Rocket Town

June 6, 2010
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Huntsville, Alabama is an interesting place. It was best known as the Watercress Capital of the World until Werner Von Braun and his peers landed there in 1950. They were the original Rocket Boys, and you’ve seen their handiwork. Their Saturn V boosted Apollo into orbit and ultimately got us to the moon. Huntsville is […]

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Patrick: Saint and Small Group Pioneer

March 15, 2010
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Patrick may or may not be a saint. It’s above my pay grade and out of my evangelical comfort zone to determine that one. He was certainly a godly man, a relational genius, and ministry innovator. One thing he wasn’t, was Irish. Patrick was born in Britain late in the fourth century AD. Captured by […]

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What Apprentices Aren’t

February 28, 2010
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I just finished a series of posts for smallgroups.com. They were all answers to common questions, like “is there a best way to train new small group leaders?” I won’t spoil my answer except to say “Yes, there is: apprenticeship.” That post describes what apprentices are. This one describes what they aren’t. It’s important to […]

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Technology and Small Groups, Part Two

February 24, 2010
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Continuing from the last post… here are some additional ideas on how technology can support small groups: An exciting recent development is the maturing of online video chat services like Skype and TokBox. Plagued for years by spotty service and poor video quality, they’re now ready for prime time. Live video has a “face-to-face” benefit […]

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Technology and Small Groups, Part One

February 20, 2010
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This week my friend Reid Smith asked me if I had any thoughts on how technology could support community. I started jotting down some ideas and before long had quite a list! In fact, we’ll split it into two posts. Here goes… Technology can revolutionize routine communication. A FaceBook page (and messages to fans) can […]

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Ambushed by Reality (3 of 3)

January 22, 2010
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A friend once lamented that people seemed to be the root of all his problems. If only he didn’t have to  interact with people day-in and day-out, most of his problems would vanish. He surprised himself when he realized what he was actually thinking: “If only I could pastor a church with no people…” We […]

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Ambushed by Reality (2 of 3)

January 15, 2010
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Progress, either abysmal or exceptional, can derail your strategic plans. External factors can easily impede our progress. Year-end donations are less than expected… by half. A key staff member experiences a moral failure… or a family crisis… or a better offer. Your lease is unexpectedly terminated. You thought that your efforts and resources would be […]

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Ambushed by Reality

January 7, 2010

We’re one week into a brand-new decade. I hate to burst your bubble so quickly, but the Strategic Plan you so carefully crafted over the past couple of months is already obsolete. The sad fact is that you and your team spent hours (or days… or weeks) off-site to stay on-target. You got everybody up […]

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Peeling Groups

October 9, 2009

This post is one in a series by guest authors who embrace the value of “thinking small.” You can read the author’s bio at the end of the post. My interest in oranges would have been short-lived if my only attempts at eating them had been with the peel still on. As it is, I […]

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Help! I Need Somebody!

September 27, 2009

On April 13, 1965 the Beatles entered Abbey Road Studios in London, and recorded another Lennon/McCartney hit. It took them 12 takes to get it right: Help, I need somebody, Help, not just anybody, Help, you know I need someone, help. Less than a year later, 25 year-old John Lennon caused a worldwide scandal by […]

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