Monday, September 21, 2009

Do You Have a Vision Problem?

The following is a guest post from my twitter brother @benreed. I commend Ben Reed for drawing attention to this disturbing behavior that is prevalent in a lot of churches (particularly churches that are stagnant and/or have platoed). Studies show that 85% of Southern Baptist churches are dying or have platoed and I believe that Ben' post shed's light on a very likely reason. If we want to reach people for Jesus, we must be both internally and externally focused.

I pray that God will minister to you through the wisdom of this young leader in the Christian community.

Do You Have a Vision Problem
Ben Reed

I visited a church recently, and found it to be less than friendly. In fact, we felt like we were outsiders.

They used lots of “insider” language, barely acknowledged that visitors were even present, and talked about situations that one would only know about if he or she were a regular attender.

The problem, as I saw it, wasn’t a lack of volunteers. It wasn’t even a lack of skilled volunteers. There were plenty of capable folks who could have made us feel warm and welcomed.

The problem wasn’t that the pastor and leaders couldn’t communicate in such a way that first-timers could get it.

The problem wasn’t a lack of organization on the part of the leadership and the “welcome” committee.

The problem is that they didn’t want to.

By not communicating the importance of welcoming outsiders, they had structured their service in such a way that those who are new felt awkward, unwelcomed, and ultimately unwanted.

People want to be led. They’ll be led where the leader takes them.

If there’s a problem with vitally important tasks consistently not being carried out, maybe the finger needs to be pointed at you, the leader.

Are you regularly casting vision for those things that are most important? Where are you taking those you’re leading?

Visit Ben Reed' Blog at or follow him on twitter www.twitter/benreed

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to Prepare for your Small Group or Bible Study Class

I in no way consider myself an expert when it comes to small groups but I have taken a strong interest as of late and I have gone to great length to learn as much as I can.

Below are some disciplines for preparing for your Small Group and/or Bible study. I have used these disciplines in the area of Bible study for years and now I am applying them to a new passion that I have for Small group ministry. I hope they are helpful for you as you take on the awesome task of transformation in the lives of God’s people.

Preparing For your Group


Your job as group leader is to prepare first in prayer. Open your heart by asking: “What is the burden of the Lord for this particular upcoming meeting?” and “What does God want to see happen because Christians have been exposed to fellow believers and to Holy Scripture?”


Read and meditate on the main text of the session. What does God want the people in your group to start doing? Stop doing? Or Continue doing? What promises does He want them to claim?

Read the main text several times. Perhaps use several different translations to take advantage of the work of many Bible scholars.


Expand your understanding of the main text by reading related commentary on the text. Also, expand your understanding of the point of the lesson by looking through all the lesson material prior to your group meeting.


Ask “so what? Questions. What is the application for my life? What does God want me to do or stop doing as a result of this lesson? What am I going to do about it? What can my group do about it? Is there a sin I need to confess? Is there an attitude I need to adjust? Is there a promise I need to claim?
Sometimes the Spirit will convict you in an area of your own life. If He does you must bow in obedience as to model the behavior that everyone in your group will need in order to grow spiritually.

Feel free to comment with disciplines that have helped you out.