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Are You Replacing A Long Term Leader? Five Tips To Help You Lead As The New Guy

Replacing a long-term leader is rarely easy.  Especially, if you’re the one replacing the guy everyone is used to.

However, living by the following principles will help you to navigate through the transition of replacing a long-term leader.  The fact of the matter is, you’re not the other person.  This is the problem.  The problem is not that you’re you.  And the problem is not that the leader was who they were.  The problem is that you are not that person.

Consequently, if you’re the new guy, you’ll be compared to the previous leader.  It’s natural.  And, it’s ok.  Everything from your leadership style, personality, to the way you communicate will be stacked up against the previous leader.  While this may not seem fair, it is completely normal.

We are all creatures of habit.  Most people adjust, adapt and get comfortable over time with leadership.  It’s not necessarily that what you’re doing as the new guy is bad, it’s just different.  Different isn’t always easy.  Different means uncomfortable.

A year ago, I was the one replacing a long-term leader.  I’ve learned some things through this transition.

Before I share the tips, I want to share a story to help set the stage.

During the first couple of weeks of me replacing a beloved pastor, the gym that I go to was also undergoing new leadership.  The guy who owned the gym sold it to a new group of owners.

Without any prompting, I began thinking about possibly going to a new gym down the street. The guy I knew and liked was no longer there.

That week in the locker room another member came in and was ticked off because his credit card had been hacked.  Coincidentally, he had also used his credit that week to pay his bill at the gym.  He, without any proof, linked his card being hacked to using it to pay his bill with the new gym owners.  In disgust the guy said, “If that’s how it’s going to be around here, I’ll take my membership elsewhere.”

Almost instantly, I could sense God speaking to me.  “If you feel this way about your gym and this guy is upset because of his gym how do you think those people feel about their church?”

That question has shaped ministry for me this past year.

By the way, I love what the owners have done with the gym.  Their style is different.  Their personality is different.  Actually, I love the direction they have taken the gym.  In addition, I expressed to one of them how much I appreciated what they were doing and that I knew that it isn’t always easy to be the one replacing the long-term leader.

Here Are Five Tips For Successfully Replacing A Long-Term Leader As The New Guy:

1. Conversations Are Better Than Rumors.

If you’re the new guy, decide right now that you’re going to talk about things.  Plan on having conversations.  Realize that giving others the opportunity to ask questions and share their feelings about you is better than them sharing them with others.  Plus, engaging in conversations gives you the chance to share your heart.  Getting to know each other is a big deal.

If you stay secluded and avoid difficult conversations, people will form their own opinions and share them with others about who you are and why you’re there.  However, having healthy conversations will help ensure that the narrative is healthy and that rumors are avoided.

Carl George and Warren Bird discuss the importance of knowing who you’re talking to and building relationships with the right people.  They go so far as describing some of these relationships as “allies”.  You need to understand the people that are there have been there longer than you and have made contributions that you haven’t.  They have been a part of paving the way for where the church currently is.  Therefore, do not see them as enemies but as allies.  Value these people.

Conversation is the only way for building a bridge between what they’ve done and where you want to go next.

replacing a long-term leader
2. Build Trust Instead Of Walls.

What is trust?  Ultimately, trust is confidence.  People may trust that you’re not a bad person, or that you have good morals but they’re also asking, “Can I follow you as a leader?”  “Will you let me down if I put my confidence in you to lead?”

I’ve heard it described this way: trust equals consistency over time.  Therefore, you need to be patient and understanding that building trust is a process.  If you’re insecure as the new leader, you’ll demand trust immediately and become frustrated when people don’t convey trust.  In addition, both sides will begin building walls that you can’t see but that you can feel.  You know the walls are there.  It will become a you vs. them scenario.  Avoid this!

Instead, do everything you can to build trust.  I outlined five ways to build trust within your team in this POST.

If trust equals consistency over time, you must do what you say you’re going to do, repeatedly.  Building trust also goes back to having conversations with people.  Conversations not about people, but with people.

The quicker trust is established the faster progress can be made and everything can continue moving in the right direction.  In conclusion, do everything you can to build trust and tear down walls.  When you’re replacing a long-term leader, you need trust.

3. Questions Lead To Understanding

I know, I know, you have vision.  You see the areas to improve.  There are changes that you want to make… And believe it or not, people want to hear about them.  But, they want to be heard too.

If you’ll be willing to ask questions and listen, people will be willing to listen when it’s your turn to talk.

Carey Nieuwhof put it this way, “when you listen first and speak second, people are far more interested in what you have to say.”

Questions can be scary though.

What are they going to ask?
How will they respond?

When someone answers a question, they are revealing what they think and how they feel.  As leaders, we want to know these things.  Allowing others to ask questions creates opportunity to reinforce your vision and values.

But, if you’re an insecure leader, you will confuse being asked a question with being questioned.  However, valuing questions can help you solve problems and discover the right answers.

To understand what people are thinking you have to ask them.  If you’re interested in asking better questions check out the post, How To Ask Questions That Lead To Better Conversations.

Asking questions gives you the opportunity to see things from another perspective.  While what you’re saying make sense to you, it may be taken the wrong way by someone else.  Maybe you’re coming across differently than you think.  Very few people will approach you to tell you when you’re doing this.  Therfore, you need to start a habit of asking questions during this transitional time to ensure that both sides are understanding each other.  If you’re replacing a long-term leader just know that people will have questions about you as the new leader.

4. Process Helps Ensure Stability.

A process is a series of steps taken to achieve a desired outcome.  One of the things you and those you are now leading need, is stability.

If you’re curious about how to create process check out Four Steps To Create Effective Church Systems.

We have a saying at the church where I pastor, Change is our friend.  We try to always remain open to change and to avoid becoming too comfortable with things the way they are.  However, when changes are made questions naturally arise.  Why?  How come?  What’s the reason?

Most of the time things seem to be working fine the way they are.  People get comfortable and used to things working a certain way.  Therefore, when change happens it disrupts what has become normal.  Having a process behind the change will help you to provide answers to people’s questions.  Using a process can guide you in decisions, help you to understand why decisions were made, and how the change is going help.

Defining a process for how your church or team is going to move forward while replacing a long-term leader provides security and helps people feel safe in unstable times.

5. Don’t Take Preferences Personal.

Out of all the tips, this may be the one that you need to hold onto the closest.  Don’t neglect the other four, but definitely don’t forget this one either.

To illustrate what I mean, I need to ask you some questions:

What’s your favorite ice cream?
What toppings do you like on your pizza?
How do you like your steak cooked?
Who’s your favorite communicator?

My point is, what you like and prefer is probably different than me.

Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla.  I like bacon and pineapple on my pizza, my wife likes sausage and banana peppers.

Not everyone is going to like you.  Most people will be kind to you.  Some will become your biggest fans.  Others will prefer some things about the other leader or pastor.

When you’re replacing the long-term leader, you will probably hear things like:

He did things this way…
Her personality was like…
His preaching has a way of speaking to me…

All of this is normal and ok.

Everyone has preferences and so do you.

The differences between you and the other leader are not determining factors of if you and the new congregation can work together.  The determining factor is if you’re willing to get to know each other.

Are you willing to try?
Will you work to stay positive?
Can you stay open to having conversations?
Are you willing to see things from someone else’s perspective?

Some people are not willing, you need to let them walk.  Love them. Pray for them.  Be there for them if they come back, but understand some people are not willing or wanting to work together.

If you take other people’s preferences as a personal insult, you’ll begin to harbor unhealthy thoughts about yourself and them.  This will halt progress.  You’ll feel paralyzed.  And, carry a chip on your shoulder.

You’ll feel tempted to put the previous leader down to make yourself look better.  Always choose to honor the other leader.  Take the high road.

The other temptation will be to feel less than because you’re not the other person.

Both are wrong and unnecessary.  Both traps can be avoided if you’re intentional to remind yourself that preferences are not personal.

God has uniquely gifted you to lead.

You are where you are for a reason.  You’ll always have room to improve but always trust that God will give you everything you need to lead.

Are you the new guy?  Could you use a little encouragement?  Listen to this podcast about transitioning a church.

If you’re replacing a long term-leader, hang in there.  Apply these tips and encourage your people that the best days are ahead.

Do you have tips that you would add to this list?  Feel free to email me at

How To Speak Well Of Your Spouse In Public All The Time

Learning how to speak well of your spouse is vital to your relationship.  Speaking well of others, especially your spouse also matters to the health of your small group.

When Tiffany and I were first married we regularly attended young married events that were similar to a small group environment.  The events typically started off relaxed with everyone just hanging out.  Later in the evening a teaching would be presented followed by group discussion.

I’ll never forget the time when a couple was sharing and the husband called his wife a bonehead.  The conversation came to a brief halt and even worse the wife shut down.  Who could blame her?  I’m sure that if we would have been able to see what people were thinking it would have been, “Did he really just say that?!”

Everyone there witnessed firsthand that “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”[1]

The health of your relationships will directly affect your influence as a leader.  This will hold true and have power to impact positively or negatively depending on the condition of your relationships.

In order for members of  small groups to be authentic, they must know that what they have discussed will not be shared as gossip.  And, members of the group will display honor by not saying anything that will embarrass or put down their spouse or other members.

speak well of your spouse

Below are ways to promote health within your relationships and to be a model to those you lead through the words that you share.

Here are three ways to always speak well of your spouse:

Always Choose Words That Honor Each Other

Esteem your wife.  A husband should always hold his wife in high regard.

Husbands esteem your wife in word & action, even in public. This communicates honor to her & others. Tweet That

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Husbands thrive on respect. Wives ask, “Am I communicating respect in word & action?” Tweet That

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Michael Hyatt puts it this way, It pays to be positive. Notice the good things and affirm them. Call them out. Acknowledging your spouse is huge in terms of reinforcing the behavior and getting more of what you like.

Do you want more honor, more respect?  Decide to talk honorably about each other first.

Agree Beforehand What You Are Willing To Discuss

Again, this applies more specifically to marriage but it is also applicable to other relationships.

Trust takes time to build but can be broken in an instant.  Even though small group environments are meant to inspire openness, there are times where some things are better kept reserved, at least for a time.

One way to safeguard against sharing to much is by first expressing to one another how much you want said, if anything at all.  And, also asking if it is ok to share about details or circumstances.

Be Aware Of Your Motives

At least consider two things when it comes to sharing information if you want to speak well of your spouse:


Is what I’m sharing meant to make me look like the better person?

Am I sharing this to tear another person down?


Even though something may be true or took place it is not always helpful to share with others about it.

Will what you share embarrass or shame the one you talking about?

Gossip should have no place in our conversations, only that which is helpful and edifying.  The Bible in multiple places condemns practicing gossip.[2]

As a small group leader, spouse, friend, co-worker, neighbor, member of the body of Christ, etc. use your words to draw one another closer to God.  Seek to apply this scripture to your:

Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

QUESTION:  How have you seen the positive effects when you speak well of your spouse?

s there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to invite others to your small group

[1] Proverbs 18:21 (MSG Bible)

[2] Romans 1:29-32, 1 Timothy 5:12-13, Proverbs 20:19

Awkward Conversations In Your Small Group? 3 Ways To Guide The Discussion In A New Direction

Awkward conversations are uncomfortable.  It doesn’t take long in a group setting for a challenging conversation to take place.  Small group leaders should be ready to guide awkward conversations toward fruitfulness.   When the discussion is not on task it becomes easy for others to check out.

Rather than wondering what you should have said or what others must have been thinking, be proactive in leading the conversation by keeping the following tips in mind:

awkward conversations

1.  Pray For Wisdom When Awkward Conversations Are Happening.

Additional prayer is always good but especially when a discussion begins to take place that enters into deep waters or controversial subjects. When conversations get awkward start praying. Ask God for wisdom, truth, and discernment.

James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Knowing when to continue a conversation or to stop it and what to say requires the wisdom of God.

2.  Is The Discussion Fruitful?

Another way to determine if a conversation is worth continuing is by asking yourself if it is fruitful? The following scriptures provide boundaries for the conversations that we engage in.

Although a topic may be ok, it’s important to determine if the conversation is producing spiritual fruit.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Even though specific subjects may not be inherently wrong pay attention to the manner in which it is being discussed.  Also, is it relevant to the group and not just an individual.

3.  Balance Everything With The Word Of God.

Ultimately, God’s Word should always be the source that we use to uphold teaching and ways of thinking. The Bible helps us to know God and His heart in a deeper way and to equip us to live according to it.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

How have you handled awkward conversations?  Have you found yourself applying these principles as you lead small group conversations?

Is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to invite others to your small group

Small Group Multiplication | Three Reasons Why Small Groups Should Focus On Multiplication

Small group multiplication should be a goal of your small group ministry.  Whether your group recently started meeting or has been together for a while it is important to build your group with multiplication in mind.

You may be in a group where the chemistry is “just right” which makes the thought of change difficult. However, multiplying your group promotes health and will cause growth not just for others but for you as well.

As you grow together as a group, grow with the understanding that small group multiplication matters.  Below are a few reasons why you should pray for, build upon, and lead toward multiplying small groups at your church:

small group multiplication

Small Group Multiplcation Models What Jesus Commanded

In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commissioned His disciples to go and make other disciples.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

How easy would it have been for the disciples to remain in their group?  They had grown to know each other, they knew each others weaknesses, and they had experienced things together that were unique to their relationships.  Regardless, the disciples focused on completing the mission.

Jesus himself modeled a pattern of discipleship:

– The one whom Jesus loved, John (John 13:23 & 20:2)
– Peter, James, & John were invited to the Transfiguration(Luke 9:28)
– The twelve disciples (Matthew 10)
– The seventy two (Luke 10)

Small Group Multiplication Gives Your Group A Goal

Having a goal to multiply will be a good reminder of one of the reasons for the group.  This goal will provide a source of unity for your group.  Having a goal in a group environment will naturally cause the members to work together providing opportunity for growth in and through those who participate in achieving the goal.

It is also reasonable to keep in mind that groups have a life span.  Allow your group to live and breathe but be aware when it is time to mix things up by multiplying.  This is one way to ensure that your group will end strong.

Small Group Multiplication Provides Opportunity For Others To Experience Community & Grow Spiritually

Multiplying your group provides new opportunity for outsiders to share in authentic Christian relationship.  Adding new members to a group will also inject new energy, perspective, conversation, and diversity—all of which will be fresh air to a group that is nearing the time for multiplication.

If you’re a small group leader I invite you to join in prayer & action concerning multiplying your group.  Make a commitment as a group to  invest in leaders and invite those who are on the outside to join in experiencing community and growing spiritually.

Is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to invite others to your small group

Why Prayer In Small Groups Matter | 3 Ways Prayer Impacts Your Small Group

It may seem obvious why prayer in small groups in important but just in case, below are a few central reasons for making sure that prayer is always a part of your group.  After all, a healthy small group should provide opportunity to Share Life, God, & Prayer together!

1.  Sharing Prayer In Small Groups Strengthens Community.

It is amazing the impact sharing a prayer request can have on drawing a group together.  The essence of a prayer reveals matters that are beyond surface conversation.  When someone shares matters that they are praying about they are sharing things about their life that they care the most about.  As a small group one of the goals is to experience community.  True community is able to take place among open and honest people.  As a group care for and gather together around the prayers that are shared.

prayer in small groups

2.  Prayer Is An Intentional Invitation For God To Lead Your Group.

When we pray we are asking God to intervene, lead, & guide our lives.  Wouldn’t we want the same leading for our Small Group?  When we pray we are recognizing that God knows better, has more power, and is able to do what we have not been able to.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7

Praying together as a small group will remind everyone that God is in control and that we don’t have to be.

3.  Prayer Allows God To Work. 

Answered prayer encourages faith and inspires trusting in God in all circumstances.  When a small group prays together everyone has opportunity for their relationship with God to grow and be strengthened.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20 

Think about the amazing power that God says He will use on behalf of those who believe and pray according to His Will!

In order to incorporate prayer into your group you must do so purposefully. By doing so you are truly making way for God to do great things in and through your group.  Prayer in small groups is an important aspect of Experiencing Community & Growing Spiritually.  If you are not already, decide now to intentionally make prayer a part of your group life.

Share below how prayer in small groups has affected you or your group?

Is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to invite others to your small group

How To Invite Others To Your Small Group | Three Ways To Grow Your Small Group

Curious about how to invite others to your small group?  Inviting others can be easy and far less intimidating than we sometimes think.

Small groups can play an important role in your churces mission to reach the lost and to disciple believers.  Hopefully your church believes that the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20) was not only for Jesus’ disciples but also for all believers, then and now.

A small group provides a great way for people to share encouragement.  (Gal. 6:2; Col. 3:16; Heb. 3:13, 10:24-25; James 5:16; I Peter 4:8-9).  They are also a way to build and deepen relationships  The potential for discipleship is multiplied when people are committed to encouraging one another and deepening relationships according to scripture.  Small groups can provide opportunity for people to build Christian friendship, grow in their walk, and use their gifts.

If you’re a small group leader you should be intentional about inviting other to be a part of your group.  You should assume total responsibility for the success of your group!  Hopefully, your church provides additional support by promoting small groups too!  It can do this through various means of communication and by providing resources and training for you.  But in the end, it’s your baby to care for!

Below Are A Few Ideas Of How To Invite Others To Your Small Group:

how to invite others to your small group


Neighbors, friends, and people at church.  God may lay a person on your heart or prompt you to invite someone who currently does not know about or attend your group.  Sometimes this may mean stepping out of your “comfort zone” but this is how we grow and the benefits for both you and the one invited could be great!


If you already use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or blog why not use it as a platform to let others know what God is doing in your life?  While social media serves as a window into your life beyond your ministry involvement it can also be a great way to connect others to your group!

how to invite others to your small grouphow to invite others to your small grouphow to invite others to your small group


Write a letter, send a postcard, email your contacts, share a text, etc. to let those connected to you that you are leading a group and would like for them to be a part.

Whether you realize it or not, you a sphere of influence (your family, workplace, neighborhood, apartment complex, church).  Allow where God has placed you to be an opportunity to invite others into what God is doing!  There is a familiar phrase, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”  Inviting others to be a part of your group is a great way to let them know that you care.

Did this help you learn how to invite others to your small group?

Is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to invite others to your small group

How To Balance Small Group Social Time With Spiritual Growth

Small Group social time will always be important!  Further more, small groups should always offer a opportunity to spend time and have fun with each other.  But have you ever left group and thought, “What a great time, but what about the bible study”?

small group social timeIf so, this more than likely means that you are experiencing community within your group.  But what about growing spiritually?

There will always be a challenge to balance between small group social time and spiritual growth.

Relationship is so refreshing, especially with healthy and mature adults who are heading in the same direction as you are.  God not only wants us to be connected with others but also with HIM.

Our relationships with each other should be intentional.  In addition, our friendship with each other should also deepen our relationship with the Lord.  This happens by intentionally discussing, sharing, and studying Gods Word with the group.

Your small group should strive to create a healthy balance within the group of experiencing community and growing spiritually.

Here are four tips that you can put into practice in order to balance small group social time with spiritual growth:

1.  Make the most of time outside of the small group to deepen relationships.

As you spend time with people in a group setting you will naturally begin to develop friendship outside of the group as well.

Using the extra time that you have throughout the month or week is a great way to get together with those in your group outside of group time. This will help free up more time to intentionally pray and study God’s word together during small group.

2.  Express clear expectations for your small group time.

Make it clear from the beginning that your group time will primarily consist of two things: experiencing community (connecting relationally) and growing spiritually (connecting with God through prayer and study of His Word).  Don’t hesitate to refocus the group by reminding them of this goal.

3.  Describe what spiritual growth looks like.

Help your group members to understand how connecting relationally goes hand in hand with growing spiritually (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 10:23-25, Proverbs 27:17).  Consider setting aside some time during your group to discuss how each person is growing spiritually and also how your group as whole is growing.

4.  Move beyond “what”?

It is natural for people to come to group with the hope of getting things off of their chest.

Openness within your group is a good thing but don’t allow the conversations to remain at “what”.  Meaning, allow the “what’s” to progress  to questions like “so what?” and “now what?”

Always affirm how your group members feel, but also ask questions in a way that will help provide solutions.  “It must be difficult having a co-worker who talks to you that way.  What do you think would be a Christ-like way to respond when people hurt you?”

Learning to ask “so what” and “now what” questions takes practice, but will always be worth it in the context of your group.

Is your small group putting more emphasis on social time while neglecting study time?  

What actions could you take to help balance community and spiritual growth?

Did this help you evaluate your small group?  Is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to start a small group ministry

Evaluate Your Small Group Today!

Here are three important questions to answer that will help you evaluate your Small Group:

1.      What Is?

This is the current health, status, etc. of your small group?  Answer this question.

Don’t be afraid of the possible answer to this question because this question is only a starting point.  Good or bad, you don’t have to stay there BUT you do have to start there.

2.      What If?

Ask this question without boundaries.

evaluate your small group

Ask questions like this:

What if my lost neighbors joined my small group?

What if we experienced honesty in our community group?

What if our group doubled in size?

What if my small group divided in two?

What if I could develop others leaders within my group?

To envision these types of questions you have to temporarily suspend asking how.  For a few moments don’t worry about how and ask what ifHow will never limit people who are committed to what if.

To take your Small Group to a new place:

Start with WHAT IS.

3.      Why Not?

Why couldn’t God use you to impact others?

Is it possible that God could use your group to make a difference?

Consider this verse:

Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

In light of this verse is it possible that God prepared the ideas that you have in advance for you to accomplish?

What if leading this group is a part of your calling?

Why shouldn’t you go for it?

Did these questions help you evaluate your small group?  If so, is there more you want to learn about building a healthy small group ministry at your church?  If so, check out How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church!

how to start a small group ministry

A Picture I’ll Never Forget | Remembering Good Friday

On Good Friday in 2000 I was sitting on the back row in a Lutheran church and was overwhelmed by God’s presence just a couples hours after getting high.

That was the last time I got high.

That was the last time I felt alone.                                

That was the last time I felt hopeless.

Jesus’ sacrifice for my freedom was overwhelming.  I felt consumed by his love and mercy.

Good Friday

God spoke to me and said, “My power is greater than the hold that has on your life.”

I believed Him.

This photo continues to serve as a reminder to me of Gods grace and mercy that I experienced (and still do) 17  yrs ago on Good Friday.

Good Friday

The following passage of scripture is one of my favorites.  It completely describes what I experienced on Good Friday seventeen years ago.

I love God because he listened to me,
listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
“Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.
Psalm 116:1-6 (the MSG)

Do you want to receive the same grace, mercy, love, and life that I received?  Accept God’s offer to help you.  He is so willing to give to those who are willing to receive:

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If you would like to begin a new life say this simple prayer with your whole heart to God:

Dear God, I acknowledge my great need for You in my life. I believe that Jesus, Your Son, came to this earth and lived, died, and rose from the dead all for me so that my sins could be forgiven. I want to give my whole life and heart to You. I want to turn away from evil and follow You. Forgive me of my sins and please lead my life.  Amen.

If you have any questions I would love to send a free eversion of Understanding God:  Four Things You Need To Know About Him And Realize About Yourself

Email me at:

God bless you.

Evan Doyle

How To Start A Small Group Ministry At Your Church

Learn how to start a small group ministry at your church. This guide will teach you everything about how to launch, grow, and maintain an effective small group ministry!

A few years ago I was wrestling with how to start a small group ministry.  Having an incredible small group ministry does not just happen.  Effective small group ministries have leaders who are intentional about learning and communicating why small groups matter.

how to start a small group ministry

This resource bundle will provide you and your ministry team with the training you need.

And yes, you will have immediate access to it!

Taking the time to learn how to start a small group ministry will ensure small groups at your church launch successfully.  There are important steps to take along the way in order to build a healthy and successful small group ministry.

Six Important Steps | All The Need To Know “How To’s”

Don’t worry, this guide will not only tell you what to do, but also how to do it.  This is the most comprehensive, hold you by the hand, step by step resource available for starting a small group ministry.

Learn this powerful framework at your own pace.  Each step will guide you toward exactly what to do next.

  1. Six Important Steps
  2. Learn anywhere from any device
  3. Launch effective small group ministry

When you buy any of the Building Healthy Small Group bundles, you will:

1. Learn a proven step by step process for how to start a small group ministry at your church.

2. Receive a ministry structure guideline based upon the size of your church so that you know exactly how to delegate small group ministry related responsibilities.

3. Apply the vision building framework to your church’s messaging.  Building Healthy Small Groups will help you to create compelling messaging to inspire your leaders and church family to be involved.

Is Your Church A Building People Go To Or A Place Where Friends Gather?


How would your church be different if you decided to build more friendships and connections?

What could happen if you actually built a small group ministry that helped your church and the people in it to grow?

Church is the last place that people should feel lonely and disconnected!  If they do, it won’t be long before they slip out of a chair and out the back door.  A lack of opportunity for deeper friendship and spiritual growth could be costing your church already.

how to start a small group ministry

All the Building Healthy Small Groups bundles include:

  • 6 Steps To Launch, Grow, And Maintain A Healthy Small Group Ministry
  • 120-page downloadable workbook
  • Access to additional bonus worksheets and resources

how to start a small group ministry

There Are Three Ways To Purchase Building Healthy Small Groups

The complete guide for launching, growing, and maintaining an effective small group ministry. Plus, for FREE: four additional bonus worksheets and the Intentional Small Groups ebook.

The complete guide, 1 - 30 minute coaching call, & email correspondance for one month.  Plus, for FREE: four additional bonus worksheets and the Intentional Small Groups ebook.

The complete guide, 3 - 30 minute coaching calls, & email correspondance for one month.  Plus, for FREE: four additional bonus worksheets and the Intentional Small Groups ebook.

Your church can have deeper friendship and spiritual growth.  This guide will teach you how to launch, grow, and maintain an effective small group ministry!

 Providing Resources And Training For Church Leaders,

Evan Doyle

how to start a small group ministry






Have Questions?