Monthly Archives: September 2016

SEPT 29 | GROW TOGETHER UPDATE

635992752855610394742269579_coffeeHappy National Coffee Day to you! If you are not a coffee fan, sorry, it’s not personal.

 

 

 

GROW TOGETHER ON THE BLOCK

In other news, Pastor BJ came to me a few weeks ago with an idea,  and I am excited to share it with you. Please check out this video for more details.

The Block from Jon Grunden on Vimeo.   If you are unable to see the video, please click here

If your group/class would be interested in visiting the Block, here are some dates the would work for the Leonards:

Oct 3, 10, 12, 20, 26
Oct 31 – Light up the Night Halloween event – A great serving opportunity
Nov 3, 7
Please email Pastor BJ by clicking here

FYWBTG – WEEK 4

maxresdefaultWhile I realize that many groups and classes have not completed Week 3 yet, I wanted to get you thinking about your week 4 gathering.  Week 4 is about the Awakening to Love. When we find our way back to God, we will discover our identity as a deeply loved, unconditionally accepted child of God.  While many of the people in our groups have made the decision to follow Christ, I know many Christians (myself included) who struggle to remember that they are accepted and loved by God.  So many people spend their lives trying to earn God’s love and the love of others.  As you meet for week 4 talk about this struggle, what it looks like in your lives and what it means to truly find your identity in Christ.

WHAT’S NEXT

rightnowmediaAs the FYWBTG series comes to a close, most likely your group will be looking for the next thing to study.  While there are many benefits of having Rightnow Media, one of them is to put a resource library at your fingertips to browse through.  As you think about your next study, please take some time to search through the Bible Study Library. You can find it by clicking here.    If you need an account you can get one here.

After you take some time to look, I would recommend bringing two ideas to your group and letting them choose between those two ideas.  Once you know what study you would like to do, please let me know and I will purchase the leader resources for you. 

While I think there are a lot of great studies out there, here are four I would suggest as a next step.

THE BOOK OF JAMES | FRANCIS CHAN

You can find it on Rightnow Media here: https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/159923

THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS | JD GREEAR

You can find it on Rightnow Media here: https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/195647

SIMPLIFY | BILL HYBELS

You can find it on Rightnow Media here: https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/1178

NOT A FAN | KYLE IDLEMAN

You can find it on Rightnow Media here: https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/1277

As always, please email me if you need anything for your group or class.

Thanks, JG

 

 

 

 

 

SEPT 22 | GROW TOGETHER UPDATE

Hello amazing leaders, I want you to know that the leadership of our church deeply appreciates you.  Thank you for taking the step not only to grow in Christ, but to help others grow in Christ.  Thank you for being a Disciple and a Disciple-er.

FYWBTG – WEEK 3

maxresdefaultWhile I realize that many groups and classes have not completed Week 2 yet, I wanted to get you thinking about your week 3 gathering.  Week 3 is about the Awakening to Help.  When we realize that we are unable to fulfill our longings on our own, we awaken to the realization that help is available to us through Jesus Christ.

We recognize that many of the people in your groups and classes have taken this step in a big way, but often still need to take this step regarding particular issues in their lives.  As you prepare for week 3 please keep that perspective in mind.  Remember that your vulnerability with your group sets the tone for their ability to be vulnerable as well. 

GREAT RESOURCES

resources-image-2My friend Bob shared an article with me this morning, that I really appreciated and wanted to pass on to you.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Our love for another is a lifestyle, not a weekly activity. There’s no corner of our hearts or lives that God meant for us to keep from our local community of believers. It doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking hour with these people. It does mean they should be tied into your life in more significant ways than what pew you sit in on Sundays. Like that first church, we need to find creative ways to live together in the everyday, incorporating the word, prayer, food, and meaningful relationships.”

I would encourage you to take a few minutes to read the rest of the article here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-big-god-in-your-small-group

Another resource I wanted to encourage you to check out is this one from Rightnow Media on “Forming Strong Relationships in Your Group.” https://www.rightnow.org/Training/Post/View/20531

If you don’t have a Rightnow Media account, you can create one here: https://www.rightnow.org/Account/Invite/firstdecatur

UPCOMING EVENTS

GT Invite.001I wanted to remind you that our next Leader Huddle is October 23.  Please mark your calendar for 6:30 that evening.

 

 

 

 

Also, If you are looking for something for the men or women in your group to do outside of normal group time, we have a couple great events coming up.

  • The Women’s “Stock the Block” Event is coming up MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 FROM 6-9PM at the church.  For more information and to register, please click here.

 

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-1-43-29-pmThe Men’s Cookout is Sunday October 9 from 4:30-6 pm at the church.  Sign ups begin this weekend in the lobby.

 

 

 

Thank you again for leading your group (or class) so faithfully.  Please let me know if you need anything.

Thank you, JG

 

 

 

 

Sept 15 | GROW TOGETHER UPDATE

Hey all, I hope your week is off to a great start.  I am sure you are all super busy this week, but if you could take a couple of minutes below to let me know how your group is going, I would really appreciate it.

If you don’t see the question, please click here

FINDING YOUR WAY BACK – WEEK 2

Please watch the video below for an update on week 2 of the FYWBTG series.

Sept 15 from Jon Grunden on Vimeo.

If you don’t see the video, please click here

GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR GROUPS

As I mentioned in the video above, one of our newer leaders shared with me some principles that she has used in groups in the past.  I really liked the list and think it’s a great reminder for us, so I wanted to share it with you.  Here are some great expectations to set (or reset) for your group:

  • Ask your group members to call or text ahead if they know they will be late or absent to group.
  • Ask everyone in your group to come to group prepared to learn, listen, and participate.
  • Remind your group of the importance of maintaining confidentiality with sensitive information that is shared in group.
  • Create a safe place for each group member to share with no judgement attached.
  • Have fun.

If you have additional expectations, please leave them in the comment section and I will include them next week.

THANK YOU

Thank you for leading and investing in your group or class. It is not always easy, but it is always valuable.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at jgrunden@firstdecatur.org

 

 

SEPT 8 | GROW TOGETHER WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello awesome small group leaders and teachers.  I am getting really excited about the Finding Your Way Back to God series as we launch this weekend.  As a reminder, your group will want to follow the sermon, so please plan to go through Session 1 with your group following the sermon this weekend.

FINDING YOUR WAY BACK WEEK 1

maxresdefaultWeek 1 is about awakening to longing.  The Big Idea for week 1 is, “We all have a longing to love and be loved in return, to find purpose for our days, and to make sense out of life when life doesn’t seem to make any sense.  That longing is from God, and when you allow that strong desire for more to draw you nearer to him, he will fulfill your longings.” (Finding Your Way Back to God: Participants Guide p. 3)

 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE STUDY

IMG_6958Please make sure you encourage the members of your group or class to pick up their copy of the Discussion Guide this weekend, so they are ready for your first gathering. They are available at the church bookstore for $6 plus tax.

Please also make sure you have the video handy and a way to show it to your group (streaming to your tv, on your laptop/tablet, etc.).  Those are available on Rightnow Media here:

https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/157704

If you need an account you can get one of those here:

https://www.rightnow.org/Account/Invite/firstdecatur

Please also take the time to read through the questions in advance and determine which ones will work best for your group.  While this study may appear to be primarily evangelistic, I believe these questions will work well even in a group of mature believers.

 

LEADER HUDDLES

GT Invite.001I absolutely love Leader Huddles.  I enjoy the opportunity to gather with each of you for connection, encouragement, training and prayer.  With that in mind I wanted to schedule the Leader Huddles for the rest of the year and ask you to please mark your calendar.  Below are the dates.  Each meeting will be in Mosaic Cafe from 6:30-7:30 pm.

 

HUDDLE DATES

  • October 23
  • December 4
  • February 26
  • April 23

Thank you again!  Praying that week 1 of the FYWBTG study goes great for your group.

JG

 

 

Sept 1 | GROW TOGETHER WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello all, I hope your week is going well.  I also wanted to say thank you to all of you who served at the Family Fun Event last weekend!  Thank you for going above and beyond!

FallBelieve it or not September is here.  Not only was the air a little cooler on the way in to the office this morning, but I opened my email to find an invitation to stop by Starbucks and enjoy the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.   While I was certainly tempted, I felt like it would be best to wait until the leaves begin to turn before partaking.  Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you decide not to join me in waiting.  🙂

FINDING YOUR WAY BACK 

maxresdefaultMy guess is that for many of us the last two weeks have been a constant change of rhythm of life. While many changes have been difficult to adapt to, one that I am so excited about is getting in the rhythm of meeting with my small group each week again.  Hopefully you are similarly excited for that in your own life (unless you never really took a break)

With that in mind, we are only a week away from the beginning of the Finding Your Way Back to God series.  As a reminder, the curriculum is intended to follow the sermon. Personally I am so excited to see what God is going go to do in our groups and classes, but more so in the lives of the people we invite to join us for this series.  Speaking of which, our greatest hope for this series is that our people would invite people to join them on the weekend.  As spiritual leaders in their lives, I would like to ask you to personally encourage the people in your group and class to take that step.  I deeply believe this series could be transformational for people inside and outside of our church if we get this right.

GROUP MATERIAL

IMG_6958Please also remind the members of your group or class to pick up their copy of the “Participant’s Guide” for FYWBTG this weekend from the Mosaic Book Store.  The cost is $6 plus tax. 

As a reminder, I set aside a copy for you at the Welcome Center.  Please stop by and pick one up this weekend (if you haven’t already).  Remember, the “Leader Guide” is in the back of that book.

 

 

 

VIDEOS FOR GROUP TIME

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 3.29.42 PM

The videos for group time are available on Rightnow Media here: https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/157704

If possible for your group, please plan to watch these on a computer or tablet or stream them to your TV.  If you have questions about that, you can read more about that here: https://support.rightnow.org/entries/33524390-What-devices-can-I-use-to-stream-RightNow-Media-

Also, if you don’t have a Rightnow media account you can get one here free: https://www.rightnow.org/Account/Invite/firstdecatur

Please let me know if you have any questions.

PRAYER

PrayBefore I finish today, I want to ask you to please join me in prayer for your small group or class, for all of our small groups and classes, and for the over 60 new people (hopefully even more to come) who will be stepping into groups next weekend.  Thank you for helping me lift this up.

 

 

As always, thank you for leading and investing in the lives of people in our congregation.  It is a blessing to serve with you.

JG