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Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry

The Steps to a More Impactful Lent!

The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

See the original post from our 2015 posting of our webinar: Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry

The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White

Author of “Exponential Groups: Unleashing Your Church’s Potential,” the Rev. Allen White joined the Rev. Charlie Holt for this webinar entitled “Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry.” Allen is an expert in small group optimization. Our focus is on the steps to a more impactful Lent!

Watch the video below:

Purchase your small group campaign kit today

What’s Our Vision?

A Church-Wide Small Group Campaign

In the webinar, The Rev. Allen White and The Rev. Charlie Holt explain what it looks like to have a church-wide campaign and address the keys to a successful church-wide campaign. And of course, we hope you take interest in our small group curriculum, The Christian Life Trilogy, which is designed to align the heart of the Gospel with the heart of the church year.

What is the Key?

Aligning the Hearts of the Church, Christian Faith and Our Church Year

Why Is Alignment Important?

The importance of alignment is taking what you learn on a Sunday into the week. Most people will forget the message of the pastor in the first 24 or 48 hours. Often by Tuesday, the lessons of the Scripture will be lost. By tying the small group Bible study into the Sunday worship, we are once again exposing ourselves to the topics that will enrich our lives, as well as giving us the opportunity to discuss with others and identify practical applications of these lessons. This builds the momentum of the transformation.

What Are the Benefits of Alignment?

Your church becomes unified when everybody is learning and expanding on the same topics, at the same time. The greatest benefit of alignment is growth. This is best done in small groups, so each person has the chance to speak up, ask questions, and truly engage with the Scripture. This growth springs from the interaction and deeper discussion. Small groups create an opportunity for more people to participate. Gathering together as a small group of friends adds to the ability to grow as disciples, in and out of the Church.

Fr. Holt took the opportunity to grow his congregation one Lenten Season. Rather than having a speaker host a teaching during the week, his church studied The Crucified Life. On a typical night with a host speaker (a great one at that), the Wednesday night attendance would reach a maximum of 100 participants. However, when they did a small group campaign studying The Crucified Life, they had 40 groups meeting around the city, with 400 participants! That is even more than Sunday attendance! Small groups get more people involved and more people to become disciples of the Lord.

Small groups can meet any time, this is much more practical to increase participation. You can meet anywhere, Fr. White even had a small group that met on a commuter train. Finding a time for a small group to meet that fits the schedule of 10 or so people is much easier than a church-hosted mid-week teaching that must fit the schedule of the whole congregation.

Setting God-Sized Goals

What Goals to Set?

The first time starting a church-wide campaign, you want to see about 50% of your people connected in groups. These are your early adopters, the people that could end up becoming part of your leadership team in future small group campaigns. The next campaign season should build another 25%, and then it will grow from there.

Shared Experiences

Those who begin a small group campaign together will continue to grow together through this experience and build in discipleship. These people who study together become friends, involving each other in social activities and outings, as well as service ministry. “It’s easier for people to cross the threshold of a home than it is to cross the threshold of a church,” says Fr. Holt. A small group is a great way for new people to become more spiritual. It is less overwhelming to first join a small group before attending a church worship. Gathering with friends is a perfect way to introduce new people to a relationship with God through this friendship.

Preparing and Planning: Key Considerations

Time

How much time does it take to plan a church-wide campaign? Six to 10 weeks ahead of time is a great place to start. Bible Study Media recommends following these three phases:

  1. Recruit leadership team – one month to build your team
  2. Recruit small group hosts – one month to recruit hosts
  3. Recruit participants to be in the groups – one month to gain members

This can be condensed into a shorter timeline, but this order is what we’ve found to be the most successful in the implementation of The Christian Life Trilogy. The key is to build your leadership team and a group of hosts, then give people enough time to arrange their schedule to become participating members of a small group.

Building Our Community

Who Makes a Small Group Campaign Champion?

Find one person to be a coordinator, maintaining administrative duties; this is the Campaign Champion. This person keeps everything going, working with the pastor and beyond. The Campaign Champion should be organized, detail oriented, interested in people, and have a fire for the vision of the campaign. They should push the timeline toward success!

The Leadership Team’s Role

Prayer Team Coordinator

Communications

Promotions

Staff Coordinator

Administrative Support

Mature Believers

Spiritual Gifts of Your Small Group Leaders

small group host possess main spiritual gifts

Building a leadership team is very important to the success of your church-wide campaign, no matter the size of your church. When you have a group of leaders that is already excited and sees the vision, getting the ball rolling on the campaign will be much easier. And hopefully, the people on the leadership team will host a group, which means from the start you have 3 or 4 small groups ready to be established.

One thing about small groups that is so wonderful is you really get to see people use their gifts. These are the spiritual gifts that God has given them. The gifts of a great small group host are warmth, leadership, ability to delegate, and charisma, but they don’t have to lead the discussion every week. If you have the strength to gather a group, you have the strength to keep that group alive. The best small group host is not one who teaches, but one who offers hospitality.

Remember to always set God-sized goals for discipleship. The best way to create a small group campaign is to start with the leadership, the people that will help carry the vision to reality. When finding hosts, keep in mind that the perfect host is one who enjoys bringing people together to grow as a group. The greatest gift of all is watching as your small groups grow with transformation. Learn more about starting a church-wide small group campaign with The Christian Life Trilogy!

Learn More!

At Bible Study Media, our mission is to faithfully spread the message of the Bible. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about Christian formation and Bible study curricula; please reach out to us here. We will continue to produce information on starting your own Bible study groups, so stay tuned!

Learn more about small group campaigns

Resurrected Life Webinar

Easter is one of the most powerful times of the church year. Many people feel the greatest pull toward God at this time of year; some only ever darken a church door for this annual celebration! As a church leader, you can be intentional about sustaining that excitement into lasting life change. Make the most of this season in your congregation by using it to launch a powerful small group campaign that will encourage individuals and communities to embrace new life in Christ. On February 16, 2016, The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speakers Allen White and Theresa Summerlin outlined the 5 steps to leveraging the power of the Easter season into transformation with a church-wide small group campaign. The recording of the session is embedded above.

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Small Group Basics: Leading a Group for the First Time

There are lots of things to think about when trying to get church small groups off the ground, and there could be some unpleasant surprises if you don’t plan ahead. Held on January 20, 2016, the final installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series will help you answer the questions that separate the smooth small group launches from the rocky. Fr. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Theresa Summerlin shared their vast experience in what it takes to ensure the best start to your small group ministry. Watch the recording below:

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The Next Step…

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Click here for a Dropbox folder containing the PowerPoint for the webinar and a sheet about childcare for small groups.

 

The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Theresa Summerlin as they share their personal expertise on what it takes to get new small groups started.

Did you miss the first six webinars in this series?

Watch the recordings here:

  1. Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry
  2. Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry
  3. 100% Congregation Involvement—Yes, It’s Possible!
  4. Welcome Home: 4 Keys to Recruiting Small Group Leaders
  5. Gather & Grow: Connecting Your Congregation with Groups
  6. 4 Tips on Coaching Your Hosts: Setting Your Small Groups Up for Success

Crucified Life Quick Launch Webinar: A Crash Course in a Church-Wide Study for Lent

Involving your entire congregation in a simultaneous study of materials can have a tremendous impact on the lives of both your congregation as a whole and the individuals in it. However, making a church-wide effort can be an intimidating thought… And we are here to help! On Wednesday, January 6, The Rev. Charlie Holt, along with team members Allen White and Theresa Summerlin, walked through everything you need to know about launching a church-wide campaign, specifically with using The Crucified Life materials for Lent. See the video below of this helpful crash course to get you and your congregation ready for a transformational Lent!

View the full PowerPoint at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1htpxuaoqzcv46j/Crucified%20Life%20Quick%20Launch%20Webinar.pptx?dl=0

4 Tips on Coaching Your Hosts: Setting Your Small Groups Up for Success

There is often a gap between recruiting small group leaders and actually starting groups. Sometimes new host recruits get scared or distracted, or they had good intentions but don’t move forward. Coaching will fill that gap by helping and encouraging new leaders to get groups started and sustain them over the long run. In the sixth installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series that was held on December 15, 2015, Fr. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White taught strategies for coaching small group hosts to maximize their groups’ effectiveness. Watch the recording below:

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The Next Step…

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The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on coaching small group hosts for maximum effectiveness.

Did you miss the first five webinars in this series?

Watch the recordings here:

  1. Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry
  2. Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry
  3. 100% Congregation Involvement—Yes, It’s Possible!
  4. Welcome Home: 4 Keys to Recruiting Small Group Leaders
  5. Gather & Grow: Connecting Your Congregation with Groups

Upcoming Webinar Topics:

Seventh Installment: New group basics: first meeting, childcare, other common issues

 

 

 

The Power of Alignment

Imagine for a moment the impact on your church if for 40 days every person in your congregation lived in alignment with God’s will in the pattern of Jesus’ call to pick up our cross and follow Him. What if your people lived in powerful community with their small groups to discuss and pray over lives sacrificed to God? What if, as groups and individuals, people began to experience the power of God in their lives as they surrendered all to Jesus Christ?

By intentionally coordinating and aligning the elements of your Lenten season using The Crucified Life materials, you will make an environment for spiritual growth that will move your congregation from self to surrender.

By aligning the following three elements of participation, you will see the power of God working in your church because of the intentional focus on the heart of the Gospel and the grace offered in the cross of Jesus Christ:

Watch this short video teaching about alignment in your congregation.

1 – Individual Participation: This is the real heart of The Crucified Life study, and it is the element that will produce the greatest spiritual growth among the members of your congregation. The goal is to get individuals to read and reflect on God’s Word through the daily devotions and to prayerfully consider His will for their lives daily throughout the study. By participating in this campaign, each person will be challenged to grow spiritually and experience God’s plan for living a transformed life.

2 – Group Participation: A powerful element of The Crucified Life is getting people to explore and experience God’s will in true biblical community. We provide you with curriculum to be used in small groups or classes for adults and children. Individuals bond through prayer and authentic discussion in a smaller community within your congregation. They will enjoy the benefits of sharing life, spiritual growth, and accountability for that growth. These small group experiences are vital to ensuring the greatest personal spiritual growth, as well as a commitment to ongoing growth as a community within your congregation.

3 – Sunday Worship Participation: The services that take place during the Christian Life Trilogy campaign include Forgiveness Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. These services offer opportunities for the Senior Pastor and worship planning team to call the entire congregation to a depth of worship. The drama of Lent and Holy week become intense, real, and personal, as the entire congregation has been focusing on the cross and following the way of Christ together.

By creating a singular Lenten focus on what it means to “pick up our cross” and follow Jesus in the way of the Crucified Life, the entire congregation is called to a Holy Lent together. This unified focus will burst forth in new life with the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday!

Order your Starter Kit of the Crucified Life study today, and you will receive a free copy of the Campaign Manual and Training DVD to help align your congregation around the heart of the Christian faith.

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Lent 2016 Crucified Life Campaign: Action Steps for November

The Crucified LifeThis is the first in a series of posts that I will be offering those who are planning or are considering planning a Christian Life Trilogy small group campaign launching with The Crucified Life on Sunday, February 10, 2016. These posts will provide helpful information and a little inspiration to help you and your congregation get the most out of the Campaign.


 

A personal reflection on leadership momentum for a Christian Life Campaign! (30 Seconds)

Plan ahead! While the Lenten season may seem far away, you can leverage the next couple of months to build momentum for the February launch of the Christian Life Trilogy Campaign.

Three Simple Steps:

      • Step 1: Use November to organize a leadership team for the Christian Life Trilogy campaign and plant seeds for recruiting host homes.
      • Step 2: Use December and early January to organize small group host homes and plant seeds for participants.
      • Step 3: Use January and early February to invite and gather participants into your groups.

 

Webinar with lots of great information on building a team for planning a Christian Life Campaign! (1 hr)
Webinar with lots of great information on building a team for planning a Christian Life Campaign! (1 hr)

3 Tips for November:

#1 – Build your core leadership team. At a minimum, identify your campaign administrator or director, a prayer coordinator, a small groups coordinator, and a communications coordinator. With you and each member of your campaign leadership team, you already have 5 small groups!

#2 – Use your stewardship season to invite people to not only pledge to give financially, but also invite them to consider a commitment to host a small group. I have often included this on our pledge card and found that many people will signal a desire to serve in this way.

#3 – Take the month of November to review the campaign training videos and materials, set goals, and consider strategies for a strong campaign. How many groups do you plan to have? How will you recruit hosts? Is your church governing board, staff, and leadership on board? If you do not have your Christian Life Trilogy Campaign Kit, you will want to dig into that soon!

 


We have established a new Christian Life Trilogy Facebook Group for those who are planning a Christian Life Trilogy campaign in 2016. Invite your leadership team, small group hosts and participants to join as a way to build momentum toward the Lenten launch. Please use the new Facebook group to ask questions and share ideas.

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Gather & Grow: Connecting Your Congregation with Groups

Do you have low participation in your small groups because people aren’t motivated to get connected and stay connected? Do you wish you had a better way to plug people into a group they will love? In the fifth installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series that was on November 17, 2015, Fr. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White taught strategies for connecting your congregation members into groups where they will flourish. Watch the recording below:

 

The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White

The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on connecting people in groups.

Did you miss the first four webinars in this series?

Watch the recordings here:
Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry
Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry
100% Congregation Involvement—Yes, It’s Possible!
Welcome Home: 4 Keys to Recruiting Small Group Leaders

Upcoming Webinar Topics:

Sixth Installment: Coaching your new hosts for success.

Seventh Installment: New group basics: first meeting, childcare, other common issues

 

 

 

Welcome Home: 4 Keys to Recruiting Small Group Leaders

Do you love the thought of having a vibrant small groups ministry at your church, but you struggle with finding the people willing to lead groups? Your congregation is actually FULL of dynamic leaders, even if they may not know it yet! In the fourth installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series that was held on October 28, 2015, Fr. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White shared 4 key strategies for recruiting volunteers to host and lead small groups. Watch the recording of the event below:

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The Next Step…

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The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on recruiting small group leaders.

Did you miss the first three webinars in this series?

Watch the recordings here:
Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry
Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry
100% Congregation Involvement—Yes, It’s Possible!

Upcoming Webinar Topics:

Fifth Installment: Connecting your congregation into groups.

Sixth Installment: Coaching your new hosts for success.

Seventh Installment: New group basics: first meeting, childcare, other common issues

 

 

100% Congregation Involvement — Yes, It’s Possible!

Do you believe that it’s possible to engage 100% of your church’s weekly attendance in small groups? Believe it or not, it’s possible!! In the third installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series that was held on September 30, 2015, Fr. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White spoke about the best practices of how congregations mobilize 100% of their average attendance into weekly small groups. Watch the video below:

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The Next Step…

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The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on engaging an entire congregation in small group ministry.

Did you miss the first two webinars in this series?

Watch the recordings here: “Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry” and here: “Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry.” You’ll get instant access to the first installments of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series.

Upcoming Webinar Topics:

Fourth Installment: Recruiting hosts.

Fifth Installment: Connecting your congregation into groups.

Sixth Installment: Coaching your new hosts for success.

Seventh Installment: New group basics: first meeting, childcare, other common issues

 

Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry

So after our first webinar, you felt the call to foster the small group life of your congregation — that’s great! But now you’re probably realizing what a truly God-sized task that is. How can one person initiate a church-wide movement alone? Well, we know from Scripture that God calls individuals and teams to complete His work. In other words: you’re not alone. In fact, we believe recruiting teams to inspire your church’s small group ministry is the first step to acting on this call.

Now you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to find the right volunteers to complete this daunting task. That’s why we put together a free webinar titled “Circle Up: How to Recruit Teams for Small Group Ministry.” We share valuable information on utilizing the many unique gifts God has granted to individuals in your congregation. Watch the video below:

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The Next Step…

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The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on organizing teams for small group ministry.

Did you miss our last webinar?

Watch the recording here: “Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry.” You’ll get instant access to the first installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series that focuses on preparing churches for an impactful Lenten season.

Wondering what’s next?

The third installment of our Small Group Ministry Webinar Series, titled “100% Congregation Involvement — Yes, It’s Possible!” is September 30 at 2:00 p.m. You’ll learn best practices of how congregations mobilize 100% of their average attendance into weekly small groups. Reserve your spot today by registering here.

Upcoming Webinar Topics:

Fourth Installment: Recruiting hosts.

Fifth Installment: Connecting your congregation into groups.

Sixth Installment: Coaching your new hosts for success.

Seventh Installment: New group basics: first meeting, childcare, other common issues.

 

Let’s Do Lent: Transforming Lives with Small Group Ministry

In this first webinar of our Small Group Ministry Series, conducted on June 29, 2015, The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White spoke about how to align your vision with God’s intention for Lent and utilize small groups to build community and spiritual growth within your congregation. Our focus was on the 5 steps to a more impactful Lent! Watch the video below:

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The Next Step…

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The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Allen White
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Rev. Charlie Holt

Our Presenters

Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen White as they share their personal expertise on using small group for life transformation in ministry.

Additional Info: As author of the “Christian Life Trilogy” and the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, The Rev. Charlie Holt had the opportunity to launch the “Christian Life Trilogy”. During Lent 2015 more than 2,000 people participated in 200 small groups in 38 congregations around the world to study the things of first importance (1 Cor. 15:1-5). In the Diocese of Central Florida alone, my home Diocese , we had 30 out of 88 congregations participating in the pilot program. Talk about transforming lives and growing our church communities!

The Rev. Allen White is the author of “Exponential Groups: Moving Beyond Your Limits,” and an expert in small group optimization.

Check out other Webinars offered by Christian Life Trilogy:

CIRCLE UP: HOW TO RECRUIT TEAMS FOR SMALL GROUP MINISTRY

 

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