Calvary Leader

Jesus, LifeGroups, and Leadership Development

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As we lead our LifeGroups, often we forget that Jesus modeled everything we need to know about leading them. Jesus gathered a group of men around Him as He began to do the work of ministry. The entire purpose of this group would be to prepare these disciples to be sent out to spread the Gospel into the world.

Our mandate is similar today. Our groups do not just exist to teach people information about God, but to allow the Word of God to transform them into people who live out the Gospel and lead in ministry in New Orleans.

Let’s take a look at some basic principles that Jesus taught us about a small group and how He prepared His disciples to take on leadership.

1) Jesus selected them. Luke 5:1-11

Jesus had an intentional approach for recruitment. He knew what He was looking for in their characteristics, skill sets, and backgrounds. Now, although He knew 

Three things to look for in recruitment:
Character
Commitment
Courage


2) Jesus ministered before them. Luke 7-9

The best way to prepare someone to lead a group is to do it before them. Jesus was consistently showing them HOW to do ministry. 

What are you modeling in your LifeGroup? 
Share the Load
Active group in life and needs
Mission moments


3) Jesus clarified teachings for them. Luke 8:9-15

Jesus would teach them masses and then allow the disciples to get a clearer picture on what was really going on behind the scenes. This would allow the disciples to clarify the goals of what sometimes might have seem vague or unclear.

Are you taking time with future leaders to clarify?
Explaining curriculum on a deeper level
Clarifying why we do things


4) Jesus prayed with them. Luke 11:1-13

Jesus modeled prayer for His disciples and He also prayed with them. The closest disciples even observed Him in the Garden going off to pray.

Are you praying with future leaders and co-leaders?
A special time before LifeGroup
Lunches or dinners with families
Intentional moments over leading


5) Jesus equipped them. Luke 24:46-49

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world after He left to equip the disciples to do the work of ministry. The good news for you and I as we prepare leaders is that the same Holy Spirit resides in us! But along with the Holy Spirit, leaders need to understand clearly the objectives of LifeGroup ministry in order to eventually be sent out?

Are you equipping your future leaders or co-leaders?
Leading a lesson with you observing
Preparation meetings and feedback meetings
Attending training sessions


6) Jesus sent them out. Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-12, Luke 24

Finally, Jesus knew when it was time to leave and allow the disciples to carry on the mission. Could you imagine? Jesus, the Son of God, left it in the hands of flawed people. And yet, the mission succeeded!

Are you sending your leaders out?
Another group starting this Fall
Taking over an existing group needing a leader
Multiplication

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The Presence of the Lord leads

 

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Joshua 3: “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried out by the Levitical priests, THEN you shall set out from your place and follow it.”

As LifeGroup leaders, many times we can think of our gatherings with our Groups as Bible study or as fellowship time with other believers. But, what if we began to think of ourselves as this passage in Joshua 3? 

In this passage, Joshua is leading the people of Israel towards the Promise Land and they encounter the Jordan river. Instead of going around the river, Joshua commanded the people to wait on the ark of the covenant to go before them and then follow it. And what happened? The Jordan river parted, similar to the Red Sea, and the people crossed on dry ground! Did you know there are two stories of parted waters in the Old Testament?

What would happen if we led our LifeGroup members toward waiting on the Presence of the Lord and then followed it? 

Dynamic small group meetings are more than Bible study and fellowship. They are encounters with a living Lord who has the power to do wonders among us.

Joshua 3:5 “Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do WONDERS among you.'”

As our first study of Connected reminded us, many times in our lives within the church we forget that we have access to this Presence. 

Are you leading your LifeGroup toward a experience with God? 

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Some practical steps toward leading into the presence of the Lord:

1) Take time out of the routine for dynamic prayer. Instead of doing the same thing each week, maybe take some time out just to be silent and pray together. Even if this means the lesson gets abbreviated, it would be worth it to spend time before God.

2) Find room for musical worship in your group meetings. Does someone in your group have the gift of music? Maybe they could lead your group in a time of musical worship. Or perhaps you, as best as you can, can open by leading in a hymn of faith. Throughout Scripture, music has shown to have the power to lead us into the Presence of the Lord.

3) Share stories of God’s working through your week. Prep someone in your group to share about how God has worked in their life. Don’t just ask this in the middle of group time and wait on silence. Instead, approach someone and ask them to consider doing this. It’s amazing how they might look at their life differently that week in preparation to share. They might see God moving more than they would if they were not asked.

4) Plan group retreats for spiritual renewal. Maybe your group could find the time to get away and just focus on spiritual renewal. Maybe it’s a camping trip or someone has a house out of town that everyone could visit. Maybe it’s a night outside of LifeGroup time that could be spent focused on the Lord. If you can find the time, I would be more than happy to help plan it or even show up to lead the group in this time. 

 

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The Ask

So you’ve got an idea of who you’d like to help you SHARE THE LOAD? Apprentice, communication, socials. Yet, you don’t know how to approach the individual about serving the LifeGroup. 

Here are some helpful instructions for approaching someone:

1) PRAY.

James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

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Prayer is our chief concern as leaders. Through prayer, God will begin to prepare your heart and the individual’s heart for leadership and for your conversation. Without prayer, you are powerless. Through prayer, we have life, vitality, and care share the vision God has for the individual’s life.

 

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The Goal

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As adults, we know many things about goals. We have seen goals failed to reach and goals exceeded. We remember the joy of goals reached and the pain of goals failed. We can look back upon our lives and see many moments where goals moved us forward.

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Leadership Growth

Opportunities for Leadership Growth

1) ONLINE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

Email: Pastor Beau will send out weekly emails focused on the vision of the LifeGroup ministry. These emails are designed to help you grow as a LifeGroup leader. Although the emails willl also include logistics, they are primarily designed to focus on leadership growth and development. Be sure that Pastor Beau has your current email address and pay close attention to them. They are normal sent on Monday afternoons around 3pm.

Calvaryleader.com: This website is designed specifically for LifeGroup leaders at Calvary. On this site, you will find all archived vision e-mails, the contents of this guide, the current LifeGroup calendar, and much more. Calvaryleader.com is a great resource

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The Childcare Question

The Childcare Question

LifeGroups are a group of people choosing to operate in community together. With this understanding, it is on the community of adults to decide how to handle their children. The LifeGroup leader is responsible for helping guide the conversation when the group first gathers and implement a proper strategy for childcare during the group meeting.

Off campus groups can help limit the amount of childcare time needed by including the children during the fellowship time and only have childcare for the 1hr lesson time.

Optional solutions for childcare:

  1. Every family (no matter if they have children or not) rotates and helps facilitate childcare by signing up for a week. If everyone participates, the family should only miss 1 lesson every 6 weeks (with a 12 person group).

  2. The group can brainstorm and use their connections to find a paid childcare solution and pool money together to pay for the childcare. Many times, the group can locate a youth in the church to bless with a little extra money. Or, it could be a babysitter than one group member uses. Your group may even decide to donate money toward a youth’s camp or DNow experience.

  3. The group can also find childcare and choose to use the reimbursement from the church. The childcare reimbursement is intended to help groups who can’t afford childcare, but want to use the option. It should only be used if there is no other option for the group to take care of their own childcare.

As a LifeGroup leader, you may have a great idea for solving the childcare obstacle. If so, please let the LifeGroup pastor know so that he can include it in future options for leaders.

Fill out the childcare reimbursement form here

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Curriculum Strategy

Curriculum Strategy

LifeGroups will all study a sermon-based curriculum at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semester as a part of the LifeGroup promotion period. Following this initial study, leaders will have the option to follow a suggested curriculum plan designed by Pastor Beau or choose the next curriculum for their group.

LifeGroup leaders will be responsible for submitting a curriculum proposal three weeks before each semester to be approved by the LifeGroup pastor. The proposal must consist of studies from the curriculum guide provided by the LifeGroup pastor. 

LifeGroup leaders should evaluate the growth of their group based upon the BIO strategy and pick out curriculum to help their group grow in certain BIO areas. Also, groups can choose periodically to study a topics of interest for their group such as marriage, finances, or anything else in the curriculum guide.

Download the current curriculum guide

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Connecting People

Connecting People into LifeGroups

There are numerous strategic ways to connect people into LifeGroups. Here are a few of those options:

Your LifeGroup!: One of the best ways to connect people into your LifeGroup is through an invite from you or one of your group members. Although we have developed a system for getting people into groups, the most effective way is through the personal invite from someone into the group!

From day one, you need to set the vision for the group to grow. Each LifeGroup should have a plan to multiply into two groups after 9-12 months of being together. The only way you can accomplish this is by inviting friends, family, neighbors, and other people you meet at Calvary.

GroupLink: At the beginning of the Fall and Spring studies, the church will host a GroupLink event designed to connect people into a group. All new members and guests from Welcome to Calvary and Membership Discovery will be invited to come to the event and join into a LifeGroup at the beginning of a study. These events will be strategic points for people to join your group rather than entering in the middle of a study. 

All LifeGroup leaders with space in their group will be asked to attend these events with a few group members and be prepared to meet people who will join your group.

LifeGroup Connection Team: Each Sunday, we will have 2 people who will work on connecting people into LifeGroups. Eventually, there will be a strategic booth devoted for LifeGroup connection. Until then, these people will be the point people for any guest who is interested in getting into a group. They will connect the guest by entering their information into our system along with their preference for LifeGroup meeting time and life stage. Then, the volunteer will connect the guest with the proper LifeGroup leader or group member in person.

Calvaryneworleans.com/lifegroups: The new LifeGroup website will be focused on describing the vision for LifeGroups and connecting them to the right group. It will be the primary tool of connection as we publicize LifeGroups to the church body. For those who are motivated to find a group, the site will serve as a great tool to find a group and email the LifeGroup leader for info about their group.

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LifeGroup Communication

Communicating to Group Members

Each week, you (or whoever you designated as your point person) will need to communicate to your group. These communications need to be more than just informational. You will need these communications to help your group members come before God daily.

Suggestions for weekly communications:

  • Have someone develop a devotional aspect to send out for your group
  • Include the prayer requests from the previous meeting
  • Add some prayer topics to guide the group’s prayer life that week
  • Write a brief summary of the lesson from the previous meeting
  • Include some challenges for action from the lesson

Along with the transformational component, these communications can also include information on meals for next week, reminders for childcare, and other logistical issues you need your group to know.

These communications can presently be accomplished through a group email each week. Please include Pastor Beau in any LifeGroup communications so he can be aware of all the things going on in your LifeGroup.

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The Small Group Meeting

The Small Group Meeting

The Group Agreement
The group agreement is a critical document you will use to establish your group. Every LifeGroup needs guidelines as the first step in establishing transformational Christian community.

Nearly 80% of problems that arise in a LifeGroup can be addressed or solved by establishing a clear group agreement. It allows you to help your group members establish the regular times, childcare agreement, food agreement, and the vision for your LifeGroup. It will need to be signed by each member at the end of the first group meeting.

In your first communication report, you will indicate to the LifeGroup pastor the things agreed upon and the people who agreed to your group.

Facilitating the Meeting
Your group meeting is the consistent connection point for your LifeGroup each week. The main goal of the LifeGroup leader is not to teach, but to facilitate an environment of BIO.

The group meeting looks different for our on and off campus groups. I will detail the elements of the meeting after describing the specifics.

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