevent me from empowering others, thus robbing them of the opportunity to use their gifts and leaving me exhausted.

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Empowerment & Its Imposters: What Empowerment Is And What It’s Not

In a previous post, I wrote about how the Empowered Shift is imperative for all church leaders to embrace. The Follow-up question is, “What is does it mean to empower someone?”

Empowerment is currently a buzz-word in many church circles. Church leaders know that it’s important, but they don’t know what it is and how to do it. Nonetheless, often the church leader enthusiastically grabs his or her emerging leader and begins to delegate things away and calls it empowerment. The problem is that delegation and empowerment are different and when we don’t understand what empowerment is, we will never hit it. Instead we will mistakingly embrace one of its three imposters which leave church members confused and church leaders disappointed.

WHAT IS EMPOWERMENT?

Think back to the last time you saw a student driver car on the road. If you are like me, you did whatever you could to avoid the fifteen year old that was potentially behind the wheel for the first time. Despite the fear it places in nearby cars, what is happening between the student and the instructor is a great example of empowerment. 

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