Thursday, May 29, 2008

Peter Block on Community

I just cracked open Peter Block's new book, Community: The Structure of Belonging. I'm only on page 25, but here are a couple of initial thoughts.

There are great insights in this book, and I suspect I'll be recommending that leaders in church small group/community building endeavors read it.

Why isn't the Church being the community that Jesus envisioned? When people outside the church write books on community, they are not using the church as an example of a place where community happens well. Shame on us.

Are we solving problems or creating the future?

A few initial thoughts from the book itself:

"We begin by shifting our attention from the problems of community to the possibility of community."

"Systems are capable of service but not care."

Kathie Dannemiller's guiding question, "How will the world be different tomorrow as a result of our meeting today?"

Jesus' Prayer for Community

We are launching our summer small group semester this weekend, and I'll be speaking at our weekend services on the topic of community. It's been a while since we've done a very back-to-basics why community is important teaching focus. I've been talking to lots of folks- NCCers, leaders, small group members, etc- to get their thoughts and perspectives on community.

I've also been spending a lot of time in John 17, Jesus' last prayer before his betrayal and arrest. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record Jesus' famous prayer, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine."(NLT) But John gives us a different window into Jesus' final hours. One in which he is praying not for himself, but for his followers: "I am praying not only for these disciples, but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one..." (NLT)

Jesus' final prayer was for community for his followers. Is it possible, that when we come together in community, we are given the unique opportunity to be an answer to Jesus' prayer?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coefficient of Friction and Spiritual Disciplines

I was sitting at IHOP the other night, after midnight, thinking about the coefficient of friction. Why? I don't remember.

You might remember the coefficient of friction from your physics textbook. It's a physical property that describes the amount of force that must be applied to an object to get it to move across a surface. Coefficients of friction can differ significantly from surface to surface. And there are two types- coefficient of static friction (which pertains to the force required to initiate movement on an object at rest) and coefficient of kinetic friction (which pertains to keeping an object in motion once it's already overcome static friction). In most cases, the coefficient of static friction is larger than the coefficient of kinetic friction. In other words, it takes more force to get an object to initially overcome the friction and start moving than it does to keep that object moving.

Man, that describes me and spiritual disciplines. There's always friction between me and spiritual disciplines (it's called sinful nature, pride, self-sufficiency, etc), but I know that overcoming that static friction is usually more difficult than overcoming the kinetic friction.

I'm trying to get into some new prayer habits, but it's like overcoming static friction right now. Once I get moving, I know it will become easier. That is, until I am acted upon by an outside force. But we'll just concentrate on overcoming the static friction today.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Core Discipleship Group Curriculum

In a previous post, I discussed our strategy for choosing curriculum for our small groups. In short, we give individual leaders the freedom to choose the curriculum that they consider to be most appropriate for their group.

However, in addition to the dozens of small groups that meet all around the DC-metro area, we have a set of "core discipleship groups." These are the groups that we have selected strategically as intentional growth opportunities for a person who is trying to chart a course of discipleship. We believe every NCCer would benefit from participating in these groups, and we have highlighted them on our Discipleship Map. Some of these groups use published curriculum; others use curriculum that we have developed here at NCC. The following is a breakdown.

We use the standard video-based Alpha curriculum available at

We use an 8-week curriculum that we developed at NCC.

Seeker Island
  • Spiritual Experiments- we use an 8-week curriculum that we developed at NCC.
  • Holy Spirit Encounter- we use Plugged Into God's Power by Doug Beacham.
  • Upward Bound Retreat- we use curriculum that we developed at NCC.
Learner Island
Influencer Island
  • Neigborhoods and Nations- we use a 12-week curriculum that we developed at NCC.
  • Leadership 101- we use a 3-hour curriculum that we developed at NCC.
  • Missions Adventure- every missions trip team prepares within a small group environment. Each team leader chooses a book that is most appropriate for that trip or team.
Investor Island
  • Portfolio- we are in the process of developing this curriculum now.
  • Crown Financial- we use the resources available from Crown Financial Ministries.

Small Group Curriculum

I just got a question about how we choose curriculum for our small groups. The short answer is: we give individual leaders the freedom to choose the curriculum they feel would be most appropriate for their groups. That decision is made with the approval and coaching of their zone leaders and team leaders.

We do make suggestions. Anything by Willow Creek, Saddleback, Alpha,Northpoint Community Church, Intervarsity Press, or Lifeway is pretty much good to go as far as we are concerned. And I'm sure I'm leaving out some other good ones.

We also created a bookstore-- The ZoneGathering Bookstore-- through, that includes suggested curriculum in our different "focus" categories (Seeker, Learner, Influencer, and Investor) and for different demographics (men, women, couples).

We do have a standardized set of curriculum that we use for our core discipleship groups. I'll tackle that in subsequent post.

Great Weekend

I love long holiday weekends. On Friday night, Ryan and I hung out with our friends Beeker and Ian, ate burgers, and made a late-night run to Artomatic.

On Saturday, our long lost friend Bill came into town. Bill's an NCC alum, so we helped him re-connect with the city, ate dinner in Old Town, and caught the new Indiana Jones film. Hmm...interesting. I'll leave it to your imagination to determine which was more interesting-- hanging out with Bill or watching the new Indy movie. :)

On Sunday, we ran the NCC marathon of Union Station services, celebrated our buddy Bob's birthday, and celebrated Memorial Day at the concert on the Capitol Lawn. I love this city. Later that night, we basked in the glow of the WWII Memorial and destroyed our digestive systems at IHOP.

On Monday, I practiced my Jedi skills. Yes, Ryan gave me another Star Wars- related birthday present (we have the habit of giving birthday presents months later). I'm having trouble mastering the Obi-wan Kenobi spinning defense move, so I'm stuck at Level 2. We'll make progress soon.

Now, I'm back in the office after being absent since last Wednesday. It's good to be back, but I'm really thankful for the relaxing weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two Days of Compelling Ideas

Our entire team escaped from the office for two whole days at the end of the week. On Thursday, we hung out at the Whiteboard Sessions- great job, Ben Arment! Ben has been an adopted NCCer for many years, and we are sad to see him leave the area (he's joining the Catalyst team). Perry Noble and Darrin Patrick impact me the most at WiBo. And I loved hearing from Tim Stevens and Mark Dever on the same day at the same event.

Yesterday, our team headed to the National Cathedral for our annual daydream day. Okay, so it's not necessarily annual-- I'm just speaking prophetically-- hopefully. It's so easy to get caught up in the urgency of ministry that I begin to do the work of the Kingdom out of memory instead of imagination. Instead of getting a fresh word and direction of God, I just repeat what I did last time hoping that he will being the same anointing and results. But it seems to me Jesus never did anything the same way twice. Instead, he was constantly pulling away-- up the mountain, into the wilderness, onto the other side of the lake-- to seek his father in prayer.

We make fun of Mark for all his sound bytes, but this one resonates with me so much:

Change of Pace + Change of Place = Change of Perspective

It's so true. So we closed down the office for a day to seek God. I'm excited about some of the stuff stirring within us and can't wait to see how God brings shape to it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Spark

Just finished reading The Spark (thanks Pastor Chris) about the creativity and innovation in Cirque du Soleil. Here are a few nuggets:

"Creativity is first and foremost about courage."

"Our first idea was almost never our last."

"If you really want to make things happen, you have to be willing to crash."

"The greatest danger is not failing, but getting comfortable."

"It's never my failures that I regret, it's the things I pass up because I'm too scared, too safe."

I loved the way the book focused on the importance of cross-pollinating disciplines, reinventing yourself and your projects, and "dreaming magnificently." At 135 (small) pages, it's a quick and worthwhile read.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I forget what an amazing city I live in! For several years, I would walk to work and just marvel as I passed the monuments and the buildings, and I would feel so grateful that I had the privilege of living and working in Washington, DC. Now, I'm afraid I take it for granted far too often.

This weekend, however, Ryan and I went into full tourist mode. Our friend John graduated from law school, so his family (most of whom do not speak English- John's family is from China) was in town.

First, we got our own private tour of the West Wing of the White House. Thanks Robert!

The first time I walked through the doorway to the West Wing Reception Room, there was a Marine ceremonially guarding the entrance, and I was a legislative assistant to a Senator meeting with the President on steel trade issues. I was so excited I called my mom, dad, and sister to let them know where I was.

The last time I was in the West Wing I was still working on the Hill. And I didn't have a dumb visitor badge hanging around my neck. ~sigh~ I guess I must miss it a little bit.

Then, we got our own private tour of the Capitol Building. The best part was listening to a Senator from Alabama narrating the history, architecture, and art of the U.S. Capitol to a bunch of non-English speaking Asian Americans. It was awesome.

My favorite time to walk through the halls is late at night when no one else is around. There are wonderful ghost stories about the statues in the Old House Chamber coming to life and an old black cat which has presumable haunted the building for decades.

If you're ever in DC, make sure to arrange your Capitol tour through your senator's office or congressman's office. It will be a much better experience than being hoarded through with 50 other people at the same time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The New Testament in 138 Minutes

Just finished The Story, Act Two: The New Testament. We started with the cultural and historical world into which Christ was born, followed him from Nazareth to Galilee to Golgotha, experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, traveled with Paul to visit churches and pastors, and stood in awe of the glory of Christ revealed in Revelation.

The Old Testament covers thousands of years. The New Testament spans only about 100 years. And yet every year I go over my time. I did the OT in 127 minutes but needed 138 minutes for the New Testament. I think the Southern Baptist in me catches on fire when I start talking about Jesus and I just can't shut up. Or maybe it's just that I really don't want The Story to end. Thank God it doesn't. While the canon of Scripture has closed, the story of God is still sweeping across time and space, and we get to play a role. It's so good!

I'm going to miss The Story...looking forward to next May!

Willow Creek Group Life Conference

I wanted to get this on your radar screen: The 2008 Group Life Conference at Willow Creek. I went last year and, on my return, immediately requested budget to take my entire coaching team the following year.

Mark Batterson and I will be leading one main session, "Where Community Grows Best," and then I'll be doing a Breakout Session, "Everything is an Experiment: Creative Community for Emerging Generations."

Looks like I'll also be joining blogging pros Cynthia Ware, Frank Chiapperino, and Mac Lake for a pre-conference forum on Community and Social Networks.

And last, but most importantly, the NCC crew would like to get to know other folks from the DC-metro area that will be attending the conference. We are working with the Willow guys to reserve a spot for a pre-conference DC-Area Churches Coffee. We would really like to create a network of churches in our area that we can learn from, encourage, and pray with. If you are planning to be at the conference, email John Hasler to let him know you'll be there, and we will look forward to meeting you!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Have I Lost My Mind?

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to do it. I'm leading another Women in Leadership group. :) My good friend Christy Tanious and I led it together about 3 years ago, and I figured it was time to run it again. This time, we'll do it in the morning, and we'll probably limit the size.

We'll be exploring the unique challenges, chaos, and craziness of being a leader in a woman's body. We'll wrestle with the tension of leadership and femininity and hopefully encourage and pray for some people along the way.

I do not feel like it's my calling to push women into leadership positions. But I do feel a sense of responsibility to and compassion for those who wrestle with this stuff-- whether they are on the Hill, in academia, in business, in ministry, in the home, or wherever they might be.

Why I Love Alabama

It's time for another Why I Love Alabama post!

#46- Wild Blackberries- yum! I used to be able to pick these around the corner from my house until the sprawl happened. :) Wow, I'm really wanting some blackberries now. For whatever its worth, Cracker Barrel has a great blackberry cobbler.

#55- Fishing That Borders on Religious Experience- it might sound dumb, but God and I have had some of our best talks while waiting for the catfish to bite.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Color Outside the Lines

I have a very clear, distinct memory of being taught to color inside the lines. When I say "clear," I don't mean in the sense of the details-- for instance, I don't remember how old I was or whether it was my mom or my dad (I think it was my dad). But the feeling of enlightenment, empowerment, and freedom I felt has amazing clarity. I know that most kids feel restricted and their artistic expression is short-circuited when they are told to color inside the lines. For me, however, the instruction to color inside the lines gave meaning and purpose to what I was doing. All of a sudden, I was able to see the picture and the whole process of coloring made sense.

Now, however, I feel an urge to go grab a coloring book and scribble everywhere but inside the lines (my artistic growth seems to lag significantly behind the average 5-year old). Once you know the rules and respect the rules, you can break them appropriately.

I've experienced the same thing with spiritual formation. There were general rules for spiritual formation that were good during certain phases of my spiritual growth- I followed the rules for prayer, the rules for quiet time, the rules for sharing my faith. Those rules brought growth and understanding. Now, however, I feel like some of those rules need to be broken in appropriate ways. We never stop praying or reading or confessing, or evangelizing. But maybe those "rules" for the right way of doing it that brought such tremendous formation in the early days of my Christ-following adventures will not allow the full expression of my faith and who God created me to become to come forward.

Now, this is making me think about classical physics and quantum (or "modern) physics. Classical physics is incomplete, but it's still taught because it enriches our understanding of quantum physics. Okay, that has the potential to make my brain hurt. Where can I find a coloring book?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Yesterday I led our morning staff meeting, and I read a passage from Romans 12 that contains one of my new favorite verses: "take delight in honoring each other." The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates it like this: "outdo one another in showing honor."

I've been on a soapbox for a couple months now about the lack of respect and honor that we show in our culture. Granted, I am in no way becoming the solution to this problem in my own life. But I have spent a good bit of time thinking about how we can obey this command. How do we truly and authentically honor one another? Do people have different "honor" languages like they have "love languages?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stuff Christians Like

I've got a new favorite blog: Stuff Christians Like.

John Hasler and I just invested about 15 minutes of work time and 15 minutes of tithe-supported paycheck time laughing at this thing. I think the January entries are the funniest. Our excuse is that we were doing "cultural exegesis" to determine why the dechurched left church.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Old Testament in 127 Minutes

I just finished doing the second night of The Story, in which I tackle several thousand years of Old Testament history in one night. We started with the creation, moved to Patriarchal history, explored slavery in Egypt, escaped into the wilderness, conquered the Promised Land, fell from God and turned to God under the judges, celebrated Israel's Golden Age under the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, split into two kingdoms, listened to and ignored the warnings of the prophets, got deported under the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, survived the exile, returned to rebuild the temple and the wall, and are now waiting expectantly in God's 400 year silence for the coming of Messiah.

All in 127 minutes. Whew! My goal is to do it in 2 hours, so I was 7 minutes over. I did give a very generous 7 minute break between the rule of Solomon and the divided kingdom, so I will claim those minutes and call it even.

Someone asked me what I do when I finish this 2-hour craziness. I can't remember what I've done in previous years. But tonight, I'm going home to read the last 100 pages of the final Harry Potter book. :)

Lab Reports, Journaling, and Seeing God

In biology lab, my professors always required me to "draw what I observed." That was frustrating and embarrassing. I don't have an artistic bone in my body, and my stick figures often don't even resemble stick people. When Pictionary rolls out at parties, I find my way back to the snack table hoping I can find a conversation to jump into. How in the world was I supposed to "draw" microorganisms or the organs of dissected cats or the reproductive system of a flower? If I had wanted to draw, I would have registered for that nude drawing class across campus in the Art Building.

My disdain for this practice was intense and acute. I imagined that my professors must be finding small ways to fulfill their real dream of being kindergarten teachers. Or that they needed to find some way to legitimize requiring us to purchase those $15.98 quad-ruled lab notebooks with the special water-resistant paper, so they decided picture pages would be a great way to fill them up. Maybe they got tired of reading our hypotheses and methods and thought throwing in a few pictures along the way would make the grading process more enjoyable? Perhaps we were a part of an experiment to determine the artistic limitations of left-brained engineering students? I'm a little slow on the uptake, and I just didn't get it. And I hated it.

When exam time rolled around, however, I was grateful for all those really bad little doodles decorating my lab notebook. Granted, my angiosperm life cycle sketch looked like a 5-year old had drawn it, but I understood why my professors made me do it. When I was forced to draw something, I was forced to look more carefully. I had to pay greater attention to detail. I had to look at it a little bit longer and notice features, colors, lines, angles and connections that I might not have noticed otherwise. While the drawings and diagrams in the textbook always look cleaner and nicer, they never really helped me identify my specimens during the exam. It was the sloppy, incomplete, dumb looking sketches that I made that helped me identify the stuff on the exam table. In short, biology professors make you draw what you see because when you draw, you see more.

I think that's why journaling is so important to our spiritual development. Biology students see more when they are forced to draw what they see. Students of Christ see more when they are forced to write about what they see. When we write what we observe from Scripture, it's harder for us to skip the tough parts. When we write down where we see God at work in our lives, his fingerprints show up in unexpected places. When we make written notes of what we are thankful for, we see blessings in overlooked and unexpected places. When we make a list of our prayer requests, we notice when God answers them.

Journaling helps us recognize and acknowledge the hand of God at work in our lives and thus becomes an act of worship. As we see God more, we are able to praise him more.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Steel Magnolias

Alright, I've held off on posting this for a while, but I figure it's about time. Last year, we (NCC) dove head-first into the realm of live theatre and produced Godspell on our Ebenezers Coffeehouse stage. It was a great first step, and proved to be more successful than I imagined it could be, due to a very committed and enthusiastic cast and a phenomenal director. So we decided that Godspell was not simply the culmination of a dream, but the beginning of one.

Now, we are stretching ourselves in a new direction this summer with Steel Magnolias. For those of you who haven't seen the movie (you men who are Yankees), it's a great story of the importance of community and friendship. Here are the amazing people I get to work with:

Bekah Kitterman (M'Lynn)
Lisa Overman (Shelby)
Lindsey Vogt (Truvy)
Jen Watts Barrie (Annelle)
Amanda Giobbi (Clairee)

Kacey McGowan (Director)
Sarah Owen (Stage Manager)

There's a role left out of that list, and I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what I'm doing in this gig. Let's just say McGowan is very persuasive and has the spiritual gift of manipulation.

Piper (and Friends) on Preaching

I just finished reading John Piper's The Supremacy of God in Preaching. Here are a few nuggets. All quotes are from Piper unless otherwise noted.

"God is glorified not only by His glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in." (Jonathan Edwards)

"The greatness and glory of God are relevant."

"The great design and intention of the office of the Christian preacher [is] to restore the throne and dominion of God in the souls of men." (Cotton Mather)

"In the New Testament the cross is not only a past place of objective substitution; it is also a present place of subjective execution-- the execution of my self-reliance and my love affair with the praise of men."

"All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation."

"A pastor who is not manifestly glad in God does not glorify God. He cannot make God look glorious if knowing and serving this God gives no gladness to his soul."

"Laughter seems to have replaced repentance as the goal of many preachers."

"Not to teach God's counsel with fullness and faithfulness can leave the blood of our people on our hands."

"Theology exists for doxology."

...and my favorite...

"Don't be content to guide people among the foothills of his glory. Become a mountain climber on the cliffs of God's majesty. And let the truth begin to overwhelm you that you will never exhaust the heights of God."


When Jonathan Edwards was in college, he wrote out 70 resolutions. One of these resolutions was as follows:

Resolved, To live with all my might while I do live.

Love it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


In The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper said, "All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation." At a recent zone leader meeting, Pastor Mark said, "Our greatest sin may be the lack of urgency in everything we do."

A holy desperation and a holy urgency are what I need. Not practicing and improving my gifts, as I blogged about yesterday, is a manifestation of the lack of urgency and lack of desperation in my life. If I truly believed what I preached, I don't think I would pray as little as I do. If I truly believed what I preached, I wouldn't read the Bible as superficially as I do. If I truly believed what I preached, I wouldn't settle for pseudo-community. If I truly believed what I preached, I would intentionally ask the Holy Spirit to help me see where he is at work in the lives of every person I encounter and view every conversation as an opportunity to point people to Christ. I don't mean in the Bible-beating or "the end is near" or 2-question test kind of way. But in the way of being the salt and light that Jesus described where we ignite a holy curiosity in people.

Lord, stir up in me a holy discontent.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On the Line

Ryan and I saw A Chorus Line in NYC this past weekend...side note...can't believe I've been involved in and supportive of theatre for as long as I can remember and have never seen it. Anyway, it's a show about the dancers that fill the Broadway stages. In the Playbill, I read a blurb about the cast that challenged me:
"They have appeared in 87 different shows in which they have given a total of 31,002 performances. Collectively, they have had 472 years of dance training with 637 teachers-- counting duplications. They spend approximately $6,248 a month on dance lessons."
These are people who do what they do because they love it. They invest a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources into perfecting their art because it's their passion and their calling.

When I think about my passion and calling-- to preach the Gospel and to help others grow in their relationship with Christ-- I feel convicted that I'm not investing anywhere near enough time, energy, and resources into perfecting the gifts that God has given me. Discipleship is both science and art. Both scientists and artists are required to be life-long learners if they hope to succeed in their fields. How much more should we, as engineers of spiritual growth environments and artists of community, be striving to grow in our gifts?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kicked off The Story

We kicked off The Story last night with about 70 people at Ebenezers. I think I enjoy leading that group as much or more than anything else I get to do. Last night, we explored The Backlot of the Bible and talked about structure and composition, authorship and inspiration, manuscripts and translations, history, geography, canonization, and themes.

Next week, we'll dive into the Old Testament and cover the whole story in 2 hours. Yeah, right...

If you happen to be in NYC...

...make sure to catch Patrick Stewart in Macbeth. And DON'T get tickets in the balcony. You will be dizzy by the end.

Seriously, there's a great production of Macbeth at the Lyceum Theatre. Patrick Stewart was great. But I also loved the much younger but feisty Lady Macbeth and I really liked how they portrayed the three witches.

Ryan and I also caught Sunday in the Park with George at Studio 54 (I wish I was still hanging out by the blue purple yellow red water) and A Chorus Line (the stage show is so much better than that ridiculous movie).

Enough randomness...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Be Rich

I just finished listening to a training CD from Bill Hybels, and he made a simple statement that jumped out and grabbed me over everything else:
Be rich in your investments in people.

Man, that is totally my prayer. I want to be exhausted at the end of my life from investing in people. I firmly believe that I will only achieve my destiny as I strive to fulfill the God-given destinies of others.

So I'm thinking a lot this afternoon about how we can make rich investments in people. Time investments- Am I making gracious investments of time? Growth investments- Am I investing in their spiritual growth? Encouragement investments- Am I genuine and sincere but also lavish in acknowledging and praising the gifts, talents, and passions of others? Connection investments- Am I connecting people into relationships and communities that can help them grow and become everything God created them to be? Resource Investments- am I giving people to tools they need to grow and give? Prayer investments- am I going to God's throne every day on behalf of the people I lead?

There are so many investment opportunities surrounding me right now. So many amazing leaders who can bring influence and change and light to dark places. I think I need to realign some of my daily priorities and reschedule my calendar to ensure I am investing my time, energy, and focus into building people...and investing richly.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Randall Neighbour

I want to give a shout-out to another new blogger. Well, he's not really a new blogger. He's just new to a user-friendly blog platform! And he's certainly not new on the small group scene. Today, I want to honor someone who has been on the front lines of community and spiritual formation in the church for a long time-- Randall Neighbour. I won't say how long because that would make both of us feel old. :) But when I first started attending a small group-based church (we called them cell-based churches back then), the guys at Touch Outreach Ministries were churning out ridiculous amounts of inspiring, motivating, and educational resources for planting, growing, and building small group ministries. I was hooked. I've got a ton of their books on my bookshelf. (I will blame them for the fact that my church called their groups "Touch Groups" which was extremely awkward. I was in college. What do you think it feels like to invite your lab partner to your "touch group?" But that's my only beef with them!) :)

Now, I get to read the stuff that spills out of Randall's mind on a daily basis on his blog, The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry. Randall is also asking lots of questions to dig into the trends of small group ministry and determine what's working and what's not working. I appreciate his blog because he's all about being real, transparent, and honest about what's happening in our community and discipleship environments. I'd encourage you to head over there and get naked, metaphorically speaking, and join the conversation.

Radical Hospitality

Our small group ministry has an online community called where we provide ongoing discipleship and training for our leaders. Every Thursday, we post a leadership lesson, and we just recently finished a series on Radical Hospitality. Paul instructed Timothy that leaders in the church should be hospitably, but I don't know that I had ever given that particular requirement much thought before this semester.

Here are links to the articles:


Biblical Framework for Hospitality

The Practice of God's People

The Provision of God

Jesus and Hospitality

Hospitality in Weekend Services

Hospitality in Small Groups

Shared Meals

Adding Value to People

The Requirement of Leadership

An Interview With the Gurus

A View From the Front Lines