Posts Tagged group

The Value of Observing

By: Eddie Mosley

In my over 30 years of ministry, I have never read about the practice of observing.  It is something we probably do naturally in leadership without realizing it. For example, when eating lunch on Sunday afternoon you look at your spouse and ask, “Did you notice how Beth responded during the discussion on loving your boss as Jesus loves the church,” or on your drive home from your neighborhood small group and you ask, “Were you reading the body language of Steve when we were discussing failure?”
Observing is an important habit for sports, work, parenting, marriage, etc; but it is not a common topic written about or discussed in training. While some may consider it an art, it “is a community discipline that has a particular importance in small group life.”[1] In the middle of Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry by Gareth Weldon Icenogle I discovered an entire chapter on observing.
“When Jesus was with the Twelve, he was deeply aware of their feelings, moods, reactions and intentions.”[2] Jesus used his observations to enhance his teaching, coaching, confronting and guiding.
In order to communicate truth in a life-altering, applicable way (goal of biblical community) we as teachers and leaders should be aware of what is going on in the lives and minds of our group members during group time. By noting what is happening in the group’s life, interpreting what this behavior means, and making needed changes “on the spot” to improve our success in communicating the truth.
“Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because the people refused to become self-aware of their dysfunctional group dynamics.” Life transformational teaching is more than information distribution in one- or two-hour time blocks. Because of the limited amount of time we have in groups we must be more aware of what is happening in people’s lives; that requires extra effort during the week to communicate, listen, grab coffee, play golf, shop, etc. in order to observe.
Be encouraged to observe more intentionally and intently this week. Give group members time to talk, discuss and ponder the scriptures and principles. Pause during Bible study and let the Holy Spirit show you what is happening in the room. Pray for spiritual discernment on how to lead with what you have observed.

[1] Icenogle, Gareth Weldon, Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 186-197
[2] All quotes are from the above text.


  • don’t forget to email us pics from your group activities, events, and study

  • continue to pray for your lost and searching friends, neighbors, and co-workers

Group Connect: What? Why? How?

Group Connect will be this coming Sunday, February 3, for the Brentwood Campus. Now’s a good time to consider the in’s and out’s of such events.
What? Group Connect is a morning event that elevates our value of being connected in biblical community as a premier catalytic disciple-making vehicle and provides easy access to joining a group.
Why? Because biblical community is such a catalytic transformative vehicle, we must both cast vision for their significance and provide easy on-ramps for our unconnected members as well as our lost and searching friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Group Connect is an incredibly easy on-ramp for the unconnected long-time attender and the new attender.
How? We have 10-15 group leaders, particularly new group leaders, lined in the hallway to invite and receive new group members for a 6-week trial basis. To that end, Group Connect is used primarily for launching new groups, relaunching existing groups that are reorienting, and then landing those unconnected individuals that our accumulated data (think targeted invite) from the previous semester dictate. If your group is not represented at Group Connect, then please know that we ARE still sending folks to you through our on-campus LIFE Groups booths throughout the building, our text-to-connect number, our “plan a visit” link on the website, our “more information” link on the website, and the spontaneous seeker. But you and I also know that nothing beats personal invitation, so encourage your group members to invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers along with them. We also encourage you to reach out to those on your rosters who have not attended in over a month.
Please pray for our community in 37027 and your local community wherever you are. Brentwood, as well as surrounding areas, are seeing tremendous growth of young families and out-of-staters move in. Many, if not most, statistically, of these individuals are unchurched and have no relationship with or desire for a local community of believers. They will not naturally come to us barring a crisis in their life. We must go to them. Pray about starting a group in your neighborhood. Pray about empowering someone in your current group to start a group in their neighborhood. Pray to partner with us to begin strong, biblical communities ready to engage the lost and searching of 37027 and beyond in every neighborhood.