Friday, February 5, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week:February 1-5, 2016


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Monday, 2/1: Don't use your group to promote your favorite candidate. But pray for our country and its leaders.

Tuesday, 2/2: Keep growing in your faith and leadership skills. Read books, blogs, & articles on SG ldrshp.

Wednesday, 2/3: Treat your mtg not as a project to complete but a sacred time to connect w/ God and one another.

Thursday, 2/4: Check the thermostat, literally. Experts say the best temp for a group is 67°.

Friday, 2/5: Avoid advising. Unless they ask, ppl don't want you to solve their problems. They need you to listen.

All Small Group Leadership TIPS


__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week(s): January 25-29, 2016


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Monday, 1/25: Ask a member to be the group timekeeper.They tactfully keep the group on track and watch the time.

Tuesday, 1/26: Sometimes as a shepherd you must lead ppl out of their comfort zones so they depend more on God and grow.

Wednesday, 1/27: As a leader you must lead, even if it's not where group mbrs want to go. A shepherd doesn't follow the sheep.

Thursday, 1/28: Lead your group to do something God-sized...so big that if God isn't in it, it's destined to fail.

Friday, 1/29: Remember, you, not the study, are the group shepherd (actually, the undershepherd, but that's another tweet).

All Small Group Leadership TIPS


__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week(s): January 11-22, 2016


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past 2 weeks as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn. (Last week I taught a one-week "intensive" Small Group Ministry and Discipleship seminary class at Cincinnati Christian University, and the week before that I was buried in preparing for it, so I'm catching up now!)


*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 1/11/2015: Seek deeper vulnerability, but allow members to say "pass."

Tuesday, 1/12: Encourage one another DAILY. Real community is more than a once-a-week thing.
 
Wednesday, 1/13: Provide safe places to confess your sins to one another - 1:1, same-gender subgroup...

Friday, 1/15: After you ask question, wait full 6 seconds to give ppl time to respond. Thx,

Monday, 1/18: Practice mutual discipleship. Encourage... Instruct... Admonish... Pray for... one another.

Tuesday, 1/19: Care for the ppl in the group God has given you, not b/c you must but b/c you're willing.

Wednesday, 1/20: What do you study next? Answer as a shepherd, not a TV network programmer. 

Thursday, 1/21: When you pray together, spend time thanking God for all the ways he has and is answering your prayers. 

Friday, 1/22: Ask 1 member to keep and share a prayer journal that lists requests and how God answers them.
 

All Small Group Leadership TIPS


__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: December 28, 2015 - January 1, 2016


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.



*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 12/28: Make God, not yourselves, the main character as you study his Word.

Tuesday, 12/29: Bible study = connecting God's story to your stories. Don't settle for either-or. -and
 
Wednesday, 12/30: Commit with one another to mutual discipleship. Each person takes responsibility for one another.

Thursday, 12/31: Move group members from attending to participating to serving to sharing to leading.
 
Friday, 1/1/2016: Set at least 3 God-given, God-sized goals for 2016. Then plan for how you will accomplish them.


All 2015 Small Group Leadership TIPS


__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: December 21-25, 2015


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 12/21: Encourage every person in your group to pray every day for every other person in your group.

Tuesday, 12/22: Call group members, especially those struggling thru this season. .
 
Wednesday, 12/23: Encourage group members to invite ppl to Chr. Eve services. You'll be surprised how many will say yes.

Thursday, 12/24: While celebrating with your blood family today, don't forget your spiritual family.
 
Friday, 12/25: Focus on Immanuel-God with us-all year round. #ChristsPresence


10 Weeks of Small Group Leadership TIPS


__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: December 14-18, 2015


Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.



*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 12/14: Pay attn and respond to ppl's body language as well as verbal language. Study .

Tuesday, 12/15: Use your own body language to get ppl involved. Lean fwd, look at ppl, keep open posture...
 
Wednesday, 12/16: #1 facilitating tip: Truly CARE about the ppl in the grp - their physical, emotional, spiritual needs.

Thursday, 12/17: Divide into same-gender subgroups of 2-4 for prayer, application, and ministry to 1 another.

Friday, 12/18: Keep God's Word the foundation of every part of group life. Be comfortable with going to it often.



MORE SMALL GROUP LEADERSHIP TIPS 

All 9 Weeks of Small Group Leadership TIPS

__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the "Connect with Mike" box in the right column.

Friday, December 11, 2015

24 Icebreakers for a Small Group Christmas


Here are 24 icebreaker questions and activities I've written over the years that you can choose from. (Tip: save or print this for future use!)


How are you “lighting up” your home for Christmas? Who is in charge of the lights and other decorations? Any special traditions?

❄   ❄   ❄

What are your expectations this Christmas? What are you hoping for?

❄   ❄   ❄

What does your busiest week in December look like?

❄   ❄   ❄


Describe the favorite or most meaningful Christmas card you’ve received this year. (If possible, ask group members to bring their favorite card with them.) What makes this card so meaningful?

❄   ❄   ❄

In 60 seconds, write down the titles of as many Christmas songs or carols as you can think of that mention angels. At the end of the 60 seconds, see who came up with the most and the most original.

❄   ❄   ❄

How well are you prepared for Christmas? Physically (home decorations, buying gifts)? Financially? Emotionally? Spiritually?

❄   ❄   ❄

What is the most special Christmas gift you’ve ever received? What makes a gift special to you?

❄   ❄   ❄

Ask all three of these questions:
  • What is the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received?
  • What is the most memorable Christmas gift you have ever given?
  • Which was more meaningful to you?


 ❄   ❄   ❄

As you anticipate Christmas, what phrase or phrases best describe you?
  • OH NOOO, there's so much to get done!!!
  • How long IS your family staying?
  • Do we HAVE to buy a gift for every single person we know?
  • What a wonderful time of year to reflect on the birth of Jesus and all the promises.
  • I really miss the people who are not going to be with us this Christmas.
  • Other

❄   ❄   ❄

If you could give any gift to anyone, what would you give, to whom, and why?

❄   ❄   ❄

What is the silliest gift you ever received for Christmas? What was the silliest gift you ever gave for Christmas?

❄   ❄   ❄

Is there someone (don’t name names) that you will avoid at a Christmas Party this year? What avoidance techniques do you employ?

❄   ❄   ❄

Which Christmas carol evokes the strongest memory for you and why?

 ❄   ❄   ❄

When you were a kid, did you sneak and find your gifts? How far did you go to figure out what you were going to get for Christmas?

❄   ❄   ❄

What scene is your favorite from It’s a Wonderful Life? Can you quote a line from the film?

❄   ❄   ❄

As people arrive, give each a name tag to wear for the evening. Instruct them to print their first names vertically down the left side of the tag and then print a word or words for each letter describing their favorite things about Christmastime.

Leader Tip: Create your own name tag first, before other people arrive. As always, you as the leader go first and model this for the group.

As everyone gets settled, invite each person to introduce themselves and say why they chose the words they put on their tags.

❄   ❄   ❄

Before the meeting, set up a nativity set in the center of the room where all participants can see it. Ask:
  • What traditions, if any, did your family have with the nativity set?
Now pick up Mary and show her to the group. Ask:
  • How have you viewed Jesus’ mother Mary through your life? 
  • From where did you develop your views of her?

❄   ❄   ❄

Set up the nativity set in the center of the room where all participants can see it. Pick up Joseph and show him to the group, then ask: What is your general impression of Joseph? Explain your response.
  • He’s an extra in the Christmas story. I don’t even notice him. 
  • He’s got a part in the manger scene, but he’s always in the background. 
  • He was always there for Mary, standing behind her and taking care of her. His role was simply to be Mary’s husband. 
  • He probably was a good dad. He taught Jesus to be a carpenter. 
  • He’s the leading man in the Christmas story. God chose him to be Jesus’ earthly father. 
  • He’s a great man of faith, a great model for us to emulate. 
  • Other: ______

❄   ❄   ❄

Point out the shepherds and angels outside the nativity scene. Without saying anything, move the shepherds so that they are gathered around the manger. Then ask:
  •  As a kid, what Christmas traditions, if any, did your family have as it related to the shepherds and angels? 
  • Did you ever play one of these parts in a Christmas pageant?
  • Was your tree topper an angel? 
  • Anything else? 
  • How about in your family today?

❄   ❄   ❄

As a child, how did your family build up to Christmas Day? Did you have any particular traditions to help you anticipate Christmas (for instance, an Advent wreath, candles, a calendar, creative use of the nativity set, etc.)? Do you have any traditions today?

❄   ❄   ❄

As a young child how did you anticipate the coming of Christmas Day?
  • It can’t get here soon enough! 
  • It can’t be over soon enough!
  • Other: _______
How would you answer the same question now?

❄   ❄   ❄

What family Christmas traditions are you using this year to focus on Christ and why he came into the world?

❄   ❄   ❄

What's your favorite quote from any Christmas movie? The first person to guess what movie it's from and the name of the person who said it wins (a white elephant gift?).

❄   ❄   ❄

(For after Christmas) How was this Christmas different from previous Christmases?




MORE CHRISTMAS IDEAS AND RESOURCES

What to Do When God Does Not Feel Very Much Like "Immanuel"
Not Just Another Sentimental Christmas Message
7 Ways Your Small Group Can Celebrate the Incarnation this Christmas Season: #1: Experience Christmas!
#2: Celebrate Immanuel
#3: Love Those Who Are Struggling
#4: Give Gifts
#5: Start Some New Traditions
#6 & 7: Party and Plan