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YouLead Overview: Small Group Leaders


They have one of the most important jobs on the planet—they listen, love, exhort, teach and inspire our children to be the Church.

In this issue of YouLead, we’re going to talk about small groups in business and in church, and how the use of small groups cultivates more significant growth than larger group dynamics. From Harley-Davidson to C.S. Lewis, we’ll take a look at groups across a spectrum of environments, learning how each situation impacted members within the group, as well as outsiders entering the group.

Our Real Church feature will look at Ada Bible Church’s successful move to small groups from adults, filtering down through all levels of children’s ministries.

YouLead exists to help you lead better in all arenas: yourself, your volunteers, your staff, and in some cases, leading up to your senior leaders. We do this by creating materials that can be digested in 20 easy minutes a week. Check out what we have in store for you in this issue:

Good news! Sunday is almost here and anticipation is high! All of your hard work this week will soon pay off when your church attendees are touched by a song, a word, a sketch, or an activity that you’ve had a hand in! But before Sunday comes, take a few minutes to settle in and invest in your leadership skills—20 minutes should do it. We’ve already got a plan for you, so making the time is the first step in accomplishing it.

Book Preview: Tribes by Seth Godin
One of the main ways that this book echoes something we say a lot at Orange is its insistence that silos and hierarchy can make it hard to change and have an impact, but by working together toward a common goal, we can do more together.

Podcast: Reggie Joiner
Reggie is the founder of Orange. He is also one of the founding pastors of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. In his role there as the executive director of family ministry, Reggie developed the concepts of ministry for preschoolers, children, students, and married adults over the course of his 11 years with the church. He is the co-author of Seven Practices of Effective Ministries and the author of Think Orange, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, as well as The Orange Leaders Handbook. Reggie and Debbie Joiner live in Cumming, Georgia, and have four grown children.

Podcast: Jason Carr
Jason Carr has been working in student ministry for 16 years with some incredible organizations.  For almost 10 years Jason served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ with the student ministry called Student Venture. After 10 years on staff with Campus Crusade, Jason transitioned to a new season. In this season he continued working part time at North Point Community Church with the student ministry. He also started writing monthly for YouthWalk magazine, a publication of Walk Thru The Bible Ministries, Inc. Jason wrote monthly leader guides to help student pastors who use YouthWalk as curriculum. About 5 years ago Jason joined the full time staff at North Point Community serving with the student ministry. In his 5 years at North Point, Jason has been instrumental for helping implement and lead a new culture for volunteer leaders who serve in the ministry. Currently Jason is writing his next book called “LEGACY” which is a book about leading small groups.

Real World: The Inklings
In the 1920s, gatherings of intentional and intellectual discussions were happening in cities and colleges all across the world. When The Inklings founder, Edward Tangye-Lean, got wind of these gatherings, he decided Oxford needed something very similar.

Read along to learn how a small group of friends came together and impacted the world of literature in ways that changed our cultural landscape.

Now that you have a plan to invest in your own leadership skills, why not make a plan to do some investing in your volunteers? By providing information, encouraging stories, and tips and tricks, the email copy we provide will knit your volunteer community around your shared vision.

And we’re going to make it really simple for you to carry out this plan and become more intentional with your volunteer communications. We’ll even do the writing for you. And if you choose, you can add some words of wisdom of your own to the messages.

Weekly Emails: Why We Do What We Do
Providing information to your volunteers that they can share with the parents of the kids and teenagers they serve will go a LONG way with your leaders. Sometimes the barrier between a volunteer and a parent is a simple lack of creative ways to connect with the parent. It’s time to change that.

In this issue we’re sharing fun stories and research in emails that you can send to your volunteers. We encourage you to challenge these leaders to turn around and share this same information with the parents of the kids and teenagers in your programs. Simple. Did we mention that already?

Whether you’re leading a large staff, a few people, or are trying to lead up to your senior leadership, we’ve got something for you. We’re including another book preview with this portion of YouLead because we felt that it would be a great tool to reinforce the topic.

Book Preview: The Search to Belong, Joseph R. Myers
One of the single most important elements of your ministry is how you’re fostering powerful, God-centered relationships for children and students.

Doing life together with a small group and a small group leader is what makes the difference, but it is essential to think through how the students connect with other students and the small group leader.

According to Joseph Myer, the small group leader can help foster better connections with their students in three ways. . . . Download the book preview to learn more!

Podcast: Tom Shefchunas
Tom is the North Point Ministries multicampus director of Transit (middle school), and co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom’s passion involves working with the campus directors and their teams, as well as recruiting and developing the hundreds of volunteer Small Group Leaders it takes to pull off Transit at the five campuses. Tom and his wife Julie live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey and Cooper.

Real World: Harley-Davidson
In order for us to make community a priority, we have to stop functioning in silos and start working in teams. Having a small group strategy to build community in your church takes everyone—from the senior pastor to individual ministry leaders. How well are you communicating with the other leaders within your church to implement a strategy to form community?

Real Church: Ada Bible Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
For many years now, small groups have been at the forefront of church ministry conversations. Volumes have been written about strategy and best practices. Entire conferences are held each year with a specific goal of helping churches walk through a transition to a small group ministry. Still, many people are still unsure of the next steps they should take in becoming a church of small groups.

Ada Bible Church has been doing small groups for 20 years. What began as a handful of adult small groups in 1992 in a church of 200 people has grown into over 500 groups throughout their entire ministry as a church of 8,000 people. Listen in on their journey to prioritize small groups and their challenges along the way.

Developed by Orange, YouLead is a simple curriculum designed to develop the leadership skills of yourself, your team and your volunteers. It centers on answering three basic questions: What can I do to continue learning as a leader? How can I be intentional about connecting with my volunteers consistently? What can we do to stay on the same page as a team? We do this by creating materials that can be digested in 20 easy minutes a week. Click here to learn more about a subscription to YouLead.