If you’re a pastor, Bible study leader, or student looking for an excellent Old Testament survey, this is it. What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible by Jason S. DeRouchie (ed.) is another of the gorgeous Kegel Academic publications. It’s simple enough for the non-seminary trained among us, but [...]

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It’s another Charts book! This time on Paul. In April I reviewed Kregel Academic’s book of Charts on the Book of Hebrews. I loved it, and feel the same about this book. I wish I had had this book when I took my New Testament class last year. It sure would have made my life [...]

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A Comprehensive New Testament Commentary

February 5, 2013 | Comments Off

What commentaries do you use when preparing for your small group? I usually pull several from my well-stocked shelf. Then I spend hours preparing for an hour teaching and discussion. Yep, overkill. Almost all the time. It’s a challenge because I love studying and could spend my whole week perusing every book I own. But [...]

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Are You Stuck?

November 9, 2011 | 1 Comment

One of my areas of delight and specialization is working with people who are stuck in their personal or spiritual growth. People who know there’s more, but they can’t seem to grasp it. Or people who are so defeated they no longer even dream of more. Most of these people have been abused or seriously [...]

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What a Small Group Leader Should Be

May 14, 2010 | Comments Off

Do you have goals for yourself as a small group leader? How do you see your role? It seems to me that’s something each leader needs to decide before going too far. And it’s probably a discussion you probably need to revisit periodically because it’s easy to get sidetracked. Sam O’Neal at SmallGroups.com says that, [...]

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On his blog, Small Group Leadership, my friend Michael Mack quotes Donald Miller’s interview of Jim Lehrer. Miller asked Lehrer how to moderate a political debate, and Mack applies the same approach to small group leadership. He says there are two keys to moderating any discussion: 1. The focus is on the participants, not the [...]

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Asking Good Questions

March 13, 2008 | Comments Off

One of the keys to facilitating a great discussion is the ability to ask good questions. This is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to most of us, but there are many resources available to help you. Ministry Best Practices has a slide show and pdf with some great tips to help you. And don’t [...]

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The Columbo Tactic

September 18, 2007 | Comments Off

We recently attended the California Christian Apologetics Conference in Fremont and enjoyed several wonderful speakers. One was Greg Koukl, founder of Stand to Reason ministry, whose goal is to train Christians to be capable ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) with knowledge (an accurately informed mind), wisdom (an artful method), and character (an attractive manner). [...]

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Empathy vs. Sympathy

August 8, 2007 | 2 Comments

The July-August Mighty Oak Ministries newsletter featuring an article on Communicating with Empathy was mailed last week. If you aren’t on the mailing list, you can read it here. I received an email from a friend who said, “I would have loved to see you compare examples of how not to give sympathy in a [...]

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Five Strategies for Effective Discussions

May 24, 2007 | Comments Off

Matthew Anderson at Mere Orthodoxy suggests five strategies for setting clear expectations for a discussion. While he’s focused more on students, many of the suggestions apply to adult small groups as well. He recommends: 1. Praise good things liberally. 2. Tell people what the expectations are. 3. Be appropriately stern with people who “act out [...]

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