Hey All, I want to start off today by saying thank you. You each give so much to lead, shepherd, guide, and care for the people in your groups and classes. Thank you for investing yourself in others, in order that we may all grow to be more like Christ.


business-plan-defining-your-opportunityI met a young couple last week who is serving refugees in Turkey, and they would love to come chat with your small group or class about what they do.  They shared with one of our classes last weekend and it went very well.  Out of respect for what they do, and for their protection, and the protection of those they serve, I won’t give additional details here, but I would highly encourage you to have them come visit.  Please email me if you are interested.


maxresdefaultFor those of you who attended the huddle on Sunday, the remainder of this post is going to be a recap of the meeting.  Please don’t feel the need to re-read everything.  For those who missed the huddle, we spent a few minutes debriefing our FYWBTG experiences.  Please follow this link to share your feedback.


Below is the cliff’s notes version of the training from the huddle.

istock_000013841997_smallAs a leader of a small group or class, chances are (if not already) the day is coming when you are going to have the opportunity to step into crisis (marriage crisis, job loss, parent/child trouble, tragedy, or unfavorable diagnosis).  I know that is a terrifying idea because every time I face a situation like that I feel at a loss, but my hope is that I can share a few ideas to better equip you for situations like this.

What is a crisis?  

A crisis is a  time of intense difficult, trouble, or danger.  It’ s a time in a person’s life when they are disoriented by something troubling happening in their life that causes them to be unable to function normally.

Who gets to determine a crisis?

Honestly, the only person who can determine a crisis is the person going through it.  Now I know some of you are groaning in your minds right now.  I’ve been there, but the truth is that crisis presents a pathway for growth that a lot of other things in life don’t.  When we be-little someone’s crisis, we may keep them from experiencing growth.

Having said that, there are people we all know who are perpetually in crisis. If that describes someone in your community, please don’t hear me saying that you need to engage them in every crisis they face.  In fact all I can really say is let’s please chat about those cases individually.

What Should You Do?

Your number one job in crisis is to responded .  Even in moments where you feel completely inadequate, your presence and genuine concern for the person will show the hurting person that you care.  That is enough to help with crisis.

How to respond

  • Show Up: The truth is that you are not superhuman, but because of God you are supernaturally able.  In the moments you walk into crisis, be strong and be confident in Him.
  • Listen: Listening is incredibly important in crisis situations. Don’ti feel the pressure to jump in and say what you think you are supposed to say.
  • Affirm
    • Affirm that the situation is bad: People need permission to admit that this is not how it ought to be.
    • Affirm their emotions.  Give them permission to grieve
    • Affirm that God is good.  The easiest way to do this is through prayer
    • Affirm that you’ll take steps together.

Things to avoid

  • Cliches.  Don’t say things you’ve heard other people say: “Everything happens for a reason”.
  • Answers. It’s not the right time for that.
  • Timelines. Everybody grieves differently.  Timelines put pressure on the person in crisis to heal on a schedule.
  • Asking “How can I help?”  A better idea is to suggest ways you might help.

Follow Up

Once you respond to crisis there are three types of people you should try to connect the person in crisis with.  If you encounter this, please feel free to contact me in help finding these people.

  1. Someone who has had a similar experience who understands and can encourage the person along the way.
  2. Someone who can offer wise counsel (counselor, pastor, trusted family friend)
  3. Someone who can provide refreshment along the way (cleaning, meal prep, watching children)

I realize this is a quick run through.  If you ever want to discuss this more, please let me know.

Thanks again, JG


Hey all, Happy Thursday!  I hope your week has been well. I have to tell you that I am very excited about our LEADER HUDDLE this Sunday.  For those who can make it, I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday at 6:30 pm.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-2-10-51-pmWe will be debriefing FYWBTG, but I have also put together a training on how we can best respond when crisis occurs in the life of someone in our group or class.   I know that many of you are unable to make it Sunday night, so I will do my best to recap what we talked about in next weeks’ blog.



As I mentioned three weeks ago, Pastor BJ and his family would love for your group to join him for dinner at their house on The Block or to help with their event on Halloween. Please email Pastor BJ if you or your group are interested.



One of my favorite parts of being Discipleship Pastor is the opportunity to grab coffee, or pop (soda), or water, or tea with each of you and hear how your group is going.  Between now and Thanksgiving I would love the opportunity to connect with you.  Please click here to email me to set up a time to connect.



72831As a group leader myself, I’m always looking for articles that sharpen my approach to leading.  I came across this article today called “How Can I Lead Great Small-Group Discussions,” and really appreciated the insights and examples, so I thought I would share it with you.   Check it out here.



As I mentioned earlier, in next week’s post, I will recap what we talk about in the Leader Huddle, as well as ideas to create a healthy group rhythm during the holiday season.  Also, just because I’m curious to see how many people read this far, if you read to this point, please click here and email me the word “Avocado”.  The first ten people to do this will be entered into a drawing for a Starbucks gift card. As always, please let me know if you need anything.

Thank you for investing.  – JG



GT Invite.001Our next Leader Huddle is October 23 (a week from Sunday) at 6:30 pm in Mosaic Cafe.  If you are a Grow Together teacher, small group leader, or host, please make it a point to be at this gathering.  I would like to learn from your insights on the Finding Your Way Back series, as well as do a brief training on responding to crisis in your small group/class.  Please RSVP below


If you can’t see the form please click here to respond.


Thank you so much for joining us for the FYWBTG series.  As I mentioned last week, I would love to know what you are studying next. I am also happy to help in any way I can as you think about next steps.  Please click here to email me about your group’s next step.

Please also remember to email Pastor BJ if your group would like to join his family in the block house for dinner.

Thank you, JG


Hey all, hope your week is going well.


Well we have reached the final week of FYWBTG.  Thank you so much for joining us in this series.  The week 5 sermon and study is on the Awakening to Life.  One of the ways we are going to focus on this idea is to invite our congregation to check out (and hopefully sign up for) the volunteer opportunities we have as a church.

fullsizerenderThis weekend as the services dismiss, there will be booths in the lobby highlighting service opportunities.  Please encourage the people in your groups to check these out and consider how God could use them in our church or community.  Also, stop by the Grow Together table and grab some candy.





  • I just wanted to send you a reminder to check with your group about visiting the Block House and having a meal with Pastor BJ and his family.  See last week’s update for more details.
  • I also wanted to remind you that Equip classes begin next Wednesday.  These are a great way for the people in your group to Grow in their faith.  Click here for a list of classes and registration.  Registration ends Monday.


As the FYWBTG series comes to an end, I would love to hear what your group is planning to study next. If you are looking for ideas, please check out the videos at the bottom of last week’s post.  Please fill out this form to let me know your plan.

Click here if you can’t see the form

Thank you for all you do to serve and lead.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.