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.

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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

coaches

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

 

 

 

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

mission vision - 2

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

Early Testimonies from the HEROES Series, Fall 2012

It is always great to hear testimonies about what God is doing, and we already have several great stories to celebrate from our HEROES Series this fall.

1.     From one leader shortly after the Ministry Summit’s training on using Jesus’ Serpent/Dove Method to bring Jesus into people’s hearts by asking questions instead of “fixing” with our own advice:

Hi Reg,

I used the Serpent/Dove method with my daughter this morning. It was incredible!  Because my opinions, thoughts & feelings weren’t the focus I was able to  really listen & ask key questions based on what she was telling me. I even used Jake’s phrase…..”so, lets get away from talking about the individual & their problems & get back to  whats going on inside of you.”   Instead of me advising & fixing & telling her what she should or shouldn’t do, she answered her own questions and gained insight for herself as to why she was struggling so much over a difficult decision she needs to make concerning this same individual and that she can go to God’s Word for wisdom.

All glory goes to God when we honor others by listening and put the focus on Jesus instead of ourselves.

Blessings

2.     An email I received after Lesson One: The Faith of Abraham

Reg,

We had __ adults last night and tears were flowing within the first 5 minutes of the conversation.  All but three people opened their hearts and shared last night in powerful ways!  The Holy Spirit was absolutely moving from beginning to end.  To God be all the glory!

[One member] said the group went deeper in one night last night than their group ever went in an entire year last year.

Praise be to God!!!

3.     From one of our newer leaders:

Last night went great! God definitely provided someone to mentor.

The storytelling went well and was easier than I had expected. We dialogued a little during the story, and then rebuilt it. As we started ‘going deeper’ a couple people started talking about hearing God’s voice and as I thought it was an opportunity to explore I found out that they didn’t feel that God was speaking to them or that they were hearing God’s voice. I decided to use the rest of our time on hearing God’s word.

I know the Spirit was leading cause of a story one of the girls shared that coincided with what we decided to discuss.

4.     Another leader’s observation about the HEROES biblical storytelling method:

One thing I noticed/love about the biblical storytelling method is that no energy is spent on things like, “I didn’t like what the author said about…; I didn’t agree with this…; etc.”  It’s just Scripture going right into our hearts.

5.     Another remarkable story from the first night:

Hi Reg, tonight was our first opportunity to get into the text of our study. [My spouse] and I went in thinking “man, our group is NEVER going to open up.” It has been difficult getting to know each other at a deeper level. But as you’ve heard so many times by now, the walls came down and the tears were flowing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house tonight, praise The Lord!! It was so amazing and we have been so blessed by the things that took place and the things that were shared tonight. Just thought I’d let you know. So thankful that the Holy Spirit works despite our own doubts and shortcomings.

6.     A note from one small group member to their leader:

Hi guys. When I was talking last night about our friends who lost their little girl 4 yrs ago and who is now going through a possible miscarriage, [our leader] asked us a question. He said “When you experience something like that how can you trust God again”. Today on Facebook that same friend wrote this: “God knows what you have gone through because he was with you all along, keep the faith- I am keeping my faith.”

Our dear friends who have experienced the most tragic event a parent can, and to be going though another heart wrenching thing are CHOOSING to stay faithful because they know that God has not left them and that He is with them even when things go so wrong. MY faith is strengthened tonight because I now know that our friends have found that faith in God.

Thank you for being in this small group with us. May we continue to grow, learn and strengthen each other over the next few months.

See you next week!!

7.     A nice note from Sally C. about the HEROES study itself:

Hi, Reg. I want to thank you for the study provided for small groups this year. It really sparks good discussion, but better yet, I like it because it is not a “deep” study, one where I felt I have to be a Bible genius, but rather am able to be relational with those in our group. I personally feel that small groups should be about relationships as much as a Bible study. About sharing and praying, rather than an exegetic study. Small group, to me, is about family, and I surely do feel part of a family at our gatherings. Good job and I hope the future will bring more studies like this.

Thank you to all who were responsible for the writing and publishing of this study.

Sally Craig

 8.     And finally, a comment from a Communication Card in last Sunday’s services:

Praise for the Heroes Study. It has sparked a renewed vitality in our small group.

Praise God, indeed!

Maybe your group has not experienced flowing tears or great redemption stories, yet. That’s okay. Group life, like all life, goes through seasons. Some are dry, but guess what, God moves us through the desert. Some are average, but guess what, God grows us through disciplined persistence and perseverance. Some are painful, but as we know, God often uses those times most effectively of all.  And some are full harvest, which is where some of our groups are right now. As we share these great testimonies, we should all celebrate this time of God’s blessing and keep our eyes fixed on Him, through every season.

If you are not in a small group right now, it is always a good time to join one. See a list of the groups and how to join, right here.

Blessings on our homes,

Pastor Reg

Faith In Action Weekend, 2012: RECAP and VIDEOS

Last weekend was our third annual Faith In Action weekend, when as many from our church as can participate canvas our community in service/mission projects. This year 250 served in 22 projects.   In case you missed it, here is the slideshow:

In addition to showing this video in all of this weekend’s services, we celebrated our experiences with testimony time. The testimonies were great. They were not recorded, unfortunately, but such a blessing for everyone who heard them.

But, an annual day of service always raises one question:

Does having such an annual service day mean this is the only weekend our church is out serving people? Of course not, and thank God that LCCC cannot credibly be accused or even perceived that way.

But yet the remark is still made each year: “I wish we could do something like this all the time.” Well, the truth is, we can! Lake City is loaded with ministries and missions who are doing this every week.  Our 30-plus small groups can recreate this thrill any time they choose! We are training small group leaders to place an increasingly higher value of serving people and doing mission together, as a formative, obedient and blessed part of their Christian community.

Sermon

Another all-too-prevalent hindrance to a life of service is an all-too-busy life. I had the honor of preaching the “sermonette” in our testimony services last weekend. I focused on not merely serving, or leading, but servant-leading, as our Founder and Master Jesus Christ set the way for us to do.  To stay within my allotted time, I had to cut out this great illustration, which hits very close to home for me (and likely the other ultra-busy Christians out there). Thankfully, I have the opportunity to include it here.

Two administrators, named Darley and Batson, performed a moral psychology test at Princeton Theological Seminary, which I will call the Good Samaritan Experiment:”

Seminarians were asked to prepare and deliver a short talk on the parable of the Good Samaritan, and then to deliver their talks in another building, requiring a short walk between campus buildings. Darley and Batson used the walk as an analogy of the famous road between Jerusalem and Jericho, and to complete the scenario, positioned a student confederate along the way, who was slumped over, shabbily dressed, coughing and groaning. Darley and Batson wanted to see how each of the subjects would respond to the “victim.”

The factor that made a large difference in helping behavior was the time pressure put on the subjects. Those seminarians who were placed under great pressure tended to help less than the seminarians who were given a more leisurely pace to compose and deliver their short talks.

The seminarians under pressure seemed not to have processed the new situation (the “victim”) since they were so absorbed with fulfilling their first duty—preparing the talk and getting to the other building for their presentation on time. Indeed, several seminary students literally stepped over the victim as they hurried off to speak on the parable of the Good Samaritan!

When I think about this study, it reminds me that I too can fail to meet ethical obligations on my way to do a good deed.

“Faith In Action Man” Videos

Enjoy the videos, and take the poll!

Blessings on our church family as we serve and lead, for others’ benefits, all the time,

Pastor Reg

Three Inspiring Testimonies of Lake City Small Group Growth

I have always said that small groups are like children, in that each is incredibly unique. Another similarity between small groups and children is striking me these days. Like children, small groups mature.

This shouldn’t be surprising, since, according to Ephesians 4, that’s the whole point! “…then we will no longer be infants…Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ…”  (Eph. 4:11-16)

Today, I want to share just three examples of LCCC’s maturing small groups.  I hope these examples will give you ideas and inspiration for your own experience in Christian community.

1. Adam and Sharalyn Stenberg Group–-Being the Church Scattered (Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 5:19)

Here’s an awesome note I received from Adam about their group:

“I’ll also take this chance to share with you our new format, which we’re pretty excited about.  We finally started singing each meeting.  We kept talking about it, now are finally doing it.  We sing a few hymns around the piano after dinner.  Then we move on to memory work.  We’re doing the Navigator’s Topical Memory System (TMS).  Their third group is “Rely on God’s Resources.”  Each week, we’re responsible to memorize two verses and recite them to a partner or as a group.  Then we move into testimony time.

“We are rotating who gives their testimony each week…a chance to get to know each other as friends, know better how to pray for them, and ask some interesting questions.  Each person centers their testimony around a chapter from the book, “10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe.”  Each of the nine members selected one topic.  We can easily identify with many of them so that naturally leads into a group discussion.

“Then we end with prayer time. It’s all a way to get everyone involved and energized, develop camaraderie, and even involve the kids. Children take part in various aspects of the whole time so it cuts down on childcare needs. It took a few years, but the group is really melding well. We can feel free to drop our kids off with each other in a pinch.  Four sets of piano lessons are being given across the families. We’re really energized when we meet. It’s great to be a part of.”

What a great report!  These kinds of things don’t happen over night. Great job, Stenberg group, on growing over the last couple years to be “the church scattered” together!

2.  Woods Group – Creative and Productive Meeting Format (Col. 3:16; Eph 5:21)

Newer leaders, Jason and Stephanie Woods, have devised a remarkably impactful format for their group meetings:

“We begin with conversation and prayer. Then we study the sermon that was preached in church that weekend. As I listen to the sermon, I write down discussion questions, and I encourage the other group members to do the same.

“After the sermon study, the men and the women split up for accountability time. This has been enjoyable and effective. Among other things, each of the men shares one outstanding thing from their Bible reading during the week. Each of the women goes over their prayer requests and goals together, keeping each other accountable. Then, we finish up with snacks, and, of course, coffee.”

Gender accountability groups and sermon study are two great ideas for a small group. Great job combining them, Woods Group!  If other groups want to try either of these ideas, ask to see the resources and supplemental study helps we have available for you.

3.  Bakken Group–-Caring for One Another (1 Cor. 12:25; Gal. 6:2) – Here’s an inspiring note I received from Sue Bakken about their group:

“Reg, I just thought you might be encouraged by our little small group.  [One of our members] is in a very serious health condition, and thus cannot work….Our small group made extra soup to give her family today, and we took a collection to help pay her phone bill. We collected more than the amount that was needed for that and other items they need.  We are also in contact with Habitat for Humanity and rumor has it they want to build in Stafford’s neighborhood…and she would be a likely recipient…we just need to ask God to open doors if this would be His will.  Anyways…everyone was encouraged, felt they were a part of this…I am.  Sue”

*** Honorable Mention – Schock Group – Best Use of Bus

This is just one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen:

John and Shari Schock’s group meets on Wednesday night, during AWANA, at Peter and Abby Johnson’s house. The Johnsons also happen to be owners of a shuttle bus. At the end of their meeting time, all the men hop on the bus to go pick up the kids from AWANA.  The men and women love their separate time together, and the kids love hopping on the bus with the men! Now that, is very cool.

What stories of spiritual maturity are coming from your group? Please share them, whether by commenting on this blog post, or by telling me about them, maybe for a future edition of More Great Testimonies of LCCC Small Group Growth!

Blessings on your homes,

Reg