Click below, ideas for a Happy Thanksgiving, 2015!
It is a joy to announce the details of Lake City Community Church’s 2015 fall series. This year promises to be one of joy, healing, comfort and great growth for our community as we focus on God’s assurance in all tough times.
They say everyone is in one of three places: You are experiencing life’s bumps, detours, and collisions right now. You love someone who is. Or, you will be soon! The enemy says, “You will never make it.” But, God’s radically different message is this:
You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But I will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With My help, you’ll get through this.
You’ll Get Through This is an in-depth, life-giving journey through God’s assurance in Genesis 37-50 that you are not alone in turbulent times; nor are these trials meaningless or hopeless.
The series begins on September 26/27, with small groups beginning as early as September 13. Small group signups begin August 29/30.
More details below…especially for our small group and ministry leaders.
- Month of August
- New Small Group Leader discovery and training month. Is God possibly calling you to lead a group?
- Community invitation month: community mailers; local events; invitation cards for us to give out.
- Sunday, August 23 – You’ll Get Through This Leaders Materials Meeting – In the Lower Gym, during 2nd service, 10:50AM-12:20PM
- August 29/30 – Small Group signups begin! (small group catalog, church website, or foyer signup table)
- Saturday, September 12 – LCCC Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping for leadership in several areas of church, communities and homes. (9:00AM-1:00PM)
- Week of September 13 – Small Groups Kick Off – First two weeks are getting to know each other, setting goals, small group agreement
- September 26/27 – You’ll Get Through This series begins. #1 – “You’ll Get Through This”
- October 3/4 – #2 – “Down & Out, but Never Alone”
- October 10/11 – #3 – “Stupid Won’t Fix Stupid”
- October 17/18 – #4 – “Is God Good When Life Isn’t?”
- October 24/25 – #5 – “Now, About those Family Scandals & Scoundrels”
- Oct. 31/Nov. 1 – #6 – “God Can Use This for Good”
- November – December 13 – Since the series finishes a few weeks before the fall semester ends, leaders proactively schedule their semester-end activities like worship/communion nights, outreach and service projects, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party to end the semester on a joyful note!
Books and DVDs
You’ll Get Through This is an original book written by Max Lucado, based on the Joseph narratives in Genesis 37-50. Lucado went on to create a six-session DVD and hired a husband and wife team to create the study guide. Here is my initial evaluation I sent to Pastor Jim:
I previewed this Max Lucado study this weekend. In short, the study guide is great – truly great. The husband/wife team that put it together put together one of the best products I have ever seen for shepherding/discipling a group both during and outside the meetings. The video sessions are about 23 minutes each, and the groups can choose to play all of it or just excerpts each week. Even though I am not experiencing any major crisis at this moment, as I read through the book I found myself desiring to answer the questions and hear and work through others’ answers with them.
It is true. I really cannot wait to go through this series with my fellow small group members; to journey life’s best and hardest moments together; and to enjoy these meaningful relationships.
Small group leaders can buy their group’s books and DVD beginning at the You’ll Get Through This Materials Meeting on Sunday, August 23. Small group members can get their books as they join a group after signups begin on August 29/30. See calendar above for all important dates.
We are a church of small groups. So, don’t hesitate to join, lead, or coach a Lake City small group or ReEngage group this fall!
Finding rest, in God alone,
Our groups are winding down the Fall, 2014 Semester. Finish well, groups!
This post is to help our small group leaders as you pray and plan for next semester; to be prepared and as proactive as you can be to lead your group well.
Winter/Spring, 2015 Calendar
Click for a printable LCCC Winter/Spring Calendar Template that gives general church information.
How NOT to Start Your Next Semester
There is a common way to start a new small group semester. And then there is a better way.
The Problem: If a group starts their semester right off with the new Bible study curriculum, they will be locked into the “study” mold and mentality, as if that is all you exist to do, no matter what you try to do later.
The Solution: As you (and your Inner Circle) create your calendar, start your semester with some of the other items which often get crowded out:
- Start with a meal or fun night. You are a spiritual family, after all. Set the tone to actually enjoy each other!
- Start with a worship/prayer night, seeking God’s guidance and setting a worshipful pattern for your year.
- Start with a service/outreach project, or series of them, declaring: “We are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus!”
- Start with sharing your personal salvation testimonies, to celebrate God’s grace in our lives and get to know each other well.
- Start with having the kids involved in worship, so they see Jesus Christ as the center for your group’s existence.
- Then, start your curriculum, having become close friends and spiritual siblings; soul mates and teammates. We have 16-20 weeks in the Winter/Spring Semester. No need to rush into a curriculum. There is plenty of time to do it all!
NOW, Choose the Right Curriculum
Since our foundation is God’s Word, a good curriculum makes an effective tool. Come browse and check out some of our many curriculums. NOTE: Our ever-expanding small group curriculum library will not be on a table in my office for browsing this year (as pictured). This year, we are moving to the church library, where you can access and check out materials more easily (and I don’t have to climb over the table to get to my desk all winter!)
And, don’t forget that you can help us keep building up our curriculum library, with…
“The Lake City Offer”
Important Training and Kickoff Dates
Here are a few important dates for your calendars:
- Training: As always, there is one required January training session, offered twice, for your scheduling convenience:
- Option 1 – Offered as a workshop at the Church Family Summit, Saturday, January 10, 9:00AM-1:00PM.
- Option 2 – For those who cannot attend the Church Family Summit, come to the make up session on Sunday, January 18, during 2nd service (10:50-12:10pm).
- Kickoff: Winter/Spring Semester kicks off the week of January 18, after a few weeks of signups. Be prepared to welcome new people, if possible.
NOTES: All Summit workshops and small group training sessions are always open to everyone. Families and discipleship groups are welcome to attend together.
The Winter/Spring Semester runs through early June, so it’s a bit longer than the Fall Semester, leaving you room to do more things and have more transformative experiences.
May God be glorified in our ministry,
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19
We are excited to announce that our fall series for 2014 will be based on the series, GO FISH, by Andy Stanley. It has great potential, and a backstory that includes the entire LCCC Family.
LCCC has been growing steadily for several years, adding members, small groups, discipling relationships, ministries, and a third worship service which is also now filling up. This growth continually prompts our leadership to pray and make decisions for the future. Our leadership and congregation have agreed, now, to both expand our present facilities and look towards church planting in the next several years. With these major decisions behind us, by God’s calling and through the leadership of Pastor Jim and other church leaders, LCCC’s focus returns this fall to Jesus’ Great Commission for His church to go and make new disciples in the world where He has planted us. Our church is surrounded by people in our community, and we in our personal lives, who do not yet know Jesus’ love and righteousness. That needs to change. They need to be told. The mission of the church is to reach them; to be “fishers of people.” We are setting out to do that; to GO FISH, this fall at LCCC!
Here are the details:
As always, fall is LCCC’s season of unity and momentum, when every small group, ministry, and every sermon shares a united focus.
We will follow the same basic plan as in our previous fall series (such as Forgotten God, Heroes, and Why Am I Here?). Small groups, Family, Children, and Youth Ministries will design their fall ministries to coincide with the emphasis. It is always a great time of unity and momentum.
Our team of researchers, Chuck Mathews, Pastor Jim, and my wife and I, reviewed eight highly acclaimed church resources for evangelism, seeking the best fit for our church this season. From these excellent possibilities, we chose Andy Stanley’s GO FISH. It comes with a six-session DVD and participant’s guide.
Here is the assessment I wrote to the team regarding this resource:
We (Sarah and I) really enjoyed reviewing GO FISH. In fact, Andy Stanley’s message in the first video penetrated me personally, and I have thought about it often over the last couple days. He is a great communicator, and his team did a great job abbreviating his messages for small group use. We read every word of the workbook, and even filled out several of the discussion pages together. It was a rich experience. Again, it is perfectly laid out for our small groups’ use – in simplicity, form, function, number of weeks, coherence with our philosophy, and impact. As we noticed before, the only apparent weakness is lack of in-depth Bible study. But, his teaching is biblically authoritative. And, of course, our sermons will provide biblical depth. I believe the resource’s simplicity will actually prove a strength by making the study usable by everyone, and allowing us to add our own relevant supplements to the groups through the sermon applications and through additional small group leader resources, especially including the “Love the World” section in the updated Small Group TOOLKIT. The theme verse given each week could easily be made into memory verses for the week – a strong idea.
So, pull out your calendar. Here is the complete fall schedule, including leader training, small group signups, kickoff and events:
- August – New leader recruitment month. Is God possibly calling you to lead? Read all about that, here.
- Aug. 23/24 – Small Group signups begin, via foyer table, small group catalog, and church website
- Sunday, Aug. 24 – GO FISH Small Group Leaders Materials Meeting – Gym, 2nd service (10:50-12:10PM)
- Week of Sept. 7 – Small Groups Kick Off – start meeting weekly; getting to know each other
- Saturday, Sept. 13 – LC3 Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping, for everyone wanting to do better ministry for Jesus in our church, communities and homes. (9:00AM-1:00PM)
- Sept. 20/21 – Go Fish Series begins. Go Fish #1 – We Were All Fish Once
- Sept. 27/28 – Go Fish #2 – Why Fish?
- Oct. 4/5 – Go Fish #3 – Fish Guts
- Oct. 11/12 – Go Fish #4 – Fishing Buddies
- Oct. 18/19 – Go Fish #5 – Muddy Water
- Oct. 25/26 – Go Fish #6 – The One That Got Away
- Nov. 8/9 – Veterans Day – Big Outreach Weekend, with Scotty Smiley
- November – December 14 – Since the series finishes a few weeks before the fall semester ends, leaders will schedule their own important small group activities like worship/communion nights, outreach and service projects, fun nights, planning for next semester, a Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party to end the semester on a joyful note!
The Rest of the Story
Everyone should be in a Lake City Small Group this fall. Leaders will be well equipped and encouraged in the two training events listed above, and by their coaches throughout the year. The GO FISH books and DVD’s will go on sale in the second half of August. Couples can share a book, but it’s usually preferred for each person to have his or her own. One DVD is needed per group. The cost of the DVD’s will be factored into the price of the book.
It will be easy to join a group in any of three different ways: our Small Group Catalogs will be passed down the aisles in the weeks leading up to kickoff. Groups and registration instructions will also be listed on the website, and displayed at the foyer table during the weekends.
Take a moment to pray for Lake City’s unity and effectiveness in reaching the lost world around us with the Good News of Jesus. Spread the word and excitement to everyone you know.
In Him, by Him, and for Him,
I posted this “small group leader position description” last year, but have updated for 2014!
Are you considering using your God-given gifts to lead in the LCCC Family? If so, praise God! Now that raises the questions…”What does it take to be a Lake City Small Groups Leader?” And…“What does small group leadership include?”
Here (in green) is the official position description for this significant role:
Lake City Small Group Leader Description
Small Group Leader’s Qualifications:
- Be a member of the church, or be in membership process.
- Attend the leader trainings, in fall and January.
- Small Group Leader Fall Series Material Meeting is Sunday, August 24, 10:50AM (during 2nd service) in the Gym. It is primarily for small group leaders, but open to everyone.
- The LC3 Ministry Summit is Saturday, Sept. 13, 9am-1pm. It is for ALL ministry leaders of LCCC, including small group leaders.
- January training date TBD.
- Be approved and blessed by small groups pastor and an elder.
Small Group Leader’s Position Description:
(Trying to do less than this will fail almost every time. Co-leaders or “Inner Circles” will share this load with you.)
Time Commitment: Prayer and preparation before the group; the group meeting time; relationship-building and discipleship time outside the group.
Length of Commitment: Semester and/or entire 9 month ministry year.
- Model someone desiring to become like Jesus.
- Delegate leading and caring responsibilities to group members so they can use their gifts for the benefit of the group.
- Regularly contact group members between meetings (through phone calls, emails, cards, coffee, invite for dinner, notes on Facebook, etc.) Follow up with absent members to let them know they were missed (Think “shepherd” – Luke 15:1-7).
- Disciple and raise up new generations of leaders, as you are able.
- Complete the simple, occasional evaluation reports requested by small groups pastor and elders.
Tools Provided for Leaders
1. As the small groups pastor, I sit down personally with everyone who expresses interest in leading or co-leading our small groups. I always come prepared with our Lake City Small Groups TOOLKIT (a collection of our best training materials over the past seven years), and an enthusiasm to answer the frequently asked questions and your intriguing questions that are new to me.
2. Because of the importance of this role, all leaders are designated a pastor (that’s me), an elder who prays for and is available to them, and a coach for assistance, encouragement and accountability of their own growth as a follower of Jesus.
3. The blog you’re reading now is also an increasingly more comprehensive quick-reference for many areas of small group leadership.
How to Become a Leader
“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1 ESV)
Join our great team of leaders this year, by:
- Contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-582-8040, or marking your interest on a Communication Card in the weekend services
- Attending the August 24 “Go Fish” Materials Meeting
- Attending the Sept. 14 LC3 Ministry Summit
Reblog from 2011 – pertinent for our small groups at this moment this year. And, fun to reminisce those warm 2011 summer days 🙂
Maximizing Your Small Group’s Summer
Small Group Leaders and friends, isn’t it great to be in the ministry of shepherding people towards Christlikeness!? For most of you, the bulk of your work for the 10/11 season is over. But, don’t limp across the finish line! Fly across it like a champion by MAXIMIZING your summer! Here’s how.
In my last blog post I attached this document (Here it is again): What Have You Got Planned This Summer. I recommend you print it out for your next meeting, and make a note of your top ideas to suggest; then talk over with your group as you make plans for the summer.
Sample Group Idea!! – Sarah and I were excited to receive some recent insight from small group leaders John and Shari Schock about how their group maximizes summertime. At the end of the small group year (which is…
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by Tung Le, Small Group Coach
Ask any teacher about “spring fever” and they will tell you it is a real thing. As the weather gets more beautiful, and as children see the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, they begin to lose focus on the present. In the same way, at this time of the year, small groups begin looking to the summer and the end of the spring semester. As that happens, I’d like to encourage small group leaders to consider the following actions in response:
“Has it been 10 weeks already?” “He is on the road back to Lakewood right now?” I asked these questions just a couple weeks ago, as Pastor Jim and his family returned to LC3. He was probably asking the same questions, of course.
We are glad to have Pastor Jim, Jaci, Bethlehem and Tarike back from enjoying a well-earned sabbatical after Jim’s 14th year of ministry at LC3. It was a joy for me to serve as LC3’s Interim Senior Pastor for the 10 weeks they were away.
Now on this side of that 10 week commission, I want to share an inside look from the eyes of a “senior pastor.”
First, a little background. Since 2001, when I moved to Washington State to enter seminary, I have completed numerous pastoral classes; read many pastors books; had several pastoral mentors speak into my life. I have worked closely with Pastor Jim for over a decade. I was even a pastor’s kid my entire childhood!
But, as happens with most things, experience taught me much that cannot be discovered in books and classes. Experiencing is different than knowing.
Here are a few major lessons learned from the teacher of experience.
A senior pastor must constantly work to stay in front of communication
He must proactively schedule astute and thorough communication on every front; contemplating incessantly if there is ANY more communication needed or that would be beneficial.
This includes every type of communication: Vision casting communication, relationship building communication, expectations and planning communication, motivating communication, conflict resolution and reduction communication; any other type of communication he can think of. Constantly. Tirelessly. Regularly asking God to graciously give him the right messages to tell the right people, at the right time. Because if something is missed, someone is let down or uninformed; opportunities are lost; irritation replaces unity.
“Senior pastor” is a unique position of service
The role of senior pastor differs notably from those of associate pastor or ministry leader. As an associate pastor, which I have been for almost nine years, I spend a great deal of time in the trenches of building relationships and equipping leaders, teams, and groups for ministry and mission. As an associate pastor I have more intimate awareness of details, needs, and opportunities, and more time to address them.
The role of senior pastor, however, (at any church larger than 150) requires a broader form of leading, teaching, “visioneering,” and administrating. Though the senior pastor must spend at least some time in relationship building, equipping, counseling, visiting, etc. in order to remain an effective and informed overseer, the majority of his time and energy must be spent on matters of larger perspective. A helpful analogy of this role is moving from the shepherd of a flock to a rancher who directs many shepherds and a much larger flock.
Again, I knew this, but, after these 10 weeks, I have experienced it. Experiencing is different than knowing.
It is different. As an associate pastor, I shepherd more, relationally. In fact, as a small groups/community/discipleship pastor, I have given my life to the relational aspects of the Christian life.
Senior pastors know the necessity of relationships among the Body, but contribute to them by setting vision, modelling relationships with their leadership teams, and then equipping and unleashing these leaders to carry out that work through the church.
I have known this, but experiencing is different than knowing.
Senior pastors carry bigger loads
Senior pastors carry bigger loads of responsibility, pressure, demands, attention, exposure, and of attack from the enemy. Accordingly, the role requires bigger loads of prayer, bigger shoulders, more discipline, more accountability, more humility; more teamwork.
I have known this, too, but experiencing is different than knowing.
It meant a lot when Pastor Jim told me he believed without a doubt that I was ready for this experience. And, by God’s gracious work in my life, I felt ready. But, the load is big, which is clearly why Pastor Jim continually asks the LC3 Family for our prayers, which are for his benefit and ours. This is why Paul instructs the church on behalf of its leaders: “Brothers, pray for us” (1 Thes. 5:25).
Back to Normal…For a Few More Days
Jim’s return means getting my life’s normal craziness back. It is enjoyable to recognize how these experiences are already translating back to my involvement with small groups and adult ministries. Good communication, humble servant-leadership, healthy relationships with my teams, dependence on God; capacity for bigger loads – I am grateful to have grown in these areas…by experience.
And, now? Now it is time for my family’s sabbatical. We leave this Thursday, and will be back at the end of May. I will likely write something about that experience as well, except with many more (and cuter) pictures. Please pray for us as Sarah and I attend a Church Planting conference, as I work on my Doctor of Ministry Dissertation, and as we spend some quality time with our family and longtime friends. I look forward to returning to His service with you all, refreshed and energized.
For His glory and our joy,
Hi Church Family and Friends,
HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!
What is going to mark your life in 2014? Here is one important idea.
Both God and experience declare that reading and applying the Bible will impact your life’s success more than anything else. So, let’s make sure we have a plan to make Bible reading a priority this year.
First, some encouragement. If we spend some time and energy on the Bible, we can master it! Don’t let it get crowded out of your life this year. Love God and His Word. Be excited about these Words of Life! Be committed to them. Never assume they are irrelevant or not understandable. Make this your top priority this year!
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” – Jesus (John 15:4)
Now the question, How?
Here are several good resources for making Bible reading a priority this year:
Bible Reading Plans
Bible reading plans work. There are many. Here are the best for our church to consider:
- Our church’s website has for a long time listed this good option – http://www.lc3.com/#/resources/bible-reading-plan
- Even better is the fantastic collection of creative Bible reading plans offered by “YouVersion” – a free “ap” on your smartphone, or a free website, at www.youversion.com/reading-plans. I have never seen a better collection of Bible reading plans. And, their daily reminder options are actually very helpful. Here are the types of categories of plans that you can try. There are dozens of plans within these categories:
Related to the works of many of your favorite authors or artists
Seasonal and Holiday themes
Youth, Kids (Now with an exciting free app for kids, which my kids love!)
And more! Don’t hesitate to sign up for a free account with this website. It’s one of the best web tools out there.
- Pastor Jim’s favorite website to recommend for reading plans and other various helps for exploring and understanding the Bible is www.biblestudytools.com. Be sure to save that one to your “favorites” as well.
- Another good possible place to start – to survey the entire Bible through some of its most essential passages, try the 100 Essential Passages Bible Reading Plan
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
You have been encouraged and equipped for a transforming year of experiencing God’s will in your life. The rest is up to you! Enjoy the journey.
Blessings on 2014,