Tag Archives: small group resources

A new website for Small Group Leaders – SmallGroupSource.com

A friend and colleague has just launched a new web site just for small group leaders: www.SmallGroupSource.com. He asked me to mention it to you all and I’m happy to oblige. Here’s the info you need to know. Please pass it on to the small group leaders in your church. Thanks!


bible study resources, small group leadersSmall Group Source is the place where all Zondervan Small Group Bible Studies will be featured.  This site features a daily blog, trailers, full sample sessions, and information as well as downloadable resources for church campaigns.


  • Regular content from Zondervan regarding group life and group resources
  • Original and excerpted content from a wide range of Zondervan curriculum authors and product
  • Timely and useful information on small groups, authors, and trends
  • Campaign tools available for selected resources that can be used as campaigns
  • Exclusive offers and giveaways for blog readers on product
  • Sneak peeks at future releases

Visit today! www.smallgroupsource.com

Links Worth Clicking: small group resources, Rick Warren, and how to choose a worldview

What is Ministry? Scot McKnight answers this question with the help of Graham Buxton. One line in this post that really caught my attention: “Christ is not so much the model we imitate as the One whose ministry we enter into.

Hugh Halter blogs on Church MaturityI’ve always appreciated Hugh’s perspective on being both attractional and missional in ministry. (See his book with Matt Smay entitled AND for more on that score…) In this post he discusses why and how the missional movement has matured and what real “church maturity” is. A line that jumped out at me was: “Yes, we should not deconstruct another man’s approach to church or think that one way will win the day. Clearly, we do need everyone.

Rick Warren, TIME Magazine: This article about Rick Warren and The Daniel Plan was posted a few days ago in TIME Magazine: “Blessed are the Sleek? Why God Wants you to be Thin.”

Brian and Amy Bloye, Exponential SeriesAmy Bloye blogs “Why Did we Write It’s Personal?” on her blog, “In Between Ball Games.” If you’ve not read It’s Personal yet, and you’re starting a new ministry journey, I highly recommend reading this one with your spouse.

Book Reivew: Here’s a helpful review of Leading Life-Changing Small Groups. Conrade Yap is a pastor with his D. Min from Gordon-Conwell. I always appreciate his thoughtful reviews.

Jonathan Morrow, author of Think Christianlyoffers this video on How to Choose a Worldview

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Leading Life-Changing Small Groups review by Mark Howell

Bill Donahue, willow creek churchOver on Pastors.com Mark Howell has posted a helpful of review of new edition of Leading Life-Changing Small Groups by Bill Donahue. Here’s an excerpt:

One of the books that shaped my understanding of small group ministry was “Leading Life-Changing Small Groups” by Bill Donahue. When it was originally published in the mid 90s, it quickly became the most important tool in my leader-training efforts. With the third edition (published in May 2012), it’s even better!

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about “Leading Life-Changing Small Groups” is the fact that it begins at the beginning — literally. The introduction develops a very understandable theology of community. As you begin to build a small group ministry, this is an essential ingredient.

Another aspect that makes this book so valuable is that Bill Donahue is truly a practitioner. Don’t miss this key! He wrestled with developing small group leaders for years in one of the most interesting group-life laboratories anywhere, Willow Creek Community Church. The practices and principles included in this book aren’t theoretical but practical and proven.

You can read the whole post here.

But Leading Life-Changing Small Groups isn’t the only new resource from Bill Donahue. Bill, and his co-authors Russ Robinson and Greg Bowman have also significantly revised:

The DVD is a new product that supports all three of the books.

The Relationship between Words and Life

Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness. – Mother Teresa

One of the recent challenges that I have had is the implication of my words.  A couple of weeks ago I read a great blog post from Michael Kelley about using your commute time to focus on a word to “bring home” from work.  I have found this fantastic advice and been working on this, and have seen a difference in attitudes and behaviors in my family.  A month ago, I watched the first session from Craig Groeschel’s new small group study and church campaign, Soul Detox.  This first session deals with “lethal language”.  Craig says that our words have the power to destroy or the power to build up.

“Whether you’re eighteen or eighty, you can probably recall the pain of someone’s harsh words scalding your soul.  ’You’ll never amount to anything’; ‘You’re nothing like you’re brother’; ‘I never loved you’.  As devastating as these words can be, they can be offset by words of truth, hope, and love.  The right words at the right time can be helpful, healing, and life-transforming.  Proverbs 18.21 says, ‘The tongue has the power of life and death.’  What you say can give life to you and to other people, or it can take it away.”

So measure your words going forward.  Read Michael Kelley’s blog post, watch the first sessionfrom Soul Detox below, and speak life-giving words to your spouse, kids, family, friends, and neighbors.

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Be sure to visit and subscribe to the Small Group Bible Study playlist on YouTube.  There are 100 full-length sessions available for free to view from authors and pastors like Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Rick Warren.

“Undaunted” by Christine Caine, New Bible Study for Small Groups

Australian author and speaker Christine Caine is releasing a new DVD-based Bible study this fall called Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Calls You to Do. Here’s a teaser video about what “Undaunted” is all about:

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What are the family situations like for the other people in your small group Bible study? If your group is anything like mine, then the situations are quite diverse. Some come from broken homes, some do not. Some have been neglected, others have been loved deeply. Undaunted could be a great way for your group to grow in understand about how God loves and claims all of us.

Here’s some of the marketing copy for further explanation:

Using her own dramatic life story, Caine shows how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage.

As Christine tells of how she realized the significance of her own life and choices, she will inspire you and your small group to grasp lives that bring hope and create change for Christ.

Thursday Giveaway: Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry

Bill Donahue, Willow Creek, Groups That Grow, Russ RobinsonA complete overhaul of Building a Church of Small Groups, in Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry authors Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson present a broad introduction for pastors and point leaders to use as they navigate through the process of establishing and developing independent groups or a church-wide ministry of small groups.

For today’s giveaway tell us, how many small groups have you led? And, has there ever been a significant paradigm change in how your church does small group ministry? 2 winners will be chosen randomly tomorrow. The more you tweet, the more chances you have to win. Thanks!


Giving, Receiving, and Small Groups

Something that has been brewing in my mind recently is the expectations we put into small groups.  Too often I (and I expect I am not the only one) would go to small groups expecting to receive something – to be encouraged by group members, to be challenged by something fresh from Scripture, to learn a new concept.  And when I would walk away after the group and didn’t receive any of those, I would be disappointed.  And if it happened often enough, well it must be time for a new small group – this one just isn’t meeting my needs.

However, it doesn’t seem to me that community is there to benefit my needs.  Sure, we all love to walk away from small groups with heartfelt encouragement, a renewed challenge to live our Biblical mandate, and/or a fresh idea to implement in daily life.  But, I don’t think we are to be in community to get those things, but to give them.

What would our small groups (and marriages, churches, etc) look like if we went into them seeking to give rather than to receive.  Who could we encourage, how can we add to the message a grace-laden challenge to continue our mandate, what new thing has arisen in our personal time with God that we can share?

I suspect that if we all went into our groups with that mindset, as opposed to seeking encouragement and affirmation, that our groups would be a much more blessed place (Acts 20:35b).

What are some ideas and tips that you have for people either to give in a small group setting, or general small group tips? Zondervan is publishing a great small group study this spring called Making Your Small Group Work with Henry Cloud, Bill Donahue, and John Townsend.  I would highly recommend that for every small group.

Announcing the Made to Crave Ministry Kit Winners

I have picked the five winners of the ministry kit and will post their names a below.  However, I feel that if each person follows through for the next 40 days with what they wrote, every one will be a winner.  Cheesy, very much so…but true.  The majority of comments fell into 3 categories:

  1. Listening to God via his Word or his Spirit
  2. Talking to God on a daily basis
  3. Carving out time to spend with God as a family

Honestly, what would the next 40 days look like if we each did this?  Many of you commented about being stay-at-home moms, having crazy schedules with kids, and wanting more time with God as a family or couple.  What would you, your marriage, your family, and our churches look like if we all did these three things the next 40 days?  I’ve never done this, but after reading the comments, I really would like to pray for you all:

Jesus, you see the hearts of each of these people, and know their desire for you.  We long for you but like children are easily distracted and lose focus.  Please focus out minds, our hearts, and our time on and for you, not only for the next 40 days, but for all our lives.  Thank you for meeting us and desiring relationship more than we do, and thank you for forgiving us for getting distracted.  We love you Jesus.  Amen.

Thank you all for your comments.  Here are the randomly chosen winners:

  • Erin

I am working to have an extended time of Bible study and prayer time each and every day, and also I just started volunteering at a local women’s shelter every few weeks.

Thanks for the opportunity to win this awesome study! I am the head of a women’s ministry at a large church, and we would LOVE to have this to share with our ladies!

  • Shannon

Our family is stepping out in faith and I am struggling with a bunch of different emotions and fears. I want to be on my knees and in His word to put to death all off the fears and anxiety.

  • Becky

I am seeking guidance. I know that God has a plan for my next step. I am determined to overcome my addiction to food. I take it one day at a time, one bite at a time and turn it over to God. God has given me the courage to share my past with others. I was always afraid to share for fear of being judged, but I know that what God has helped me to overcome can help someone.

  • Andrea

I’m making more time to read my Bible but also keeping track of my prayers…remembering to thank Him for my many blessings.

  • Amanda

I want to make time for scripture reading and prayer, but I want to GET UP and GET OUT. I want to be a DO-ER of the word and NOT a forgetful listener. I want to serve the widow, the fatherless, and the stranger. I want to serve Jesus!!

Many of you are in women’s ministry, so you may be interested in viewing our new women’s ministry catalog online.  Click here to view.  Thanks again!

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