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Spiritual Disciplines: Growing Together in Community

When we think of the spiritual disciplines, we think about practicing them ourselves. Maybe its reading your bible more, or having a more consistent prayer life – whatever the discipline – our thoughts go to the individual. But, what if the spiritual disciplines were not meany to be practiced solely individually but in community? As Small Group Leaders and Coaches, this is the key question we need to challenge ourselves with.

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Leaders & Coaches

Bible Reading and Prayer: Does One Impact the Other?

When our church decided to spend thirty days emphasizing prayer and fasting, I chose to do a media fast. I took inventory of my media habits, and I was alarmed with the amount of time I was spending watching TV and browsing social media. Here’s what happened.


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Secret Sin May be Killing Your Small Group

Christian community is the means by which the strength of Christ is realized in one’s own heart. In other words, sin is crushed by Christ when believers practice teaching and admonishing one another with the word of Christ

How to Relaunch Your Group After COVID

We are reemerging from a pandemic. And we need community. Some or all of your small group has been meeting virtually. So now that your group is meeting in person again, how do you relaunch your group after COVID?

4 Things Not To Say To A Friend Who Is Suffering

Suffering surprises us. Our mother is suddenly taken to the hospital. We go through a break-up. Our husband has open-heart surgery. Each person in our group will go through a valley. But here are four things not to say to a friend who is suffering.

Borrowing Other People’s Words to Pray

I often struggle with prayer. I feel empty-headed, and I revert back to simple words and phrases that I’ve used again-and-again to speak to God. Fortunately, I have found three places where I can borrow others’ words to help me pray.

Is Your Group Like This? 3 Reasons We Love Our Small Group

In Charlotte, we had a wonderful Small Group of folks we loved talking to about what was going on in our life and what God was teaching us. We hoped to find this same community at our new church. But we had no idea what community would look like in a new church.

How Can I Elevate Prayer Needs to the Elders?

What do you do when people in your group have significant prayer needs, like an upcoming surgery, a close family member passing away, or a cancer diagnosis? Pastor Don Bartemus answers how your group can elevate important prayer needs to the pastors and elders.

Life After a 30-Day Media Fast

When our church decided to spend thirty days emphasizing prayer and fasting, I chose to do a media fast. I took inventory of my media habits, and I was alarmed with the amount of time I was spending watching TV and browsing social media. Here’s what happened.

How Do I Help Someone Who Is Depressed?

Jeff Ballard opens up the topic of depression so that we can see that it’s encouraging that a person would share this with us, that even the famous pastor Charles Spurgeon struggled in this way, and there are practical takeaways for us to help.

Better Than Instagram: How To Form Digital Relationships

Does your group have members who attend virtually (via Zoom or another videoconference software)? Is that okay? Or is that a second-rate form of community? And how much work does it take to make sure that you’re still in real relationship with that face on the screen?

You Have a Small Group, Now Make a Smaller Group

In our hyper-individualistic culture sharing anything remotely private almost sounds scandalous. But we all know that only when we get real do we really change. What would it look like to place yourself in a relationship where you share your deepest struggles? This can happen if you’re willing to make your Small Group “smaller.”

Don’t Miss These 4 Ingredients to Help Men Follow Jesus

What we pray for and strive to achieve with the group is the discipleship strategy of College Park Church: to belong , grow and multiply. Our group is a launching pad, not just a landing pad—helping men not just look inward but forward. Here are four ways that we help our community of men follow Jesus.

Do We Really Need Accountability in Our Group?

Sometimes the word “accountability” can instill fear—and for good reason. When misused, it becomes nothing more than legalistic, performance-based righteousness. Biblical accountability can be a beautiful tool within the context of a group and can draw members into deeper fellowship. But what exactly is biblical accountability?

Leaders Are Learners: Past Leader Equip Nights Topics

At College Park, we believe in equipping our ministry leaders to better serve those in our congregation. One of the ways we do this is through Small Group Leader Equip Nights. Check out all the past training content including power points slideshows and downloadable PDF guides to better equip you as you lead your group.

Is Your Prayer Life Stuck in a Rut?

We can all easily find ourselves stuck in the same prayer habits, leading us to an ineffective time with Lord. Christians often struggle in their prayer life—not knowing what to pray and offering distracted prayers. With so many things competing for our attention, we need to be more fervent in creating the space to commune with the Creator God.

How to Deal with Uncertainty Through Prayer

If there has been one constant this year it is this: uncertainty. Crisis causes change. And change leaves us figuring out how to respond. If uncertainty is our constant companion, what do we do about that? It’s never easy to feel out of control. We cherish finding a sense of stability. So, here are four actions we can take to continue moving forward even in the midst of uncertainty.

Help! Group Prayer Intimidates Me

Praying in a group can be intimidating, especially if it’s with people you’ve just met or still getting to know. Prayers begin to sound better in your head than when spoken out loud—so you decide not to speak and are afraid you will embarrass yourself by saying something silly. But sharing your heart in prayer or sharing your prayer requests can be a place of healing.

Marriage and a Move: Finding Community

Everything was new for us: being married, living together, new state, new jobs, new city, new friendships, new church; all of it. Although we both have loving and supportive families and friend groups in Michigan and Ohio, we knew that community was going to be important in a year of transition.

The First Thing We’re Doing in Our New Home

After moving into five different apartments the first five years of marriage, my wife and I are ready to settle into a home. The excitement for this milestone in our life has led us to ask the question, “What is the first thing we will do in our new home?” Buy new furniture? Likely! Enjoy watching our kiddo run around in the backyard? Certainly! Start a Small Group? Yep!

Searching for Friends During a Pandemic

During the height of sequestering and feeling increasingly confined, my wife Cathy and I were introduced (virtually) to Nathan and Rebekah Elliott—who are Small Group leaders at College Park Church. Meeting new people through video phone platforms can be difficult. Nonetheless, it was very clear to see across a screen just how charming, fervent, and genuine the Elliotts really were.

4 Tips for Cultivating a Healthy Small Group

As Small Group leaders we have answered a call to steward those entrusted in our group. Much like a gardener, we are tasked with nurturing, but the Lord is the one that causes the growth. We can’t take credit when our group is doing well, but we can take steps to ensure against neglect. 

How Do I Avoid Burnout?

I don’t want to burn out. But there are so many threats in life that push me toward spending all my energy and having nothing left. Especially after a season of heightened crisis, we need some recovery. So, what can we do to avoid burnout? Let’s try these six practices

Becoming a Leader Is How I Found Community

I can say leading a Small Group has become one of the greatest joys and experiences I have had in my faith journey so far. I am able to encourage, be encouraged, and bring people together so that they can continue to love one another well and I can also be loved. Every member of the Small Group community plays a special part in that.

Leading Your Group by Sharing Your Struggles

In the age of Photoshop and curated feeds it has become normal to only publish what we want people to see. I longed to feel like I could be myself without the need to hide behind a mask or stand protected behind a wall. These precious relationships can only flourish by being vulnerable and sharing real struggles with others.

How Do I Know If Someone In My Group Is Ready To Lead?

Although it can be scary to think about “losing” a really great group member, we’re called to encourage one another to maximize using our spiritual gifts (see Heb. 10:24-25). And one of the best days in a Small Group is that bittersweet day when a member is released to start leading a group on their own. Here are five clues that will help you know if someone in your group is ready to lead

4 Ways to Connect with Your Group This Summer

We are beginning a series of firsts after being in lockdown for weeks—whether that is your first dine-in restaurant experience or first haircut since quarantine. But how do you pick up where you left off with your Small Group? How are you preparing for your first gatherings as a group post-quarantine? What about social meet-ups with members from your group?

Unconventional Friendships: Why Our Small Group Works

I love our Small Group. God has brought together a group of people representing incredibly diverse backgrounds, and it has been a privilege getting to know those the Lord has brought into our lives. But this diversity wasn’t something I even realized to ask God for until two years ago.

3 Tools for Neighboring Post-Quarantine

The strangeness of post-quarantine life has given us a window of opportunity to connect on a deeper level with unbelieving people in our lives. Quarantine, E-learning, working from home, political unrest and social injustice have opened doors to conversations like never before. But are we ready?