I just returned from attending my first Small Group Network Lobby Gathering, and I am already looking forward to the 2018 So Cal Lobby (Register HERE), which is March 13-15, 2018! While Derek Olson captured some of the best of the best quotes from the Lobby, I want to share some of the lessons I learned at my first Lobby Conference.
#1 Southern California in March is absolutely gorgeous. Sitting outside and enjoying 75 degree days is especially a delightful when you are coming from a colder climate, like Utah!
#2 Small group ministry is hard, and no one has it figured out. There were small group ministry leaders from every size and shape of church, and from the smallest to the largest, no one I dialogued with had it figured out. So relax.
#3 My favorite part of the conference was not the small group insights I gleaned, but rather the relationships formed and strengthened. Most of us are passionate about small groups because we have all recognized and experienced the transformative power of relationships. I just loved getting to know my fellow co-laborers in Christ. That said…
#4 Everyone is there to learn from each other. The first night of the conference Steve Gladen encouraged us all to check our egos at the door, and be humble enough to learn from everyone. And this attitude pervaded throughout the whole conference.
“Accelerate!” is a small group strategic planning workshop for small group ministry point people and their leadership team. These powerful sessions will be taught by Saddleback Pastor Steve Gladen and other Saddleback small group pastors July 10 – July 12 at the Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center in San Juan Capistrano, California. REGISTER HERE
#5 The best posture to have during the Lobby is a posture of listening. At night, people would sit around the fire pits and just talk—join those conversations, listen and ask questions. The best fire pit conversation I participated in was one in which Ron Wilbur asked us the questions that kept him up at night. The conversation was incredible; however, the sleep that night…not so much. Thanks Ron!
#6 At the same time, don’t underestimate yourself. I have only officially been in my current role for a year. Going in and even during the conference, my temptation was to think that I had nothing to offer, but I found out that was not the case. Even if you are at a church that has only a handful of small groups, you have something to contribute to the rest of us!
#7 Be yourself. Most conferences seem to encourage a certain level of bravado and false confidence. But not here. Come as you are in weakness and authenticity.
I look forward to seeing you all at the next Lobby. I can’t wait to read the blog from one of you after your first Lobby gathering.!