You have likely heard the adage leaders are learners and though the saying is clichéd I’ve found it to hold truth. Like many small group point people, I find myself challenged to grow and learn more and more. One of the great things about a year coming to an end is all the yearend reviews. I’m a sucker for the lists of resources meant to help me grow and lead better. With it I get to outsource the research of what books, articles and podcasts that give me the best return on my time investment.
This time I’m on the other side of the list. I get to share a list of this year’s top five downloads of the GroupTalk podcast. GroupTalk is the monthly Small Group Network podcast hosted by Carolyn Taketa. But, that presents a bit of a dilemma for me in that they are all great and helpful. So, like last year’s list, this year’s is determined by most downloaded.
- Steve Gladen, founder of the Small Group Network kicked things off with a three part series titled “Three Seasons of Ministry: What I Wish I Had Known“. Steve shares thoughts on the three ministry seasons of starting, stabilizing, and sustaining. Steve is also the Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church and has written extensively on leading groups including Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities.
- “Emerging Trends in Small Group Ministry” was Carolyn’s interview of Mike Mack, editor of Christian Standard Magazine. In the episode Mike discusses themes like millennials view of groups, how to have a balanced leadership structure, and a host of other topics including how to have the World’s Greatest Small Group.
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- “Leading from a Healthy Soul: How to Avoid Ministry Burnout” was an interview with Lance Witt, the founder of Replenish. Lance talks about how leaders care for ourselves in such a way that we minister from a healthy soul, including warning signs of burnout and spiritual disciplines and practical activities help us replenish our souls and keep us flourishing.
- In “5 Small Shifts to Transform Your Small Group Ministry” Daniel Im, discusses the five microshifts that can produce macro changes for your groups ministry and church. Daniel is the Director of Church Multiplication at LifeWay Christian Resources and he discusses this more in his great book No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry.
- In November we had the “Top 5 Sticky Issues in Small Groups” with Bill Search, Lead Pastor of Life Groups at Elmbrook Church and author of two fantastic small group books including his latest, The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders.
These are all great practitioners of small groups, and I have learned so much from and the wisdom they have shared. I hope that you find the insights they’ve shared as beneficial as I have.