Archive for February, 2010

Everyday Heroes: Lindy Bochneak

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Ellen Herder tells us why her friend Lindy Bochneak is her hero.

Heroes

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

This week we host a special Valentine’s Day Service to kickoff our “Heroes” series. Not just for married couples, this service is for all of us – single and married alike. We worry what “Love” means. God offers us a great deal in terms of a definition that is both challenging and
comforting. We hope to see you there!

The Small Group Discovery

Monday, February 1st, 2010

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about small groups. I know for myself when I first heard people talking about getting involved with groups I wanted nothing to do with them. Over time however, I finally decided to check one out and discovered that they weren’t so bad after all, in fact it was a really positive experience in my life. I have found myself trying all kinds of small groups and have realized that they are actually a really great way to connect with other people, people who I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. They have gotten me out of my own little world into a place where I don’t feel so isolated and have really helped me grow as a person. So I thought this might be a good opportunity to take a look at some of the things small groups aren’t as a way to help others start to discover what they are.

Five things they are not:
1. A place where you come to divulge your deepest darkest secrets.
a. Although sharing in small groups is encouraged it is only around the topic at hand. Group members will always have the option to pass with any given question. People are encouraged to reflect upon their life as a way to use the topic to grow spiritually or connect with others, but the goal is never to ask people to share anything they aren’t comfortable discussing.
2. A therapy session.
a. The purpose of groups are to connect with others and to grow. No one leading or participating in the group should be soliciting advice or is there as a counselor or therapist. People should not sign up for groups with the expectation of receiving therapy or offering counseling services. However, groups are places where people often feel like they grow as a person based upon their personal discovery and self-reflection.
3. A classroom with lots of homework.
a. Although many people learn a great deal during their experiences in small groups the person leading the group is not a teacher and it’s not designed to be a time to learn information in a way that is tested and graded. The point of a small group is to grow in your relationship with others in whatever topic or area the group is following. This might be a book that you have all decided to read together in which case you would do that on your own however or it might be an activity in which case there is nothing to be done besides showing up for your group and participating with each other.
4. All Spiritually Based.
a. Although many groups have been formed around religious topics there is no limit to the topics or activities that groups can be based upon. We hope that there will be a deep variety of small groups available to everyone at NewChurch LIVE. In variety there is perfection. The more variety of small groups available the more perfect the small group program becomes. We want everyone to find some point of connection and to push out into their local community and small groups are one of the best ways to do so.
5. Something that NewChurch LIVE has to organize.
a. We encourage everyone to think of something that is of interest to him or herself. Some of the best groups are developed out of a unique interest or hobby that a person might have. Small groups are the mechanism for connecting with others and we really hope that everyone will have the desire to create their own. We’re all a part of life’s journey and recognize that there are many ways for people to connect and hope to have a diverse range of small groups to reach everyone.

Have you had a really positive small group experience in the past? Do you have an idea of a small group that you would like to start? We would love to hear your stories and find a way to learn from each of your experiences participating in small groups or any of your ideas about starting your own. Let us know what you think!