Planning Your Next Semester: Winter/Spring 2018

plan

Praise God, our groups are winding down a memorable Fall 2017 Semester. This post, which is revised and updated each year, aids leaders in planning for our next semester.

How NOT to Start Your Next Semester

Let’s begin with how NOT to start your next semester.

A typical question leaders are asking is: “What curriculum should I kickoff the Winter/Spring semester with?” My preferred answer would be… NONE!

NONE, Why is that!? This goes back to why our groups exist. Are they Bible studies alone? No, definitely not. But, experience teaches that if a group launches a new term immediately with the new Bible study or curriculum on the first week, then that group will become forever 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: Start your semester with some of the other vital small group elements which often get crowded out. Ideas include:

  • Start with a meal or fun night. You are a spiritual family, after all. Set the tone to enjoy each other!

communion_t

  • Start with a worship, prayer, and/or communion 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 a few personal salvation testimonies, to celebrate God’s grace in our lives and get to know each other well.group-worship
  • 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!

Calendar and Small Group Agreement Pages

Pull out that Winter/Spring Calendar, found in the first couple pages of the Leader and Member Toolkits, with your group to plan out the entire semester together – host locations, fun days, weeks off, trips together, meal plans… whatever you can plan.

And, don’t neglect to review the Small Group Agreement page, to get everyone’s expectations aligned. Among the most important axioms I have learned in church leadership over the years is that “Expectations are everything.” They truly are. Clear and aligned expectations will directly impact your members’ attendance and engagement all year long.

NOW, Choose the Right Curriculum

currSince our foundation is God’s Word, a good curriculum or Bible study plan is a vital tool. Come browse our many curriculums in the training sessions or in my office anytime, where you can access our materials to preview or check out.

And, don’t forget that you can help us keep building up our curriculum library, with “The Lake City Offer”, which is:

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!
NOTE: A list of our available and recommended curriculums can be found in the back of the Leader Toolkit.

Important Dates

Here are a few important dates for your calendars:

    • * **Leader Training: As always, there is one required January training session for all leaders, offered twice, for your scheduling convenience:
      • Option 1 – Sunday, January , 11:30am – 1:15pm, with lunch.
      • Option 2 – For those who cannot attend the January 7 session, come to the makeup session on Sunday, January 14, 11:30am – 12:40pm, without lunch (snacks only).

*This year’s training will focus on personal spiritual growth and leader development, strategically according to where you in this season of your life. Also included are fellowship with other leaders, coaches, and then key elements of the church’s vision and winter/spring  dates.

**This year’s training involves videos to watch beforehand. A link to five videos will be sent to all leaders who then choose two of the five to watch, based on where you are currently in your personal leadership life-season.

  • Signups: Signups will officially be open to new members starting on Dec. 30/31, with the list of open groups passed down the aisles in church the following two weeks.
  • Kickoff: Winter/Spring Semester officially kicks off the week of January 14. Leaders of open groups, be prepared to proactively welcome new people right away!  

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Our mission and vision remain the same:

Small Group Mission Banner 8 logo1

All our small group training sessions are always open to everyone. Families and discipleship groups are welcome to attend together.

The Winter/Spring Semester runs through the end of May, so it’s a bit longer than the Fall Semester, leaving you room to do more things and have more fun and transformative experiences.

May God be glorified in our ministry,

Pastor Reg

Planning Your Next Semester: Winter/Spring 2017

plan

Praise God, our groups are winding down a memorable Fall 2016 Semester. This post is to help leaders pray & plan for next semester.

How NOT to Start Your Next Semester

So, let’s start with how NOT to start your next semester.

A typical question leaders are asking is: “What curriculum should I kickoff the Winter/Spring semester with?” My preferred answer would be… NONE!

This goes back to why our groups exist. Are these groups Bible studies alone? No, definitely not. But, experience teaches that if a group launches their term immediately with the new Bible study curriculum on the first week, then that group will become forever 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: Start your semester with some of the other vital small group elements which often get crowded out:

  • Start with a meal or fun night. You are a spiritual family, after all. Set the tone to enjoy each other!

communion_t

  • Start with a worship, prayer, and/or communion 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 a few personal salvation testimonies, to celebrate God’s grace in our lives and get to know each other well.group-worship
  • 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!

Provided Calendar: Be ready to pull out that Winter/Spring Calendar with your group to plan out the entire semester together – host locations, fun days, weeks off, trips together, meal plans… whatever you can plan. It is found in the first couple pages of the Leader and Member Toolkits.

NOW, Choose the Right Curriculum

currSince our foundation is God’s Word, a good curriculum or Bible study plan is a vital tool. Come browse our many curriculums in the church library, where you can access and check out materials.

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!
NOTE: A list of our available and recommended curriculums can be found in the 2016-17 Leader Toolkit, page 29.

Important Dates

Here are a few important dates for your calendars:

  • *Leader Training: As always, there is one required January training session for all leaders, offered twice, for your scheduling convenience:
    • Option 1 – Sunday, January 8, 10:00-11:15AM.
    • Option 2 – For those who cannot attend the January 8 session, come to the makeup session on Saturday, January 21, during one of the 50-minute workshops of the Church Family Summit. Attend just this workshop, or better the entire half-day seminar.

*This year’s training will focus on “The Why?”, local and global small group missions, conflict resolution, key winter/spring dates, and more.

  • Signups: Signups will officially be open to new members starting on Dec. 31/Jan. 1.
  • Kickoff: Winter/Spring Semester officially kicks off the week of January 15. Be prepared to welcome new people, if possible.  

FINAL THOUGHTS:

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 fun and transformative experiences.

Our mission and vision remain the same:

Small Group Mission Banner 8 logo1

May God be glorified in our ministry,

Pastor Reg

What Does It Take To Lead a Small Group (in 2013-2014)?

I posted this “small group leader job description” last year, but have updated for 2013!

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? What does small group leadership include?

Here is the official position description for this significant role:

Lake City Small Group Leader Description

Small Group Leader’s Qualifications:

  1. Be a member of the church, or be in membership process.
  2. Attend the leader trainings, in fall and January.
    • Small Group Leader Fall Series Material Meeting is Sunday, Sept. 1, 10:50AM (during 2nd service) in the Gym. It is primarily for small group leaders, but open to everyone.
    • Ministry Summit is Saturday, Sept. 15, 9am-1pm. It is for ALL leaders of LCCC, including small group leaders.
  3. Be approved and blessed by small groups pastor and an elder.

Small Group Leader’s Job Description:

(Trying to do less than this will fail almost every time.  Co-leaders or “Inner Circles” will share this load.)

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. 

Primary Roles:

  1. Be a model of someone who desires to become like Jesus.
  2. Delegate leading and caring responsibilities to group members so they can use their gifts for the benefit of the group.
  3. 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.
  4. Disciple and raise up new generations of leaders, as you are able.
  5. Complete the simple evaluation reports requested by small groups pastor from time to time.

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 sevenyears), and an enthusiasm to answer the frequently asked questions and the 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 (if desired), for assistance, encouragement and accountability of their own growth as a follower of Jesus.

3.  This blog is also an ever-increasingly more comprehensive quick-reference for many areas of small group leadership.

4.  And, stay in touch with everyone throughout the year by “liking” the Lake City Small Groups page on Facebook!

How to Become a Leader

As you can see, these are attainable qualifications and expectations. We are happy with our bar for leadership – not too high and not too low.
You can sign up to become one of our great team of leaders this year, by:
  1. Contacting me at reg.overstreet@lc3.com or 253-582-8040
  2. Marking your interest on a Communication Card in the weekend services
  3. Attending the Sept. 1 “Why Am I Here?” Materials Meeting
  4. Attending the Sept. 14 Lake City Ministry Summit
Blessings on our stewardship of leading God’s people,
Pastor Reg

SUMMER UPDATE for Lake City Small Groups

Small Groups Logo - Pro

Are you joining a small group this coming year? Here are a few things you need to know about the upcoming 2013/14 year!

Summer of Coaching

The pivotal season has arrived in our unfolding small group coaching/infrastructure plan. After praying, strategizing and building relationships with leaders, the five coaches will seek one one-on-one meetings with each returning leader this summer, to achieve two purposes: 1.) To hear from them and pray with them; and 2.) To work through the exercise in Small Group Vital Signs #4 – A Healthy Group Has Proactive Leadership, so that 100% of our groups have a clear unique but aligned vision for 2013/14.

Fall Series: “Why Am I Here?”

You are now the first to know the title of this fall’s all-church series!  “Why Am I Here?” is going to be a great one; created in-house, for the people and community of LCCC.  This direction and title are fresh off the drawing board; so give us a little more time, and we will roll out all the exciting details.

You Are Wanted!

We want you, your children, your neighbors and friends to join a Lake City Small Group this fall.  Lake City Small Groups are our best representation of the New Testament Christian community for which Jesus shed His blood to establish.  You will engage in great things. You will be cared for, and care for others. You will be on a mission with brothers and sisters.

Here are the important dates:

  • August – Small group leader recruiting
  • Late August – Small group leader training begins
  • Early September – Small group signups begin
  • September 14 – Our third annual Ministry Summit (learn more by looking at last year’s details, here)
  • Week of September 21/22 – Small Groups officially kickoff
  • September 28/29 – “Why Am I Here?”, Part 1
  • [October-November] – “Why Am I Here?” continues
  • November 16/17 – “Why Am I Here?” Finale
  • Week of December 8 – Small Group Fall Semester ends

Discipleship Path

Finally, also coming soon is the long anticipated “Discipleship Path.”  A discipleship path provides an easy answer to every person, in any demographic or life stage, to the question: “How can I grow in Christ at this church?” It ties together all the already excellent things our groups, families, ministries do, into one, clear, aligned path towards connecting and growing in Jesus, together.

Those are your updates. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Blessings on our Church Family,

Pastor Reg

LCCC UPDATES — Christmas Offering, Family Survey, Events


Each one of these updates requires some kind of a response/action this time. It’s all great stuff, so enjoy! And blessings on your homes and ministries,

-Reg

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CHRISTMAS OFFERING

Hopefully you received Pastor Jim’s Christmas offering letter in the mail last week, which presents (no pun intended) an opportunity to further LCCC’s Kingdom work and our personal growth through sacrificial giving.  This offering will go towards three very special ministry areas, and is devoted to nothing less than the glory of God. “…so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15).

The pastors and elders have agreed to lead the way in sacrificial giving; we know we’ll be blessed.  We want to ask you to lead that way with us; and join in the blessings from sacrifice. (Matt 19:29) And, will you pass that challenge on to your small group? Lead your group in one of the most Christlike actions – giving.  (Phil. 2:6-11(2 Cor. 8 & 9)

FAMILY SURVEY

If you haven’t taken LCCC’s family survey yet, please take just a few minutes to do so.   Your input will greatly assist the developments in family ministry at LCCC!  Take the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RB6KLJQ

JBC CONFERENCE TRIP

Pastor Jim tries to take a group from LCCC to this conference every year. This year we are paying for the small group leaders and assistants to come – a great investment in our church.  And a fun time for all who go!  We would LOVE if you could come.  Find the details on our online community website’s home page.  The deadline for hotel reservations is January 3. Please let me know very soon if you’re considering it? In fact, shoot me an email right now if you’re at least considering, at: reg.overstreet@lc3.com.

AHS CHALLENGE for TILLICUM

Several of you are aware of the national competition for a community renewal grant from AHA and Habitat for Humanity.  http://www.ahschallenge.com/ Our own Tillicum is in a dramatic battle to win, and we can help by clicking some buttons! There is screaming pressure coming from the Columbus, Ohio project!  Many in the LCCC family are already voting daily, but we need more!  Catch the fever and vote daily here  http://www.ahschallenge.com/Participants.aspx (Sort by # of votes – we should be on top.) Only 45 days left!

GREAT COMMISSION-FOCUSED WINTER

By the providence of God, LCCC will experience a number of exciting Great Commission oriented moments this winter, making disciples by every means possible. Here is a bullet point list of what to expect and plan with your small groups.

  • December 26 – Commissioning of Bobbi Bails on a 6 month mission to tour with a Ugandan Children’s Choir
  • January 1/2 – Commissioning our Moscow Stuff-a-Stocking Team
  • January 8/9 – Small Group Leader Training; and Guest SIM Missionary Kendrick Lau and family will be giving a brief update on Niger, and speaking to our children and youth and possibly any interested small groups.
  • January 15/16 – Small Group Connection event; and official Winter/Spring Semester Small Group Kick Off!
  • January 17-19 – JBC Prayer Conference Trip!
  • January 28-29 – David and Kelli Pritchard Marriage Conference; the Pritchards are also leading two Sunday morning parenting workshops in January, dates still TBD. These are GREAT opportunities for the parents and families of your small groups whom you are discipling.
  • January 22/23 – New Leader Orientation; heavy promotion of Howie Brant Missions Weekend (Feb 12/13)
  • February 4 – MOPS  Auction
  • February 12/13 – “40 Years of Purpose” Missions Weekend with Howie and Jo Brant. Starts Saturday with Morning Manna in the morning, and Family Missions Presentation and dinner or dessert on Saturday night.  Continues Sunday with various events.  Also, commissioning of Niger Mission Team this weekend.
  • February 19 – Membership 101 Class; …also, Ministry Class 301 is being scheduled for either February or March
  • March – Concert of Prayer with full report from Moscow and Niger Missions Teams, date TBD

Whew, so many opportunities to grow our small groups in discipleship of every kind. And I’m sure I missed something, but thanks for taking the time to begin praying and planning. God bless you as you do.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!