For the last two days I’ve been hanging with a couple of good friends… Steve Gladen, the groups guy at Saddleback Church in southern California, and Bill Search, the groups guy at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. We’ve laughed, asked each other for input on decisions we’re trying to make, discussed ideas we have for our ministries, and spent an unthinkable amount of time talking about the small group world. I’m invigorated.
We share like passions, Christ being known and lifted up through small groups. But we’re not even close to being mirror images of one another… for sure. Steve is an athletic California boy, Bill a masculine Michiganer, and I, well, I’m a short, pudgy, guy with deep roots in Kentucky. Steve is a pragmatist with an amazing ability to see things most of us would miss and unearths wisdom when discussing ministry situations that is well… astounding. Bill is one of the great thinkers in the small group space with a passion for theological perspective and is courageously unwilling to allow small group norms that contradict Scripture to stick in the midst of a conversation. I am simply a visionary passionately pursuing what both Bill and Steve offer and oftentimes sharing the wisdom that they, and people like them pass on to me. Steve and Bill are small group pastors who also consult, I’m a small group consultant who has pastored and continues to do so when a church is in need… for a time. We are not much alike.
Our primary passion brings us together, and when we are together synergy and energy flow like the Mississippi River and when it does, my heart comes alive. I must confess, times like these are a lifeline to a guy like me, a guy oftentimes drowning in his own red tape, his negative self-thought, his personal pride, and his overwhelming responsibilities. I need a network. You do too.
As I make may way around the country speaking with small group pastors I am vividly aware that one of the great necessities of ministry is getting with some other small group types to laugh with, throw ideas off of, and gain wise counsel from.
If you find yourself without a network and you don’t know where to turn, I am going to suggest you consider clicking on the link below this paragraph. Steve has been and continues to build a network for small group pastors, small groups of small group pastors who meet regularly throughout the United States. Check out the site below and then take the next step… Go to the bottom of the page, click on “Join one of our local networks today!” and sign up. I am almost certain you’ll be a better person having done so. I am certain that your ministry will reap the benefits.