Posts Tagged leadership

6 Summer Considerations for LIFE Groups

by Jay Fennell

The summer is a unique time of the year for LIFE Groups. People take vacations. Attendance fluctuates. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the momentum going through the summer. But the summer season can be a fruitful time for LIFE Groups, especially as you prepare for the fall.
Here are 6 things I recommend you consider as we enter into the summer months:

  1.  Consider inviting others to teach or facilitate.
    If you are accustomed to teaching or facilitating every week, you might want to consider taking a little time off and enlisting others who are capable to fill in. This gives you a break and it also gives others an opportunity to teach. One of our responsibilities as leaders is to develop other leaders, so give others the chance to develop by allowing them time to teach God’s Word.
  2. Consider developing and/or strengthening a leadership team.
    You know you can’t do everything. If you try, you will inevitably burn out. So utilize the summer season to develop a leadership team who can share leadership of the group. Our structure is L.I.F.E and each role has a job description. You can go to here to learn more.
  3. Consider using different teaching methods.
    If you’re more of a lecturer, try a discussion based model by asking questions and soliciting responses from the group. If your group sits in rows, try circling up the chairs. If your group struggles with connecting relationally, try sub-grouping participants to facilitate discussion and conversation. Consider bringing something that could be used as an object lesson to illustrate a main truth. Use the white board. Invite participants to read the scripture aloud. Think creatively and experiment with new teaching methods.
  4. Consider emphasizing and building community.
    How can you use the summer season to strengthen and emphasize community among group participants? Consider group picnics at a park on Sunday afternoons, organizing a mid-week Bible study, coordinating a fellowship around a television event, bringing food every week to group gathering, go to lunch together after church, or develop “Dinner for 6” type activities. The key is to strengthen relationships. Be creative!
  5. Consider combining groups to develop new relationships.
    With the decrease in attendance, it might be a great opportunity to combine LIFE Groups for a week or two for the purpose of developing new relationships with other groups. You could make it a party atmosphere by bringing food and drink and mingling with others from another group. Pray and study the Bible together. Consider partnering to be on mission together.
  6.  Consider your readiness for guests. The summer season is a popular time for families to relocate to the Nashville area. Many of these families are looking for churches. Your job is to be ready for them by ramping up hospitality and making provision for their arrival. Pray for guests, expect them to come, and be ready when they do come. How prepared are you for guests?


Practicing the Discipline of Service in Four Arenas

by Roger Severino    

[vimeo 110796210 w=640 h=360] 
Jesus tells his disciples that leadership in His Kingdom is different than leadership in the world. He teaches us that the greatest among you will be the servant of all. Even as Jesus tells us that He did not come to be served but to serve, so we are called to serve those around us (see Mark 10:35-45)

  1. Service at Home. Our true nature and posture is typically revealed at home where we let our guard down. Do we seek to serve those under our roof or have them serve us? Through the years, I have noticed that my wife has become even more of a servant to those of us in the home, including me. As she has become more selfless, I have to be careful not to become more selfish and allow her to constantly out-serve me. Whether it is cooking, washing dishes, walking the dog, grocery shopping, yard work, driving the car pool, taking out the trash, paying bills, etc., I need to make sure that I am being a good contributor to our household. If I am to provide spiritual leadership at home, this includes serving my family in various ways.
  2. Service at Work. For many of us, work is a competitive environment. Not only may we be competing for customers and clients with those in our industry, but there is often a desire to outperform our fellow workers for advancement and recognition. Do Jesus’ teachings have any application in this venue of life? Jim Collins’ research in his book, Good To Great, identified certain characteristics of leaders of elite companies who were able to sustain positive results over those in the industry. The Level 5 Leader, as he calls it, demonstrated servant leadership that resembles similar attributes Jesus identifies in Mark 10:35-45 and that He also exhibited among His disciples when He washed their feet (see John 13). Yes, Jesus’ teachings are very counter-cultural to the work place, but they still have relevance. How do you serve those around you at work, including those under your supervision? Do you practice the discipline of service with those in a different department?
  3. Service at Church. God equips us with various spiritual gifts and calls us to exercise these in the context of a local church (see 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4:10-11). Sometimes God calls us to an area of passion, and sometimes He calls us to an area of need, for which He gives us the desire to help out and assist. The goal is that the body of Christ, the church, is built up and encouraged. If you are a follower of Jesus, then you are a member in the body of Christ. In what ways are you building up that body?
  4. Service in our Neighborhood and Community. For many of us, our opportunities of service are consumed by our home, work, and church. We must realize, however, that we are called to serve in whatever place God has us. Do our neighbors believe that we are ready to serve them? Is our community a better place because believers in Christ are working to make it a better place? Does the world view Christians as those ready to judge and condemn, or those who are ready to love and serve?

Evaluate your current level of service in these four arenas. Are there any areas where you believe God may have you practice the discipline of service in a better way?