25 Small Group Quotes from “The Lobby” SoCal 2017

The largest global network of small group ministry leaders, the “Small Group Network,” annually hosts “The Lobby” small group conference in Southern California. Here are the top 25 quotes from this amazing week…

People join a small group for content, but they stay for the relationships.Rick Warren

You can’t microwave a great small group ministry.Steve Gladen

Make sure that you are not just talking about community, but that you are experiencing community yourself.Bill Willits

Authentic Community is both the goal of the church and the means of achieving that goal.Ben Reed

Eight of the ten largest churches in the world are small group based.Randall Neighbour

Growing churches require growing leaders. I don’t worry about growing the church, I worry about growing me. – Rick Warren

Living in an angry world causes a Christian to go back to the basics.Valerie Bell

When it comes to small groups, most American Christians tend to get excited about content before being hooked by community. – Andrew Mason

Your leaders are worthy of your investment. – Nick Lenzi

Pay attention to your soul. You can only give out of the overflow of what God is doing in you. – Carolyn Taketa

Bigger isn’t better, healthy is better. The key to health is small groups. Rick Warren

Staffing is never the answer, engaging your volunteers is.Steve Gladen

We best influence people with whom we have relationship.Bill Willits

First reach them as a friend, then reach them as a friend to your small group & then they will become a friend of Jesus.Randall Neighbour

The more people that drink from your well, the deeper your well needs to be. Therefore, feed your soul. – Daniel Thomas

The devil plays in two arenas – fear & isolation, so get with other people & join in a “Huddle.” – Steve Gladen

The Small Group Network is here to pick you up, dust you off and put you back together again.Nick Lenzi

Small groups should be considered as an additional pipeline to deliver the Lead Pastor’s message to the church.Andrew Mason

Preaching only doesn’t bring discipleship, you need small groups.Rick Warren

If you don’t have community in the good times, guess what… you don’t have it in the bad times. – Adam Workman

We believe the local church should be the safest place on the planet for a person to discuss anything.Bill Willits

I could not imagine living my life without my small group. My group is my family. – Eric Falcinella 

There is a difference between a church that has small groups in it and a church of small groups.Rick Warren

If you don’t have an infrastructure in place, they will go away as quickly as they came.Steve Gladen

To grow spiritually you must be connected relationally. – Bill Willits

17 Small Group Leaders to Follow in 2017!

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Why only 17? Lets make that 22 Small Group Leaders to follow in 2017! Get equipped & inspired by following these dynamic Small Group Leaders! While there are many more amazing leaders I could add to this list, my criteria was…

#1 Great Small Group Leaders that I know of &/or have followed (Sorry if I’ve never heard of you!).

#2 Small Group Leaders that could be followed by others on Social Media somewhere.

#3 Small Group Leaders who had either written a book on the subject &/or had an active blog where they write on the subject of small groups & leadership!

(In Alphabetical Order)

1 Allen White – Small Group Coach & Consultant at AllenWhite.org & Author of “Exponential Groups: Unleashing Your Church’s Potential.”

2 Amy Jackson – Managing Editor of SmallGroups.com, Leadership & Small Group Consultant & Founder of AmyKJackson.com

3 Andrew Mason – Small Groups Pastor at Real Life Church in Sacramento, CA. Founder of SmallGroupChurches.com & Blogger for the Small Group Network.

4 Ben Reed – Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Author of “Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint,” Communications Coach for the Small Group Network & Founder of BenReed.net

Dr. Bill Donahue – Speaker & Professor at TIU in Deerfield, IL. Small Groups & Leadership Consultant at DrBillDonahue.com & Author of “The Irresistible Community: An Invitation to Life Together.”

6 Bill Willits –  Executive Director of Ministry Environments for North Point Ministries in Atlanta, GA. Small Group Consultant & Co-author of “Creating Community” with Andy Stanley.

Carolyn Taketa – Executive Director of Small Groups at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA & Host of the Small Group Network’s “Group Talk Podcast.”

Chris Surrat – Ministry Consultant, Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN & Author of “Small Groups For The Rest Of Us.”

Daniel Thomas – Pastor of Adult Ministries at Highlands Fellowship in Abingdon, Virginia. Regional Leader of the Small Group Network & Founder of SecondChair.co

10 Eric Falcinella – Pastor of Network Development at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Director of the Small Group Network & Host of  the Leadership Obsession Podcast

11 Jim Egli – Leadership Pastor at the Vineyard Church in Urbana, IL. Small Group Consultant, Founder of JimEgli.com & Author of Small Groups Big Impact.

12 Joel Comiskey  – Cell church coach & Consultant. Founder of JoelComiskeyGroup.com & Author of “2000 Years of Small Groups: A History of Cell Ministry in the Church” among others.

13 Laura CopelandSmall Group Pastor & Coach at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA & Blogger at LauraMCopeland.com

14 Mark Howell –  Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founder of SmallGroupResources.net & Blogger at MarkHowellLive.com

15 Matt Graybill – Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA & Small Group & leadership Coach.

16 Michael C Mack – Small Group Coach, Founder & Director of SmallGroupLeadership.com & Author of the “World’s Greatest Small Group: 7 Powerful Traits of a Life-Changing Leader” among others.

17 Jon Noto – Community Life Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church’s North Shore Campus, Blogger at SmallGroupNetwork.com & Founder of TheUnwavering.com

18 Randall Neighbour – President of Touch Outreach Ministries and Founder of RandallNeighbour.com

19 Roger Carr – Small Group Coach & Founder of SmallGroupInternational.com

20 Ron Wilbur – Former Pastor of Small Group Health at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. International Connection Director for the Small Group & Blogger for the Small Group Network

21 Scott Boren – Small Group Consultant, Founder of “The Relational Mission” & Author of “Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus” among others.

22 Steve Gladen – Global Pastor of Small Groups at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Author of “Small Groups with Purpose” among others & Founder of the Small Group Network & SmallGroups.net

20 Small Group Quotes from “The Lobby” 2016

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The largest global network of small group ministry leaders, the “Small Group Network,” annually hosts “The Lobby” small group conference in Southern California. Here are the top 20 quotes I’ve heard so far this week…

  • Small group ministry is more of an art than a science. – Steve Gladen
  • Leaders gather, coaches pursue.
  • Craft strategic questions that help people go deep. A small group discussion format should take my group somewhere. It should help us start out above-the-surface and nudge us beneath-the-surface. – Andrew Mason
  • Spend enough time preparing your infrastructure, before coaching leaders.
  • A model for growth is better than a model for control. – Nick Lenzi
  • When asking your group leaders for their attendance stats, also ask them to share with you the prayer requests coming from the people inside their groups.
  • Leadership is the natural outcome of discipleship. – David Alford
  • Your church small group culture needs to get to the place where it’s more normal for people in your church to be in a group that not be in a group!
  • Small groups create authentic relationship that stirs revival. – Jimmy Phillips
  • When a guest comes through your church doors, it needs to become immediately evident to them that you are all about small groups.
  • The goal is not more small groups, the goal is discipleship. – Jay Daniell
  • People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel.
  • Celebrate small successes.
  • Numbers don’t get you health, but health will always get you numbers. – Steve Gladen
  • Anybody who has led a balanced small group knows that 5-8 well-worded questions can take up more than enough time for a typical small group session. – Andrew Mason
  • Effective leaders build influence, produce results & develop leaders. – David Alford
  • What processes can be improved to provide better service? –Mollie Hunter
  • You were put at a strategic church in a strategic location to help people find Jesus. – Steve Gladen
  • Small groups are leadership factories. – David Alford
  • Life transformation happens best within the context of community, so if a church is going to be intentional about discipleship they have to develop on-ramps to small groups that reach people on the fringes and beyond. – Chris Surrat