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October 14, 2011

Let Us Know What You Think

You won't go away empty-handed.


Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the Twelve Conference put on by Saddleback Church. I love these events because I get to learn about current small-group ministry hot topics and hear about some of the issues small-group ministries all over the country are facing. It gives me ideas on how can better serve small-group leaders, coaches, and pastors.

It was great hearing from the "big names" of small-group ministry. But, I can't help but think there's someone even better to ask about small-group hot topics and issues: you! As someone who is in the trenches of small-group ministry, you're the perfect person to let us know what resources to provide and topics to cover on in 2012.

Would you do me a huge favor? Take our quick survey to let us know how we can better serve you and your small-group ministry. For taking time out of your busy day, we'll reward you with a code for $10 off at our sister website, Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill us in. We greatly appreciate it.

posted by Amy Jackson at 4:38 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

October 13, 2011

Check Out Our Exciting Giveaway!

You could win a NOOK color or a membership to

On my latest trip to Target I was shocked to see all the Christmas decorations and products neatly filling aisles of shelves. While it's hard to believe, it's not too early to be thinking about Christmas and Christmas shopping. Do you have anyone on your list who might like a NOOK color? Or, would you like to give yourself an early Christmas present?

If so, our current sweepstakes is perfect for you! Visit our Facebook page and enter to win one of two NOOK colors to read digital magazines and all your favorite small-group books. We'll also be giving away a free one-year membership to each day throughout this promotion. That means you'll have unlimited access to all our downloadable resources, Bible studies, and archived articles. A membership to is sure to take your small-group ministry to the next level.

There are two ways to receive entries into our sweepstakes: sign up on our Facebook page, or share the link to our digital magazine on Twitter and include @SmallGroupscom in your post.

You've been good all year. Why wait until Christmas to give yourself a NOOK color or a membership to Enter our sweepstakes today, and be sure to tell your friends!

posted by Amy Jackson at 3:44 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

October 11, 2011

Learning to Trust Unlikely Leaders and Mentors

How one man was challenged by a young leader doing much for God's kingdom

This past weekend, the Catalyst conference took place in Atlanta. Matt Woodley, editor of Preaching Today here at Christianity Today, was at the conference and took time to blog about his experiences.

One of his posts is about his response to Katie Davis, a young woman who is doing a lot of work in Uganda for God's kingdom. Matt's view of young leaders was challenged in hearing Katie speak at Catalyst. Sometimes leaders and mentors may look different than we imagine. Check out his post here, and then come back to let us know what you think. Who are the people that your church seems to neglect as potential leaders, mentors, and heroes?

posted by Amy Jackson at 2:05 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

October 10, 2011

Creating a Small-Group Covenant

Whether it's formal or not, you need to have this discussion with your small group.

Does your small group have a convenant? Regardless of whether you have a signed document or not, your group will need to talk about some of the things that covenants cover--the expectations you have for your group and your group members. And if you've ever run into conflict over expectations in a group, you know how valuable it can be to have had these conversations at the beginning of a group.

Here's a great video on the matters of covenants from Bill Search from a series of videos he created just for small-group leaders. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Creating a group covenant from Southeast Christian Church on Vimeo.

posted by Amy Jackson at 4:22 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

October 6, 2011

The Theology of Women in Leadership

A resource from our sister publication


Our sister publication Gifted for Leadership recently published a new resource called The Theology of Women in Leadership, and it caught my eye. I know the churches we represent all hold different beliefs regarding women in leadership roles in the church. That said, I appreciate the articles in this resource that outline the perspectives of both egalitarians and complementarians. And, with authors like Carolyn Custis James and Bob Hyatt, we get theologically-backed views. If you're interested in learning more about the theology of women in leadership, or if you or a woman you know is called to leadership—perhaps even in your small-group ministry—this could be a valuable resource for you.

Interested in more resources for women leaders? Be sure to check out Gifted for Leadership's blog.

posted by Amy Jackson at 8:00 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

October 4, 2011

A Well-Kept Secret that Shouldn't Be a Secret at All

Do you know our Training Tools are customizable?

Hopefully you've been able to try out at least one of our Training Tools from We have resources for your every small-group need, including practical skills for leading your group, orientation guides for various small-group roles, survival guides to help you navigate urgent issues that arise in your group, assessment packs to help you evaluate your small group and small-groups ministry, training themes to cover critical small-group topics in depth, and four-packs that group together four related resources at a discounted price.

I know you'll find these resources thoughtful, practical, and thorough. But there's also a well-kept secret about our resources that I'd like you to know—they're fully customizable Word documents. Of course, you may be wondering, Why does that matter?


When I was serving as the small-groups coordinator at a local church, this was an invaluable perk for me. I was able to purchase the Small-Group Leader Orientation Guide, edit the information so it was specific to our church's policies, add a page that included our ministry's mission and vision, and print out copies to distribute to my leaders. There was no need for me to re-create the wheel or spend hours of my valuable time typing up this incredible information. In just a short span of time I could personalize the content and have it printed and given (or e-mailed) to all my leaders. (Quick reminder: When you purchase Training Tools, you are given permission to make up to 1,000 copies for use in your local church.)

Are you a coach? Purchase our newest resource, Corporate Spiritual Disciplines for Small Groups, and use it to train your leaders. In just a few minutes you could add a specific instruction sheet for your leaders, insert a few tips from your own experience on implementing spiritual disciplines, and include a calendar of when you'll discuss the different articles together.

Are you a leader? Purchase our survival guide Handling Tragedy in Your Small Group to use as a resource in your group. Pick out an article for your group to discuss and type appropriate discussion questions right on the article before printing and distributing to your group members.

Or purchase one of our assessment packs such as Do You Lead a Life-Changing Small Group? to use with your group. Add your own questions and remove ones that aren't appropriate for your group. Customize which assessments you'll use with your group and the order in which you'll use them. Then just print and hand out.

Creating our Training Tools in Word documents is just one of the ways we’ve specifically designed these resources to meet your needs. I hope this format allows you to customize our tools for your ministry. Let me know what you think about this format and how you've been able to use our tools for your ministry.

posted by Amy Jackson at 3:32 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)