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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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:
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!
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:
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!
This 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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Join The Rev. Charlie Holt and guest speaker Allen Whiteas 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: