Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – A Perfect Choice for Fall 2018

sermon on the mount 1

They call it “The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached,” though I don’t really like to rate sermons because that involves both subjective and objective elements. What is not effective for one person might be the most life-changing sermon ever for someone else, right?

Still, it is hard to argue against Matthew 5-7 as the greatest sermon of all time. I mean, what is preaching but to exposit and herald God’s Word? And, what do we have in these chapters but Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, heralding the Word of God!

And, if this was the only fragment of Scripture you could get your hands on, it would be sufficient for salvation and a life of maturing faith. That can’t be said about many other sermons.

Our Story This Fall

Construction Delay

Returning leaders and members who know that we do an all-church sermon and small group series every fall have begun to wonder, “What IS our fall series going to be this year!?”

You might know that we were planning to create an in-house series again this year, that would use God’s Word to define who we are as Christians and as LC3, in conjunction with the move into our new facility. But, with the move now delayed to November, that fall series plan was suspended.

This sent us back to the drawing board, which ultimately resulted in a decision which has proven relevant and timely. Before we move into our new facility and explore the facets of who we are in Jesus, we will dwell for a season in Jesus’ words and become truly more like Him!

Curriculum Choice

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“We were made to be different and live in such a way that it’s clear we aren’t bandwagon crowd-followers; we’re followers of Jesus. That fact makes us stand apart—distinct from the crowd.” – Michael Kelley

We were happy to discover “Distinct,” a solid and simple small group curriculum that will perfectly accompany our sermon series, breaking down Matthew 5 into the same six sections that our sermons will cover. It is solid in that it is centered on the Word, produced by trusted LifeWay Publishers, and taught by Michael Kelley, who, as the Director of Groups at LifeWay, knows how to craft a useful guide for groups.

It is simple in that the chapters and videos are insightful yet short, leaving plenty of time for guided group discussion about the Bible texts. The book’s extra features, like ice breaker questions, thought provoking exercises, and attainable applications, are all excellent.

As always, our group leaders will be well equipped in our training sessions to maximize the benefit for their groups from the weekend sermons, the accompanying curriculum, and the time we have together this fall.

Important Dates

Here are the key dates to mark on your calendars!

  1. Month of August – August is our busy and active month of identifying and equipping new Small Group Leaders. Is God calling you to lead or host a group?
  2. August 17/18 – Small Group Coaches Prayer & Planning Overnight Retreat. Will you make a note to pray for this leadership team over these two days?
  3. After August 18 – I and the coaches begin touching base with all returning and potential small group leaders. Major promotion and communication begin.
  4. August 25/26 – Small Group Signups begin!
  5. Wednesday, September 5 – Small Group Leader Training, WITH DINNER, 6:00pm – 8:00pm. (RSVP’s needed – for dinner and childcare. Returning leaders watch for e-vite. Everyone else, feel free to email me at reg.overstreet@lc3.com.)
  6. *Week of September 9 – Official Small Group Kick Off Week, leaving two “get to know each other” weeks before the “Distinct” series begins.
  7. Sunday, September 16 – Small Group Leader Training Makeup Session, during second service, 11:00am – 12:15pm. (As always, we offer the training session on two dates, to hopefully get 100% attendance.)
  8. Six Weeks, September 23 – October 28 – All-Church Sermon and Small Group Fall Series, “Distinct”
  9. Week of December 9 – Official end of fall semester. The series finishes six weeks before the fall semester ends, allowing leaders the option to continue studying further in Matthew (resources available), and/or to do other group activities such as outreach/service projects, worship/communion nights, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving dinner, and, of course, a finale Christmas Party!

*Notice that our leader training is a bit later than usual. This is because our fall series starts a little later than usual, and because we are going to avoid Labor Day weekend, AND this will allow the maximum number of hopeful small group leaders to participate.

Books and DVDs

distinct

Small group leaders can pick up their book and DVD (and their group’s books if they choose) at the SG Leader Training. Small group members can get their books 1) from their leaders, 2) at the small groups table on weekends, or 3) in the church office, starting in September.

Children’s and youth small groups will also do this series, adding to the family experience!

How to Join a Group

Beginning on August 25/26, we will launch several methods to join a group: signup display in the foyer, an opportunity to meet leaders, the “small group catalogs” passed out in the worship services, and the online “Group Finder” on lc3.com/ministries/small-groups.

I am looking forward to deepening our walks with Jesus and each other, and praying for this fall right now!

Pastor Reg

P.S. If you are not presently a leader or in leader training, but would like to explore your gifts and possible calling in that area, please feel free to attend the leader trainings, or let me know about your interest by emailing me, reg.overstreet@lc3.com.

40 Testimonies of God’s Goodness in LC3 Small Groups, Spring 2018

Sring 2018 testimonies and photos

We have described small groups at LC3 as “the church scattered in homes throughout our community.”  We have called them “church families on a mission.”  We have explained, small groups are the place where the rest of Christianity takes place – outside  the walls of the weekend gatherings.

Our small groups’ mission is, “To make disciples who make disciples in relational environments.”

ALL of these adages proved true this Winter/Spring, and it is time to praise God and  share the joy of testimonies to His goodness in our small groups at LC3. Enjoy these photos and testimonies!

Quotes from Members about the Year

Small Group Members were asked to describe their favorite aspects of being in Christian community with their small group this year, with many different answers given:

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg  It has been a wonderful small group year. God constructed a loving inter-generational group for us whom has allowed themselves to be vulnerable and supportive for each other. 

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg We have developed a sense of family and caring for each other. 

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg  Watching the biblical expression of 2 Corinthians 1:4 being lived out in our group as we have comforted each other through loss and trial.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg Just the volume of answered prayer and the high percentage that were positive answers. There is so much trust and intimacy in the group.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgIt’s been another great year of joining together and sharing our anguish, struggles, and praises with studies of God’s word away to help us through! Getting to know each other more deeper n make richer relationships with each other so rich that we don’t want to stop seeing each other even through the summer! I appreciate these fellowship and Christians that I have to run to when I need help.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgFun, fellowship, friendships, support, ministry, and spiritual growth! It has been a highlight of my week, something to look forward to.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgIt’s been great. We have grown spiritually, our relationships with the group have grown greatly, and we were challenged by the topics. We look forward to next year.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe have appreciated our leaders’ faithful and wonderful leadership, their hospitality week after week to us just means so much. They serve so very well as a team and we are blessed to be in their group and lives!

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgI think we began to bond through the weeks when we met separately and could discuss the lessons in the smaller group setting. There was some very thought provoking material in the 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe and we had some great discussions. We are a very diverse group, but through these times we have come to care better for one another and encourage and support one another. I truly look forward to our gatherings together!

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgI have found our small group instrumental for my personal growth. The Holy Spirit is working for sure, just not in the way “I want”.  Ha ha. Holy Spirit is wonderful.  My growth is slow, but sure.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgIt means a lot to me to have the spiritual support of my small group. I love the prayer support. It also strengthens my walk with God to study His Word together. They are family to me. We follow that scripture, “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgIt has been another great year of learning God’s word with other fellow believers in Christ and sharing grace and peace with one another.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe feel privileged to belong to a small group. In a big church such as ours it is a way to establish a core of fellow believers we can really get to know. Also, it has been a blessing to experience the different teaching styles that we have been exposed to.

photo 10

The Photogenic Snyder Group

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VBS Group, party at Bruno’s

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Nelson Group hosting a lunch to honor LC3 widows.

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West/Wilcox Group’s massive yard restoration project for a local shut-in.

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Overstreet “Forgiveness” Group, after doing the Thank You Challenge

Quotes from Leaders

Our Leaders were asked the question: “What were the most meaningful things God did in your group this year?” They answered:

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgLearning of a member’s decision to follow Christ and then baptizing them together was a highlight! Also, the rotation of members leading discussions from week to week.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg We have seen significant growth in some newer believers, and enjoyed the camaraderie and influence of the missionaries in the group. Men going through book Family Driven Faith has been great, too.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg Seeing our steady group members grow in the Lord as they practice Bible intake and Prayer.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg Seeing how much the group members enjoy social time together and supporting each other in prayer.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg  The Prayer Echo app has been instrumental in keeping in touch and praying for each other throughout the week. Attending the Desert Auction as a small group.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg  Getting 3 of my guys to come out for man camp. Getting our silent members to open up.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpg  Six of our group are on the KAN Team. We have spent hundreds of hours developing and implementing the project along with other KAN Team members. Organizing the dessert auction was rewarding.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe were able to support each other. Four husbands passing into heaven this year, and one new marriage, plus many medical issues, etc

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe held an outreach luncheon for some of the ladies of LC3.  It was amazing how God provided for every need including a golf cart to help shuttle the ladies down our long narrow driveway.  What a blessing.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgThe group continued  to thrive, even though we had to pull away for medical reasons. I am so proud of the entire group.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe had some answered prayer requests with the arrival of a baby, a good report from a biopsy, success in many ministries and personal endeavors that required prayer, and the safe return of several spouses away for military training. All of these answered prayers we give God the glory and appreciate that He allowed us to contribute prayers for Him to answer.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgWe all grew closer together like a mini-church family as we prayed for and practically helped each other through crises in our lives whether it was physical, spiritual, or just battling Satan.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgSince we only started in January, was pleased to see how quickly the group coalesced into a cohesive group – celebrated with each other in baptism, salvation of family members, success at work; prayed each other through loss of parent, cancer surgery, and difficult seasons at work and with family.  Confronted issues in our personal walks with Christ that needed attention and began working on those areas.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgA deeper connection as a group and real service occurring within the group.  Each family with children had real struggles with their kids and were able to share these struggles with the group.  Tremendous trust and care for one another flowed from each struggle shared.  I was very glad to see this and it made me very thankful to be part of this group.

small-groups-logo-pro.jpgGod sent people to our group who need to know Jesus.  Pray for them and for us!  We were able to witness extensively.

Two Special Stories

Much more happens in our small groups than ever gets reported. So, when stories are shared, we want to share them with everyone! Two special stories help describe the kind of semester it was.

1. A Memorable Homeless Thanksgiving Dinner

The Cameron Group hosted their second annual homeless Thanksgiving dinner this year, and asked another small group leader, David Wilcox, to give the message. Ali writes about the day:

It went really well. The numbers of our homeless friends’ attendance has been dwindling since the city is displacing them further back into the woods and away from the city. But, about 20-ish homeless folks came through during the couple hours. David shared a brief message that especially captured a couple of the men that stayed to listen. One of them asked for a Bible afterwards. We were able to send leftover food home with Mary (seen in the last pic in the purple sweater), who lives on the west side of Olympia and feeds the folks regularly. That’s a huge blessing for her and them.

Probably my favorite story from the day was that one of our close friends, Chris, who is a homeless heroin dealer, got out of jail that day and came straight to the park and ate with us. He was able to get clean and sober in jail and had a clarity of mind to realize he needs God’s help to straighten out his life. He wants to start going to church and start working his way out of the death lifestyle. Please pray for him and his girlfriend Janet. Our vision is to see him leading a church outdoors at the park. He said he valued our Bible studies and presence there over the years and would love to see a church there. There’s a fantastic church near the park, but since taking Perspectives, I see that the barriers are many for the folks on the streets attending that church.

Here are some pics:

2. Ongoing Outreach Ministry

The VBS Group not only enjoyed great Bible study and loving leadership from their leaders Eric and Julie, they also performed a regular outreach ministry together, which Lynn A. describes:

On February 7, we returned to Peoples Retirement Center to celebrate Valentines Day with the residents. 20 or so residents as well as 4 or 5 staff members attended our little gathering. Three of the residents who attended our December celebration were also in attendance on the 7th.

Fred and Mae B., Jim M., Eric and Julie V, as well as Larry and myself took treats and card to those who attended.  Eric gave a devotion that included the historical background of St. Valentine and then shared how much God loved them. Our small group members visited with the residents. A few residents are interested in pursuing a regularly scheduled Bible Study. Our small group is considering how this will fit with our group meetings and our busy schedules. We will be praying for God to work out the details for this Bible Study.

Our small group will be returning to Peoples during Holy Week to share the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Yours in Christ,

Lynn Allport for Eric VBS

Von Barnau Sythoff Small group

To Our Coaches

Our small group coaches this year were Tony Oury, Joe Devine, Catlan Sardina, Tim Hayes, Kelsey Underwood,  Eric Wylie, and me. This team was on fire this semester, from the January training (which the coaches led), and bringing the coaching ministry to a new level this year, to the ongoing devoted relational ministry they gave to the leaders throughout the year. Thank you, brothers and sister, for your ministry partnership!

Catlan

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Our Year-End Party

In mid-June we enjoyed our annual Year-End Leader Party once again, with good fellowship, food, games, recognition, and praise. To God be all the glory, and we are thankful that He shares so much with His Church – His family – His children whom He has purchased through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Year end party 2018 a

Most groups take the summer off, though several various summer connection opportunities at LC3 can be found on our website, here.

What does 2018-19 hold? Only God knows, but we will do our best to find out!

For His glory and our joy,

Pastor Reg

 

 

 

Our Fall 2017 Series: The God Questions

God Questions

This fall, we will explore some of the most difficult questions about God. This post contains the details!

About the Series

Have you ever ignored people’s difficult questions about God, telling them that they should not ask those questions, or to just have more faith? Maybe you haven’t. But, sadly, those responses are a major reason people cite for leaving the church. That does not need to be!

The God Questions is our six-week sermon series and small group study designed to address the toughest questions head-on.

These include:

God Questions1

  1. Is God real?
  2. Is the Bible really HIS Word, or just an ancient text?
  3. Is there really only one way to heaven?
  4. If God is so good, why is there so much bad in our world?
  5. Why do evolutionists and creationists disagree so heatedly?
  6. What happens when I die?

We have the confidence to believe God is big and loving enough to answer all of these, and many more that will surface. We will uncover truth, grow our own faith, and be equipped to answer others’ questions. We will do so all together in sermons and in relationship in small groups. Will you join us?

Calendar

  • Month of August – August is our busy and active month of identifying and equipping new Small Group Leaders. Is God calling you to lead or host a group?
  • Sunday, August 27 The God Questions Small Group Leader Connection and Training – In the Upper Gym, during 2nd service, 10:30AM-12:00PM
  • August 26/27 – Small Group signups begin, via small group catalogs in service, signup display in foyer, or church website)
  • ministry summit 2015Saturday, September 9 – LCCC Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping for several areas of ministry.  9:00AM-1:00PM. (Includes Apologetics training in preparation for the God Questions, and the Small Group Leader Training makeup session.)
  • Week of September  10 – Small Groups Kick Off! – The first two weeks are to get to know each other and set group expectations, dates, and goals.
  • September 16/17 Introduction to the God Questions 
  • September  23/24 – The God Questions #1
  • September  30 – LCCC Membership Class, 9:00AM – 12:45PM
  • September  30/Oct. 1The God Questions #2 
  • October 7/8 – The God Questions #3  
  • October 14/15 – The God Questions #4  
  • October 21/22 – The God Questions #5  
  • Oct. 28/29 – The God Questions #6  
  • November – mid-December – The series finishes six weeks before the fall semester ends, allowing leaders to schedule semester-end activities such as outreach and service projects, worship/communion nights, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party!

Books and DVDs

God Questions2

Small group leaders can pick up their group’s books and DVD beginning at the God Questions SG Leader Training on Sunday, August 27. Small group members can get their books as they join a group, starting August 26/27. Children’s and youth small groups will do this series, too, adding to the family experience!

How to Join a Group

Beginning on August 26/27, we will pass out the “small group catalogs” in the worship services, have a signup display in the foyer, and update the online “Group Finder” on lc3.com/connect/small-groups.

I am looking forward to all this fall holds for us, and praying for it now!

Pastor Reg

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18

Reg’s Doctoral Church Planting Presentation

grad 1

Welcome to lc3life.com! If that sounds like a new website, it is. Kind of. We recently changed the name of the long running “lakecitysmallgroups.com” to “lc3life.com” primarily for the purpose of featuring new topics such as church planting, missions, and others which may come.

But, I haven’t been able to post here until my dissertation on church planting was completed. I am happy to say… it is now completed!

So, for my inaugural post on the topic of church planting, please enjoy one of these two videos:

grad 2

Video 1 contains my entire doctoral dissertation defense/presentation, held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Lake City Community Church in Lakewood, WA. The video includes an introduction from Corban University Doctor of Ministry Director, Dr. Leroy Goertzen, and a time for questions and answers at the end. The 32-page presentation handout can be downloaded on PDF right here – PRESENTATION – Handout.

The title of my dissertation is, “PREPARING TO PLANT SUCCESSFUL CHURCHES: DISCOVERING PREPARATION COMMONALITIES IN VIABLE CHURCH PLANTS IN WESTERN WASHINGTON STATE.” The entire 300+ page dissertation will be available for consumption in a couple months.

Video 2 is an 8-minute clip from the full video above in which I discuss laying the theological foundation for church planting. Without that foundation, the research and the rest of our conversation doesn’t much matter.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, I plan to add content from my research over the last three years to this blog, as well as new discoveries as Lake City Community Church proceeds on our church planting adventures, as God leads and directs.

The conversation has begun. The prayers continue. Please join both!

For His glory and our joy,

Reg

P.S. If you are reading this before May 7, you are invited to Graduation Open House at LCCC on Sunday, May 7, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. We want to thank the church for being so supportive, and celebrate the conclusion of one chapter and the opening of many new chapters ahead.

 

Winter/Spring 2016 Photo Contest Results!

Thank you to all the 15 small groups who participated in this fun photo contest!! Below are the “snap shots”, and results, from the contest. Enjoy!! (We’ll see what Coach Ray Pancho has up his sleeve for next year.)

1st placeTeam Johnson  – “The Rapture”

2nd placeTeam Nelson/Pancho  – “Goin’ Fishin'”

3rd placeTeam Wadle/Rovinski  – “Glad to the Bone”

13332960_10209492238533152_9098261008221575244_nTeam Walmer – “Son of Blue Man Group”

13346513_10209492238813159_4039231339144962340_nTeam Tchobanoff – “Road Trip”

13315401_10209492237813134_5853352417463732275_nTeam Overstreet/Schneider – “Eating & Drinking Theology”

13319706_10209492234213044_5033809955637449936_nTeam Copp – “Water Warriors”

13320004_10209492236653105_308128932344381410_nTeam Strong – “Amazing Race”

13321859_10209492234053040_178456877343900822_nTeam Purses/Grossenbach

13332824_10209492238693156_2911754791579702068_nTeam Higbee – “Grub Got (May God Greet You)”

13335567_10209492235813084_375773997594795540_nTeam Krogh – “R.I.B.S: Rejoice In Being Servants”

13335936_10209492239933187_9031252672349136196_nTeam Small Group Coaches – “Jedi Coaches”

13339700_10209492238493151_524222340189631704_nTeam Smedley – “Golden Oldies”

13346494_10209492234533052_2356289171564507988_nTeam Palomino/Black – “Mustache May”

13346905_10209492235613079_3079383552643268655_nTeam Young

Early 2016 Dates and Fall 2015 Testimonies

Early Winter/Spring 2016 Dates

  • Saturday/Sunday, January 2/3 – Small Group Signups begin (catalogs in worship services, small group listings at foyer table and church website)
  • Sunday, January 10 – SG Leader Vision/Training Session, 10:00-11:15AM, LCCC Gym (One session offered twice. This is option 1.)
  • January 17 – 23 – Official SG Kickoff Week!
  • Saturday, January 23Church Family Summit, 9:00AM-1:00PM (Four hours of workshops for the entire church family. The small group leader training makeup session will be one 50 minute workshop.)
  • Saturday, February 6 – LCCC Membership Class 

Fall 2015 Testimonies

It’s always good to celebrate what God is doing in and through us. Take a minute to enjoy these fun reports and pictures from the semester that just ended!

1. From new leaders of a new group who didn’t know what kind of group God would assemble:

We’ve had 14 contacts you’ve sent of couples and singles. Of those, one is a missionary; another has two daughters entering mission work; one is an Army Chaplain who was able to connect with another who wants to become an Air Force Chaplain, and another who has also done mission work. We have quite a theme here!

Fun Note: This group eventually called themselves the “RIBS Small Group” (Rejoice in Being Servants).

2. A small group in action:

We garnered help from our group for the Harvest Carnival and made tentative plans for a potluck. Next week we are going to start with the You’ll Get Through This video and then move outside around the fire pit for our discussion ending with s’mores (might be a good time for a visit-wink, wink).

Sadly, I had to miss their s’mores night, but visiting the groups each semester is a personal highlight for me and our small group coaches.

3. A leader shared this anonymous note and said to me, “Reg, this is what is kind of cool about being a small group leader.”

…Thanks for the kind word.  You actually just caused me to Google the word shy and it’s funny because I’m a little too proud to say that about myself, but the definition fits: “Being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people.”  It’s actually a little tough to swallow. But it’s a trait I have carried my whole life. Thank God He blessed me with an amazing family who I can be absolutely opened up to, without any shields or filters or fears. With them, I get to be a comedian, a rock star, a superhero.

That’s why we do what we do.

ReEngage

4. One of many ReEngage Testimonies:

Ben and Nina say:

ReEngage has caused a focus shift in our marriage; we have both started to serve our spouse more, and put their needs and desires ahead of our own. We apologize out loud and ask forgiveness of each other when we mess up, and we are more gracious and patient in general. We are a team, and we spend intentional time together growing that bond. We love ReEngage!

 

~Nina

5. Numerous shorter statements shared this fall:

  • “You’ll Get Through This” has caused some interesting discussions. Our members are pretty good about sharing openly, and the trust level is getting high.
  • We did the videos together, then split into men and women. This has worked very well as more open sharing has occurred.
  • Separating guys and girls has worked out well for our group this Fall.
  • Top moments this semester were singing with the children at the end of our meetings and sharing our testimonies.
  • We have addressed many prayer needs in the group from strength to deal with an antagonistic coworker, to providing a partner for a mission trip, to dealing with a problem special education teacher, to serious health issues, to travel mercies.
  • We have connected more outside of the group.
  • You will be happy to know that we are starting an inner circle (leadership/discipleship team).

6. Pictures!

ygtt motto

The YGTT Motto

corn maze

Corn Maze field trip

Higbee Harvest Carnival

Higbee Group – Loving the World around us

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Our Mission and Vision

Golf champtions

Winners of the First Annual Lake City Small Group Golf Twosome Tournament

Tchobanoff Western State Christmas project

Tchobanoff Group Service/Outreach Project at Western State

caroling

This one is tonight! Care to join them??

 

Thompson 2015

The Justin and Blythe Thompson family, LCCC’s newest supported missionaries, toured most of the small groups this fall, meeting almost 300 people personally.

Krogh Christmas party

Christmas parties abound! (Pictured is the Krogh group’s “Virtual Coffee Mug Exchange”)

Meagher group family shot

                                                                       Meagher group family shot

Wadle party

                                                             Wadle/Rovinski painting night!

7. From a leader’s prayer report:

Praise the Lord for a great small group Christmas party. One person told me, “Small group is the only thing that I look forward to each week since moving here last summer.”

We could go on and on, but suffice to say God was glorified and we were blessed in our community this year. So much more to experience in the Winter/Spring 2016 semester, which kicks off the week of January 17. If you are not in a group yet, join one by then! See how and start browsing now  right here.

For His glory and our joy,

Pastor Reg

“You’ll Get Through This” – LCCC’s Fall Series, 2015

You'll get through this

“…But God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” – Genesis 50:20

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.

Calendar

  • 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)
  • ministry summit 2015Saturday, 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

From “You’ll Get Through This”, DVD

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, 

Pastor Reg 

 

Planning your Next Small Group Semester: Have You Thought of Everything?

Plan, 2015-1

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

Calendar - generic

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!

acts

NOW, Choose the Right Curriculum

See our entire small group curriculum library list, here.

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!)

curr, 2013

And, don’t forget that you can help us keep building up our curriculum library, with…

“The Lake City Offer”

If you are interested in using a curriculum we do not currently have, I will buy the leader book and DVD (if there is one) for you, if you will return it when finished, to add to our library. Your group members will just buy their own participant guides, if there is one. This offer helps future groups and eliminates any hesitation based on the cost of a study!

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: 
    1. Option 1 – Offered as a workshop at the Church Family Summit, Saturday, January 10, 9:00AM-1:00PM.
    2. 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,

Pastor Reg

GO FISH – LCCC’s Fall Series, 2014

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

Go Fish 2 - with text 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.

The Backstory

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:

The Plan

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.

The Resource

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.

The Schedule

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 otherMinistry Summit 2014
  • Saturday, Sept. 13LC3 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. 25/26Go 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,

Pastor Reg

Steps for Planning your Winter/Spring Semester, 2014

plan

Our groups are winding down the Fall, 2013 Semester. Finish well, beloved groups. This post is to help as you pray and plan for next semester.

Here are some helpful steps and resources for your effective planning.

TOOLKIT and Small Group Vital Signs Book

Vital Signs

These are our primary leadership resources. They emphasize (and reward) proactive leadership. One of the best preparations you can make before Winter/Spring kickoff is to flip through these great resources again to build up your vision and gather ideas, so you can better lead those entrusted to your care. 

Leaders, co-leaders and Inner Circles should have these two resources. If you do not, tell me and I will get you one ASAP.

How NOT to Start Your Next Semester

As we often clarify, small groups are more than Bible studies. Small groups are our glorious opportunity to live out ALL the New Testament’s design for the church, with each other, for Jesus’ purposes. (read Acts 2:42-47 again, for example).

The problem: Experience shows that if you start your group’s experience with a Bible study, you will be locked into the “Bible study” mold and mentality, no matter what you try to do later.

The solution: Wisdom suggests you start your semester with the other things that get crowded out:

  • 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, saying “We are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus!”
  • Start with sharing a few personal salvation testimonies, to celebrate God’s grace in our lives.
  • Start with having the kids involved in worship, seeing Jesus Christ proclaimed as the purpose for your existence.
  • Then, start your study. We have 16-20 weeks in the Winter/Spring Semester – plenty of time to do it all!

acts

NOW, Time to Choose a Study

Our foundation is always God’s Word, and a curriculum used well can be an effective tool.

As always, I have laid out our ever-expanding small group curriculum library on a table in my office, for you to come by and browse, or borrow a couple to check out.

curr, 2013

See our entire curriculum library list, here.

And, don’t forget that you can help us keep building up our curriculum library, with “the Lake City Offer”…

“The Lake City Offer”

If you are interested in using a curriculum we do not have, I will buy the leader book and DVD (if there is one) for you, if you will return it when finished, to add to our library. Your group members will just buy their own participant guides, if there is one. 

This offer helps future groups and eliminates any hesitation based on the cost of a study.

Important Leader Training and Kickoff Dates

Here are a few important dates to put on your calendar right now:

As always, there is one required January training session which will be offered twice, for your scheduling convenience: 

  1. First offering – Sunday, January 12, during 2nd service (10:50-12:10pm).
  2. Second offering – at the Church Family Summit, on Saturday, January 25, 9:00AM-1:00PM. Young Life Field Vice President, Bill Paige, will be our plenary speaker.

The full Church-Family Summit Schedule will be out soon. All training sessions are always open for walk-ins.

UPDATE

Phil Downer

Two exciting events have just been added. Author, speaker, and mentor of our small group leader Kevin Bouren, Phil Downer, is speaking to several thousand at JBLM, from January 13-17. We have just added two dates with him at LCCC:

1.  Monday, Jan. 13, 6:00-8:00pm – Speaking to small group leaders, ministry leaders, and all church leaders. TopicSpiritually Reproducing Your Life – Spiritual Multiplication. 

2.  Wednesday, Jan. 15, open dinner in Friendship Room, 5:30-6:15pm; Session for outreach and encouragement, from 6:30-8:00pm. Topic: Family – From Hell To Eternity: Strengthening Marriages through Men’s Mentorship/Discipleship

The Winter/Spring Semester kicks off the week of January 19, after a few weeks of signups. So, leaders, be prepared to welcome new people, if possible.  It runs through early June, so it’s a bit longer than the Fall Semester, leaving you room to do more things.

Continue to cast the vision that small groups are not merely Bible studies, but rather the “church scattered in communities, passionately living out Christlike love for God, one another and the world.”  The Winter/Spring Semester allows for a breadth of formative experiences for your group. 

May God be glorified in our ministry,

Pastor Reg