Spring Week 8 2018

Well, Leaders, we are in week eight of our nine-week Spring Season, so hopefully things have been getting more personal by now and your group is getting very real with each other. This week the questions are fairly direct and should help make the responses more about personal life and not just be general, on-the-surface thought. I trust this week’s discussion helps, and I pray that this season has brought about significant growth for both you and the people in your group and wraps up well.

Also, would you please take time this week or next to fill out the leaders’ survey that is linked below.  If you want feedback from your people on how they thought you did this season, please have them fill out the participant survey. (Michal will compile your group’s responses from that info later and send them off to you.)

Finally, we be hosting the Global Leadership Summit again this coming August 9-10 and would love to have you attend. This is always a great leadership event and benefits all our people who attend, so please, also, bring it up with your group and encourage them to sign up.   

Have a great week! Here are your resources:

 

Spring Week 7 2018

Happy Mothers Day to all of you moms out there!  It is absolutely insane to think about all that mothers give and are relied on for, and there is no way anyone could say thanks enough. A mother's role is something pretty much all of us have benefited from, so to all of you moms, you are incredible, and we are all thankful for you. Leaders, I think you (who are not moms) are pretty darn great also. It is week seven, so we are going a little deeper. Please keep in mind that the season is nearing its end, so take some risks and push for depth.

Have a great week! Here are your resources:

Spring Week 6 2018

Hello Leaders. As we begin week six, the questions will begin to be a little more personal. Please start to think about how you can begin to push your group deeper as this an opportune time in the season to pursue more personal and important questions.

Here are this week’s resources:

Spring Week 4 2018

Hey leaders, the ball has begun to roll as we are back in the swing of groups! Within my own group last week we progressed relationally, and it was very encouraging to witness the joy that comes from being together and truly investing in each other's and God’s plan for our lives. I hope that your group is feeling the same way and I look forward to the rest of this season. Have a great week.

Here are this weeks resources:

Spring Week 3 2018

Leaders we are now into week three so this will be the last week for people to try different groups. After this your roster will be set and the questions will start to become more personal. If at this point you still have people on your roster who have not shown up please send me and Michal mschultz@churchinthehill.com their names and any information you have about why they have not shown up to this point and we will follow up with them. This week will be the start of a new series in Hebrews really looking at why and how life with Jesus truly is the best option. Should be a great season to really celebrate and thank God for how great life is with Him. Please let me know of any great stories you think we should share. (obviously with that person’s consent) 

 

Have a great week! Here are this weeks resources:

Spring 2018 Week 2

Leaders, we now move into Week 2 of our Spring season. Hopefully the newer members are now more comfortable than when they originally joined. This week is about living in God's plan, not our own; pursuing His guidance and wisdom.

Here are this week’s resources:

Spring 2018 Week 1

Leaders, welcome back from that long one-week break. Hopefully you had a great Easter and were able to really take some time to thank God for loving us as much as He does everyday. My hope is that the joy and peace of that love will motivate each of us this season as we dig into Scripture and relationships in our groups again.

Hopefully you have been able to draw some new people into your group, so the questions this week lean heavily on the get-to-know-you side.  With that in mind, please try to get to know any new people and make them feel comfortable with the responses you give to the questions. We are praying for a great season. 

As always, please share any stories or comments that stand out as the season goes on.

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018 Final Week

Leaders, I know that it is a really short break that we have for Easter but before we jump into a new season I want to stop and thank you for the past season. You have probably heard me say before, but I truly believe it. The success of groups is influenced more heavily by the leader than any other factor. You as the facilitator / leader are the most important ingredient in the mix and I want you to know that you are appreciated. These past few seasons groups have really been taking off and gaining positive momentum and to me that is directly related to you as a leader. Thank you for the great work you have done and continue to do, and thank you for using your gifts to serve this body of believers.

Here are this weeks resources:

Winter 2018, Week 8

Leaders, we are wrapping up the Purple Hoodie series with a great week that I am excited about, Kathi Lipp will be talking about being rooted in our relationships with God and also with those around us. With both of the series we have had this season being relational-focused, I hope that your groups have really grown closer together. This week we are flat out asking the question of whether on not people feel they have deep-rooted relationships.  This will let us know how our groups are doing and will either be a great encouragement or, on the other side, be a great opportunity for groups that are not there yet to ask the question of what it would take to get there so they could then make plans to achieve it.  Please let me know if you need help with that.  At the leader meeting this Sunday we will be addressing that exact issue, so hopefully that will help also.

See you Sunday morning, March 4, at 10:45 in the prayer room!  Have a great week!

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 7

Hey, Leaders.  We are now in week seven, and each of our groups should be very comfortable with each other and digging in every week. Hopefully this series has gone well for your group. This week we will be talking about second chances and how to have wisdom and humility in that area.  

Important Note:  our Community Group Leader Meeting is coming up on March 4th during the 10:45 service, so make plans now to be there.

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 6

This week we get to talk about the power of encouragement and calling out the best in others, so I would like to do that for you as a leader. It is a godly and special trait for someone to be willing to give of their own time and energy for the benefit of others. It is the foundation of all that Christ chose to do for us; and as you do it for others, I believe they get a glimpse of Christ in you. What you do is honorable, godly, and very important. Thank you for being a person who lives this out and cares for others. From what I have seen in life, God gives more fulfillment to those who give of themselves for others than He gives to anyone else.  May you feel deeply fulfilled knowing that what you do not only matters, but it also changes lives for eternity. You are all a blessing, and I appreciate you.

 

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 5

Hey leaders, we are jumping into a new series that I am excited about because it should be great for our Community Groups. We are calling it “____ _________ ________” (Sunday’s Message Title) for reasons you will understand after Sunday, but the point of the series is building relationships and the significance of belonging. Since the goal of Community Groups is to connect people to God’s Word and to His people, the series ties directly to what our groups are all about.  For people to connect to one another there has to be a sense that they belong and are accepted, and that is what we will be discussing. Please dig into this series as it is foundational to what we do and who we are as groups. This should be a great series in helping us realize not only the ability our groups have but also the power and impact they make in people’s lives.

Thanks for the way that you serve as leaders and for the sense of  belonging you create for others. You may never know just how impactful what you do each week really is.

 

Here are this weeks resources:

 

Winter 2018, Week 4

Leaders, I am excited to let you know that we are trying something that we have never tried before in groups. Instead of the usual questions and sharing time, this week we are shooting for an experience.  We are going to live out a part of Acts 2 together. We are going to talk together, encourage one another, take communion together, pray together, and worship God together. I know you are half excited for how cool this might be and half terrified of how bad and awkward this might be, but let’s focus more on the excited side. I realize this is stretching for most of us, so please do not hesitate to contact me (Josh) if you have any questions or concerns. Also, please be very aware of the level of your group and adjust accordingly.  If you have people in your group who are not followers, please make sure they do not feel any pressure about taking communion and explain why it is for followers only.

 

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 3

Well, being that we covered money and tithing last week, for this coming week we decided we should talk about divorce, homosexuality, predestination, and politics. Good news: you do not need to think of a reason to quit as a leader!  That is just a joke, and we are actually talking about the mission of the church this week. We are coming to the end of the “My Church” series and wrapping it up with the mission of the church and God’s people. The main point will be that the church is not just about us as individuals, but about serving God and taking the good news to others. The goal is not to do this in a way to make people feel selfish and ashamed but to push toward living life the way God created us to live and experiencing the joy and fulfillment of using our gifts, skills, and talents to get to be a part of his bigger plan! I hope that you have a great week.

 

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 2

Leaders, I know it is only week two and groups are just getting rolling, but it just so happens that the topic for this week is on giving and that Scott will be pretty much focused on the financial aspect of giving. Needless to say, it could easily be a week that causes people to feel uncomfortable, so my thought is simply to wade into the discomfort this week and allow for the discussion to be as open as possible with as much honesty as everyone can bring. Although this will probably not be an easy week, it may be an incredible week.  It has the potential to change people’s lives forever by helping them see how they can break free from the control money can have on them.

I know that some of you as leaders may be thinking about your finances and tithes, etc., and how you may be falling short in some ways also. Please be honest with that and also give people the freedom to be honest with where they are. Scott will probably say this in his message, but the national average of giving is somewhere around two or three percent.  That means that a vast majority of people struggle in this area, and we want our groups to be a place to have an open and honest conversation about giving.

Here are this week’s resources:

Winter 2018, Week 1

Leaders, we are back for the winter season of Community Groups.  I hope that Christmas and the close of 2017 was a special time for you and your loved ones. As we head into a new year and a new series, Scott is planning to talk a lot about belonging and relationships, so this season has the potential to be a very impactful one for your group.

 

Although we live in a world with people all over the place, it seems more and more people feel alone and isolated. They often feel as though they do not have a place to be accepted or allowed to be themselves, and our hope is that we will be able to change that for some. We want to show people that they are loved and do have a place to belong.  We want to help people see how much God loves them. It is pretty incredible to think we have the opportunity in our groups to do that, so . . . here we go, winter season!  Pray for God to do incredible things.

 

As we start out on a new season, this is a good time to reestablish some of the ground rules for community groups which will hopefully give us the best groups possible.

  • Keep things in the group confidential.

  • Do NOT give advice unless someone asks for it.

  • Make sure to give everyone an opportunity to talk.

  • Answer the questions before coming to group.

  • Do not feel the need to address every question.

  • Allow for respectful disagreement and engage struggles.

  • Make it safe, make it fun, and be free to be who you are.

  • Make sure people in your group enjoy it and feel comfortable.

  • As a leader, ask appropriate follow-up questions after people have already responded.

  • Encourage and affirm people when they share vulnerable parts of life.

  • Remember, people usually do not grow in their comfort zone, so push a step further.

  • Allow each person to journey at their own pace.

Leaders, I hope that you have a great season!  As always, if you need anything or have any questions, feel free to call or text Josh.

 

Here are this week’s resources:

Fall 2017, Week 10

Well, leaders, this is the last week of the fall season, and I hope that it has been a great one for you and your group.  For Community Groups as a whole, I feel we made some great strides in all areas:

·         Our average attendance rose from 21 percent of our people being in groups last year at this time to about 33 percent of our people so far this year, using the numbers we have logged for this season. Our goal at this time is still to be above 40 percent, and we moved substantially closer. 

·         Beyond the numbers, I have also heard stories of significant life change and that some real depth and honesty has been going on in groups.  (A down side about groups, though, is that we seldom get to share most of that stuff publicly.) 

·         In many ways, this has been a great season, and it reminds me of just how important all of you are as leaders.  None of the life change, none of the stories, and none of the people who now feel they have a home and belong would be in that place if it were not for the groups and you who have chosen to step forward and lead. 

Your service is a tremendous blessing, and I am very grateful for all that you do, so THANK YOU!  Now please have a great last week, and be sure to take some time to celebrate this season as a group.

Here are this week's resources:

Fall 2017, Week 9

Leaders, we are at week nine and only have one week left after this. Because of that, this is the last week we will have the regular routine with questions and discussion. The hope for week 10 is that the group will take some time to encourage one another and celebrate the growth you have seen in one another--and maybe have some dessert and games if you would like. 

For this week we are talking about how to search and rescue those who have fallen away from the flock. Remember that all of us have turned our backs to varying degrees and that humility is the secret sauce that makes all of this work. Hopefully we get to be a part of some great rescue stories in the near future.

Please share with me at josh@churchonthehill.com any stories and feedback you have heard either from this series or the community group season. We also have both the community group leader survey and the participant survey ready, so please make sure every individual in your group fills one out.  Thank you for the difference you are making in the lives of others.

Here are this week's resources: