You know you’ve made it when you no longer think about it.
Melissa and I spoke at the Elmbrook No Regrets Conference this past weekend. Together we did a workshop on “Keeping Romance Alive,” and then I did another on “Building a Church through Small Groups.”
It was fun. I certainly didn’t feel big-time; in fact I smiled at how small I felt as I mingled with all the great speakers at this great event. Then lunch happened.
Steve Sonderman is the leader of the event. He’s had a hard week. Crisis hit on multiple levels with his support team, he was grieving a death in his extended family, speaking several times at an event with 4,000 live and (I believe I heard) another 30,000 by extension sites, and had a cold to boot. There were tons of things Steve could have been doing with his margin that day. However, after grabbing his lunch in the speaker lounge in the middle of it all, he pulled a chair up by Melissa and I so he could ask how our kids were.
Who does that?
A great leader.
Always serving, always caring, no respecter of status, never too busy with his high profile life to extend some courtesies to those in front of him.
I was stunned… and inspired.
That’s the kind of leader I want to be someday.
The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard is a nifty little book – can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read a New York Times best seller like this!
It’s written in narrative/fictional format, but drives at specific lesson.
The One Minute Manager attacks his key leadership functions with brevity and clarity… approximately in one minute.
- One Minute Goal Setting. A person should be able to write their job description, responsibilities, and goals… all on one sheet of paper (something that can be reviewed in one minute or less). You can get out a new sheet of paper for different hats you ware, but you get the point. Great leadership comes from clear expectations. A one-minute goal statement, that stays flexible and current, that everyone agrees on, allows the manager to hold their staff accountable, and gives the staff clear direction on what is expected of them. Continue reading
At last Sunday’s Launch Community Gathering, I laid out the full diagram of how we’re going to do church at Lakepoint.
You may have been asking, “Where’s my small group?” It’s all there, just spread out a little differently. At the end of the day our desired outcomes in outreach and discipleship is just like any other church. Our structure just comes off differently because we’ve made relational outreach a non-negotiable activity for everyone seeking to grow with Lakepoint. Lost people matter. It’s worth structuring a church around what the unchurched need.
Your involvement in Lakepoint will have three components: Sunday Services (4x/month), Missional Communities (2x/month), Everyday Circles (2x/month or more). Well, Serving Teams are a fourth, but that’s mostly under Sunday Services.
Sunday Services are where you’ll get your worship, teaching, and celebration.
Missional Communities are where you’ll get your leadership development and small group experience. Format will be a lot like Launch Gatherings: 30 min food & fun, 30 min teaching/leadership/story sharing with the point leader, 60 min breakout discussion time (using normal small group study questions + a few questions more pointed at your Everyday Circle involvement and personal discipleship). Your breakout discussion will be most/all of the people from your Everyday Circle.
Everyday Circles are where you’re going live out your faith and outreach in the course of everyday life.
This actually simplifies your life. You don’t have to sign up for an outreach, you’re already in one through your social circles of everyday life. You don’t have to join a small group… the people from your Everyday Circle become that for you at Missional Community Gatherings. The stories shared on Sunday match what you lived out in the week. It may look like more layers to follow than you’re used to, but get in the thick of it and you’ll experience greater overlap and consistency than ever before.
The big point that can’t be lost is that we need to orient ourselves toward the lost. Jesus put the 99 on hold to reach 1 (Luke 15). We’re going to do a knock-out job of growing our church and the people who turn to us. However, my understanding of Biblical priorities is that we need to be defined as much or more so by what we do for a world that is still in need of Jesus.
At Monday’s Lakepoint Pre-Launch gathering, we directed our attention toward the teams that will make up the back-bone of this new church. There are plenty of places to get involved, but most of all we stressed the character of leaders. Get the full look at the material in our Leadership Packet.
Extra fun for us was to meet at and pray through Muskego High School, where we have it in the works to host our Sunday Services.
Will Mancini put out a short and helpful article on 5 Things You Must Do if You’re a Frustrated Church Planter. It’s a good article for leaders of any sort who aren’t hitting their self-imposed mark of success.
Is there such a thing as Small Group Planting?
Typically, small groups are multiplied by 1) an apprentice leader being sent out from an existing group, 2) an apprentice leader staying with the existing group while the original leader gets sent out, 3) sub-grouping (hosting smaller groups within a growing mid-sized group), or 4) an apprentice group (often called “turbo groups”) spending a short season together for the purpose of disbanding with each member founding a new group.
I am an advocate for all four, but have been brainstorming with a peer (Joe McFadden) for other possible outlets. I have found myself Pastoring at a Church (Brooklife) that is experiencing a rapid season of growth. I and other group leaders at my church have invested nine months of hard work toward apprenticeship and multiplication, but appear to have come up a bit short. If of our Fall registration is as I anticipate, in a matter of weeks, our handful of new groups will be quickly overwhelmed; and most of our existing groups will be filled to the brim.
What about group planting? The Apostle Paul parachuted into some regions with the gospel, and left as early as three weeks later with a church in place. Theses churches needed ongoing coaching, but they were functional churches. If you can plant a working church in three weeks, I’m pretty sure we could do the same with groups.
In my final month at a prior church, we planted a group. There was a clear pocket of people where community and formation could occur (aka, small group). However, no one was ready to take the lead. After some dialog with each potential group member, I volunteered to the lead the group for three weeks, on faith that God would raise up a leadership solution by the end of that time. God did, and now over a year later, I’ve received word several states away that this group has been thriving well and are praising God for what they share together.
I am still trusting God for new leaders and new groups to emerge this month. If they don’t come in from other sources, I think Joe and I may be called to roll up our sleeves and plant a few groups.
Dave and Jon Ferguson use six coaching questions at Community Christian Church.
- How are you?
- What are you celebrating?
- What challenges are you facing?
- What do you plan to do about those challenges?
- How can I help?
- How can I pray for you?
I like the list. It’s usable, comprehensive, and you can go through them in an informal manner over the course of a normal conversation.
I suppose the list could be shortened. #1 happens on its own, and #6 should be obvious by the time you get through the first five.
I would like to see another question added, something to the effect of “What’s your goal; and what’s your plans/progress toward that goal?” A question such as this would make their guide more proactive, whereas now it feels a bit reactive.