Archives For Derek Olson

U Turn

While the phrase “Paradigm Shift” may be used and heard a lot today, the actual occurrence of one is still a rare sight.

A paradigm shift can be defined as a dramatic change by members of a group or community in the cognitive framework of basic assumptions, ways of thinking, underlying suspicions and methodology. I believe a true paradigm shift in small group ministry can release a desperately needed disciple-making revolution in our churches.

For many years, small groups were seen merely as an assimilation tool. In other words, if you get new church attenders plugged-in to a small group, they won’t be able to sneak out the “back door.” While this was (and is) a real benefit of small groups, it was an isolated motivator that typically didn’t generate enough sustainable momentum for churches to eventually see the “back door” shrink or close.

Since then, small groups have been re-discovered as an oasis for community, transparency and best friends. In others words, you need a small group to form close-knit, Christian relationships in your life that allow you to be vulnerable and cared for. While this was (and is) a real benefit of small…

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In the western hemisphere, the leaves are beginning to turn red and gold as the fall season quickly arrives. Simultaneously, many churches across the globe are finalizing their preparations to launch a dynamic small group ministry this month that will, in turn, mobilize their local congregations to enjoy biblical community! So to all of you small group point people I ask … Are Your Small Groups F.A.L.L. Ready?

F – food

“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.” Acts 2:46

Being that food is a staple of successful small groups going all the way back to the early church in Acts, as well as the Gospels where Jesus was breaking bread with his small group of 12 disciples, make sure that food is a centerpiece of your small groups!

“Give your fellow small group family refrigerator rights!” – Andrew Mason 

A – atmosphere

Small groups should be joy-filled settings where people can laugh during an ice breaker, eat good food and enjoy fellowship with the family of God! After all, we have the greatest treasure to celebrate and share – Jesus!…

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Over a month ago we launched our summer term of small groups and have seen many un-connected people get connected into community. We’ve seen new friendships being made, families growing deeper in faith and lots of fun being had. We’ve seen many new leaders rise up to use their God-given gifts in leading and facilitating these groups. Praise God!

Summer doesn’t have to be a time to hit cruise and watch your small group ministry fade. By using the 3 keys below, your summer small groups can soar!

#1 Think Outside the Box

In the fall and winter terms, all of our groups gather in homes, but in the summer we do a hybrid of both home groups and interest based groups that gather outside. Yes, many people are traveling during the summer, however I’ve found most are not all out-of-town at the same time. Therefore, think outside the box of ways to gather people into community. Hint: Outdoors, fitness, BBQ’s, etc.

“A church must grow larger and smaller at the same time. Larger through worship and smaller through small groups.” – Rick Warren

#2 Recruit Leaders Who are Hiding in the Shadows

Due to travel, several of our key hosts were…

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