Who Is Your Neighbor? A Local Church Initiative

By Allen White:  Small Group Guru and Church Coach Love God and love your neighbors. In the Great Commandment, Jesus boiled 613 commands down to these two. He went on to say, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:34-40, NIV). In other words, if Jesus’ followers do anything, they should

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Blog

Preview of Hearts Alive Sunday School Curriculum Winter C: Advent & Beyond

By Lindsey Goetz, Curriculum Specialist, Writer, and Children’s Director at First Presbyterian Church of Aurora, IL The Hearts Alive Year C–Winter curriculum takes us from the beginning of December all the way to the beginning of March. During that time we will celebrate the season of Advent, the season of Christmas, Epiphany, and the Baptism

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Life Change at the Member Level Begins with Me (& You)

By Mark Howell,  Small Group Expert The optimal environment for life change is a small group. We’ve all heard that line for years. Most of us have said that line so frequently that it is now an automatic response when we hear a counter opinion.  And yet…is it really true? And if it is true,

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Blog

Taking Back the Night: Halloween for Christian Kids

Halloween has gone from being a relatively minor children’s holiday of the late 20th century to now, a major commercial event for adults as well as children.  While most Americans view it as a day of family fun and dressing up, some pagan groups use it to celebrate idolatry and even devil worship.  Since the

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bible study

Preparing for Christmas by Focusing on the Holy Spirit

The three persons of the Trinity have always existed together.  The Old Testament revealed God the Father to mankind and the New Testament revealed Jesus to the world. After Jesus returned to heaven, Jesus and the Father fully revealed the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus. They sent the Holy Spirit to finish what

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How We Reflect God’s Love to Children

In his excellent book, The Mystery of Children, Mike Mason reminds us that “Jesus wants us to become like children because our spirits lived closest to the surface during our childhood. In childhood our hearts are the most transparent, most vulnerable, most malleable.” He goes on to say: “Growing up usually means covering up our

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The Benefits of A Daily Devotional

We’ve all fallen into bed at night, so exhausted from the day’s activities that we dose off mid-prayer.  Mornings too can be a flurry of activities as we prepare our children for school, catch the morning traffic report and weather, and mentally rehearse  for the work day ahead.   Not surprisingly, a rich spiritual life comes

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Connecting The Invitation & The Response

By Allen White, Small Group Guru and Church Coach What if the difference between success and failure lies in the few steps between the sanctuary and the lobby? That’s what I witnessed about a year ago. The much beloved founding pastor of a multi-site, megachurch invited his congregation to open their homes and invite their friends

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Blog

10 Assumptions That Shape My Small Group Ministry

By Mark Howell,  Pastor & Small Group Expert We’ve talked many times about assumptions. If you’ve been along for much of this adventure, you’ve probably read more than your share of articles on assumptions. If the idea of assumptions is unfamiliar to you, I’ve linked to a few of my favorites below. I’m thinking about

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5 of the Best Practices of Thriving Small Group Ministries

By Mark Howell,  Pastor & Small Group Expert BEST PRACTICES: “A procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.” Webster You can learn a lot by studying the best practices of thriving small group ministries. You can

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