Book Summary: 25 Ways To Win With People

25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million ...25 Ways to Win With People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks

(John C. Maxwell and Les Parrott 2005)

1. Start with yourself

  • Recognise, accept and increase your value

2. Practise the 30-second rule

  • When you make contact with people, instead of focusing on yourself, search for ways to make them look good. (thank them for something they’ve done, praise a quality or appearance)
  • Give them attention, affirmation, appreciation in the first 30 seconds. This gives people energy and you become an energy carrier. It also instills motivation to do what should be done.
  • Those who adds to us, draw us to them. Those who subtract, cause us to withdraw.

3. Let people know you need them

  • Ask others for help! Let them know that you cannot win without them.
  • People need to be needed. People need to know they need people. People need to know they are needed. People need to know that they helped.

4. Create a memory and visit it often

  • Few things bond people together like a shared memory. Many can be proactively created.
  • Initiative – make something happen, be intentional
  • Time – set aside time to make something happen
  • Planning – plan for something to happen, lead your lives
  • Creativity – find a way to make something happen
  • Shared experiences – make something happen together
  • Mementos – show that something happened (photo, souvenir)
  • Relive the memory – talk about it

5. Compliment people in front of other people

  • Private compliment turned public instantly and dramatically increases in value
  • People want to feel worthwhile in life
  • Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from his neck “Make Me Feel Important!”
  • Compliments increase in value when we value the person who gives them
  • Compliments affirm people and make them strong
  • Compliments in front of others are the most effective ones you can give

6. Give others a reputation to uphold

  • Ask “What is special, unique and wonderful about this person?” Share it.
  • People will go further than they thought they could when someone they respect tells them they can.
  • Have a high opinion of people. They perform as you expect it.
  • Back up your high opinion of others with action.
  • Look past their pasts and give them reputations for their futures.
  • Give people a new name or nickname that speaks to their potential.

7. Say the right words at the right time

  • Sometimes the best thing we can do is to hold our tongue
  • Be sensitive to time and place – pay attention to context
  • Say it from the heart – “How” you say it not just “what” and “when”
  • Recognise the Power. It can last a lifetime

8. Encourage the dreams of others

  • It’s a great privilege when people share dreams with you. You have great power to crush it with a wrong word or inspire to pursue it
  • Understand that dreams are fragile
  • To lose a dream is a great loss
  • Encourage others in their pursuit of a dream is to give them a wonderful gift
  • 6 steps:
    • Ask them to share their dream with you
    • Affirm the person as well as the dream
    • Ask about the challenges they must overcome to reach their dreams
    • Offer your assistance
    • Revisit their dream with them on a consistent basis
    • Determine daily to be a dream booster, not a dream buster
  • People will live up to their dreams when they have a chance to fulfill them

9. Pass the credit on to others

  • Check your ego at the door
  • Don’t wait – pass the credit ASAP
  • Say it in front of others
  • Put it in print
  • Only say it if you mean it

10. Offer your very best

  • Anyone can be an important person to me
  • Anything we do can be made important
  • You can become important to anyone by treating them as important
  • Make the most of your gifts and opportunities

11. Share a secret with someone

  • Means giving valuable information
  • Makes people feel special
  • Includes others in your journey

12. Mine the goal of good intentions

  • Believe the best about people
  • See things from their perspective
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt
  • Remember their good days, not their bad ones

13. Keep your eyes off the mirror

  • Are you willing to focus on others?
  • Focusing on others give you a sense of purpose and energy, contentment

14. Do for others what they can’t do for themselves

  • Introduce others to people they can’t know on their own (heroes, business, friends)
  • Take others to places where they can’t go on their own (holiday etc)
  • Offer others opportunities they can’t reach on their own
  • Share ideas with others that they don’t possess on their own

15. Listen with your heart

  • Focus on the person
  • Unclog your ears – remove barriers of distraction, defensiveness, close-mindedness, projection, assumptions, pride
  • Listen aggressively
  • Listen to understand

16. Find the keys to their hearts

  • Accept the fact that people are different
  • Find the keys to their hearts by asking questions:
    • What do you dream about? Look at their heart
    • What do you cry about? Understand their heart
    • What do you sing about? Their source of strength
    • What are your values? Sacred heart chambers
    • What are your strengths? What makes them proud
    • What is your temperament? Discover the way to their hearts
  • Establish common ground
  • Realise that with time, people change. Stay in continual conversation. Look for “change indicators” – when they hurt enough, learn enough, receive enough.

17. Be the first to help

  • When you are quick to help others, it makes a statement people never forget
  • Make helping others a priority
  • Make yourself aware of people’s needs (care, listen, pay attention)
  • Be willing to take a risk
  • Follow through once you begin to help

18. Add value to people

  • Value people “You can’t make the other fellow feel important if you secretly feel that he is a nobody.”
  • Manipulate (our own advantage) vs Motivate (mutual advantage)
  • Make yourself more valuable (get knowledge, skill, experience)
  • Know what people value

19. Remember a person’s story

  • Ask, listen, remember

20. Tell a good story

  • Good stories – enthusiasm, animation, audience participation, spontaneity, memorisation, humour, creativity, personal, heartwarming
  • Share something you’ve experienced
  • Tell it with the goal of connecting
  • Put your heart into it
  • Assume that others want to hear it

21. Give with no strings attached

  • Have an abundance mentality (there’s plenty to go around)
  • See the big picture (they give because of what they have got)

22. Learn your mailman’s name

  • Recognise the value of a name
  • Use the SAVE method:
    • Say the name 3 times in conversation
    • Ask a question about the name or person
    • Visualise the person’s prominent physical or personality feature
    • End the conversation with the name
  • Go easy on yourself if you forget

23. Point out people’s strength

  • Pointing out strengths underlines people’s uniqueness. Every person can do at least one thing better than 10,000 other people
  • People are motivated in their areas of strength
  • People add the most value in their strength zone. Look for the best in others. Speak up, tell them to plant success seeds

24. Write notes of encouragement

  • Encouraging written notes have a personal touch
  • Notes represent an investment by the writer
  • Notes are remembered long after the writer has forgotten them

25. Help people win

  • Believe in people “unbelievable expectations lead to unbelievable results”
  • Give people hope
  • Focus on the process, not just the win. Don’t just give him, help him win.
  • Understand that when you help others win, you also win

Practice: 12 week program, select 2 practices and do it everyday for a week. 

Book Summary: The Plate Spinner

Image result for The Plate Spinner: A little book for busy young adults (Dev Menon, 2014)The Plate Spinner: A little book for busy young adults (Dev Menon, 2014)

Work dominates our life. Hard to juggle all aspects of life – friends, family, spouse, children, self-improvement, exercise, church.

Symptoms of a Plate Spinner:

  • Perennial tiredness
  • lethargy
  • inadequacy
  • guilt
  • the daily grind
  • bitterness and despair
  • remorse and anger
  • wanting to quit

We are murdered by balance! There’s no such thing as a balanced life as it pulls us apart.

In our spiritual growth process, there’s a plateau called the wilderness experience of stress and testing where we either find rest or we quit. To be restful in Jesus is to commit the journey to him.

It takes time and space to enter a restful relationship with Jesus. It’s about a centered life on Jesus, not about having a balanced life.

When we are at a restful relationship with Jesus: The segments of lives format around Jesus, we know the why of life’s purpose and calling, different life segments integrate, seasons of life hold no threat, a better sense of personal identity.

You may need to change your life direction, career to make time and space in your relationship with Jesus. Once that relationship with Jesus is secure, your whole outlook on life and work changes.

Book Summary: Walking with the Risen Christ

Image result for walking with the risen christWalking with the Risen Christ: A Primer for Healthy Small Groups (Tan Soo-Inn, 2017)

1. The risen Christ is the focus of our group meetings

  • The opening prayer should be addressed to God and include a request for the Lord to help the group to be aware of His presence
  • Worship with singing should be directed to the Lord
  • All components of the meeting should be done with openness to what Jesus is saying to us

2. The risen Christ speaks to us through the Word

  • A study guide and/or study Bible can help us to understand a passage accurately
  • If you use a study guide, do not feel obliged to answer every question in a given chapter. The Bible study leader can select what are the key questions that need to be addressed in a given meeting. The idea is to give adequate time for understanding, listening and application.
  • The study should conclude by asking how we need to live in response to what the Lord has said to us through the study. When appropriate, specific plans can be shared with the group, providing accountability and encouragement.

3. The risen Christ encourages us to be honest with Him and with each other

  • The group must be told that honest sharing and loving listening is integral to the life of the group. This also means that the group must promise to keep confidential what is shared in the group and to obtain permission if they want to share what they heard in the group to those outside.
  • The group leader and the more mature members of the group must lead by example. They must demonstrate openness and honesty in their sharing
  • Subdividing the group by gender and/or into smaller groups will help people to open up.

4. The risen Christ wants to carry our burdens and encourages us to carry each other’s burdens

  • Group members can begin to learn to share their lives with a simple exercise that can be done at the beginning of each meeting – every member shares one joy and one struggle he or she has experienced since the last time the group met
  • To bear each other’s burdens, group members will be encouraged to connect with one another outside official meeting times.
  • Some burdens may need resources from outside the group.

5. The risen Christ invites others to Himself through us

  • The leaders and members of the group must state upfront and often that loving visitors and making them feel welcome is a key part of the life of the group.
  • Assign someone to help introduce a visitor to the members of the group and to the activities of the group. This may be the member who invited the newcomer or someone else designated for the purpose. He should sit with the guest, helping her understand the activities of the group.
  • Invite the newcomer to contribute to the life of the group in ways that are comfortable for them.

6. The risen Christ calls us to witness for Him in the world

  • The group must be told that the group exists not just for the members but also to witness for Christ to a fallen world
  • The group should always be praying and thinking about how they can share the gospel with those who do not know Christ. They could maintain a list of people they hope to see come to follow Christ that the group prays for on a regular basis
  • The group should be thinking and praying about how they can witness to the gospel through deeds.
  • Ministry must be an outflow off a real relationship with Christ. Therefor the group’s walk with the risen Christ must be kept fresh

7. The risen Christ meets with us over meals

  • Where possible, start a meeting with a main meal like lunch or dinner.
  • If the host needs help with providing food, members can help to contribute dishes or financially. They should also help lay the table and clean up after the meeting.
  • In some sense, all meals are sacramental and in thanking God for the food we remember Christ and His provision of life.

Book Summary: The (unofficial) guide to starting school right

The (unofficial) guide to starting school right

Melvin Chew and Andrea Chan, 2017

This a good book I read that will help your kids as they transition to school life. There are many challenges in school and this book offers some ideas. As a Christian, I believe parents and kids can pray together. The church youth group will be an important community for teenagers in school.

1. Physical Preparation

– The balance or middle ground

– Always prepare early

– Impressions are important (just be who you are)

2. Mental preparation

– Paint positive picture and words in your mind

3. Emotional preparation

– Stop yourself from reacting at once to your thoughts and emotions. Think first.

4. Acceptance and Social Media

– We define acceptance by number of followers and likes.

– Learn to accept yourselves first through a good self-esteem

5. Friendship

– Good: Have your best interests, Reliable, Honest communication, Happy when you do well, Gives you personal space.

– Bad: Cares for themselves, unreliable in trouble, don’t listen or honest, feel jealous and betrayed, possessive.

6. How to Make Friends

– Categories: Hi/bye, Same Interests, 2nd tier, Old friends, True friends.

– Introduction: Be sincere, introduce name and smile, handshake, share common interest

  • How to be likeable:

– People like people who are like themselves

– Be genuine

– Ask people about themselves

– Say or do nice things for them

– Don’t be bossy, listen

– Love yourself first

– Know what the social norm is

  • 4 pitfalls:

– 1st impression vs impressing people

– friends are important but not everything. Take note who is real or not

– just because you treat them like your best friend,it doesn’t mean that you are theirs

– know your purpose, don’t do things just so people will like you.

7. Bullying

– A behaviour where someone intentionally and repeatedly causes harm, injury, discomfort or fear to another person.

– Types: physical,verbal, cyber, social

– Adult, Avoid, Assess

8. Handling expectations

  • Family

– align theirs with yours

– understand the reason behind their expectations

– keep them updated and involved in your plans

  • Friends

– have an open communication and learn to say NO

– balance your time with different groups

– do to others as you want them to do to you

  • Self

– set expectations that are realistic and achievable

– expectation vs acceptance levels

9. Handling relationships

  • Friends

– be sincere, open communication, be clear, give space, don’t demand, walk away from toxic friends, don’t dwell in negativity, never judge or assume

  • Teachers

– Follow rules, do the right thing, follow deadlines, understand them, know your objective to do well in school

  • Siblings

– Compromise, communicate, apologise, think of all the good moments, show love

  • Grandparents

– listen to their nagging as love, be patient, talk and spend time, understand their view, show love

  • Parents

– recall good times, understand their view and intentions, parents have feeling, stay calm, open communication, show love

10. Time management

– Do in order of Urgent and impt, Not urgent and impt, Urgent and Not impt, Not urgent not impt.

– Break down tasks into small manageable bits

– plan the right task at the right time, productive peak times vs nonproductive hours

– be realistic, don’t plan too much

– plan for interruptions

– plan breaks and rewards

– keep distractions away

– organise your things

11. Stress management

– Stress can be good or bad. Moderate amount is good.

– Destress: Music, talk, laugh, plan time, study earlier, games, say NO, exercise, rewards.

Book Summary: 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders

Image result for 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders Dave Earley8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders (Dave Earley, 2001)

1. DREAM: Dream of leading a healthy, growing, multiplying group

The value of having a dream

  • Increases potential
  • Aids accomplishment
  • Focuses direction and channels energy
  • Increases the value of the group
  • Positively predicts the future
  • Motivates leaders to keep going


Three dreams of a highly effective group

  • Group health: God is present. Health barriers are pride, sin and unresolved conflict.
  • Group growth in numbers: Healthy cells grow. Growth barriers are 1) limited physical space, 2) lack of spiritual life, 3) lack of intentional outreach, 4) failure to maintain contact with the members, 5) no social activities to bond and invite new people, 6) failure of leader to share responsibilities with apprentices.
  • Group multiplication: Develop new leaders and groups. Multiplication barriers are 1) failure to have and mentor apprentices, 2) failure to plan to multiply.


2. PRAY: Pray for group members daily

Reasons effective cell leaders pray for their members daily

  • Most important task of a leader
  • Saves time
  • Pray is omnipresent and omnipotent
  • Makes everything better
  • Gives needed insight
  • Our greatest spiritual weapon
  • God blesses us when we pray for others


Tips for highly effective prayer

  • Have a set time and amount of time for prayer
  • Have a usual place for prayer
  • Have a plan for prayer (e.g. ACTS)
  • Have a place for recording requests and answers
  • Ask God to direct you to appropriate Scriptures
  • Season your intercession with thanksgiving for each member
  • Mix fasting with prayer for greater effectiveness
  • Pray through all possible elements of the small group meeting prior to the meeting time
  • Pray for your apprentices (s) and the future groups to grow out of your current group
  • Pray for God’s grace to help you live all 8 habits, especially this one


3. INVITE: Invite new people to visit the group weekly

Reasons why inviting is essential

  • People must connect with you before they can connect with God
  • If your group has no guests, it will experience no growth
  • If you invite, they will come (family, friends, coworkers or students, neighbours, church contacts who are unconnected or new)
  • Inviting stops declining numbers. People leave when drop out, move out of church or country or group, start a new group.
  • Numerical growth builds excitement and morale
  • Inviting builds spiritual ownership of the group


Mistakes to avoid in inviting

  • Failing to saturate the situation in prayer
  • Failure to keep them saying “yes”. Build a bridge of small “yes” to build up to invite to your group.
  • Giving up too soon. Keep building relationship and inviting.
  • Failing to understand the principle of “Six to stick”. It takes about 6 contacts (times) by leader to fix the group in person’s mind.
  • Failing to pray for and capitalise on opportunities
  • Failing to win the three victories. 1) Win them to you, 2) win them to your group/church, 3) win them to Christ.
  • Trying to be a solo inviter
  • Failing to capitalise on the seasons of the soul. People more open during 1) death, 2) move to new place, 3) divorce, 4) marriage, 5) family problem, 6) major illness, 7) birth of a child.
  • Using inappropriate levels of pressure. The better the car, the less pressure from salesperson!


Suggestions for what to say and when to say it

  • Comments that will whet their appetite
    • We have a wonderful group
    • God is answering our prayers
    • People in our group really love each other
    • Almost everyone in our group is (single) like you
    • We could use a (sharp thinker) in the group like you
    • We would love to have you join us
  • Statements that plant the seed
    • You will like it
    • You will fit right in
    • We will love to see you walk in the door
  • Questions that drop the bait
    • Do you have a group you meet with weekly to study the Bible?
    • Our group meets at such and such a place at such and such a time. Why don’t you come?
    • Let me personally invite you to ome. We would love to have you join us. Do you think you can come?
  • Declarations that show the power of the group
    • We have been praying for your (job, mother)
    • When people visit once they almost always like it and come back
  • Answers to their concerns
    • You don’t have to know anything about the Bible to come
  • You don’t have to read/pray/sing aloud unless you want to
  • You don’t need to dress up
  • All the kids meet in another room and have their own story. They love it
  • If you come and really don’t like it, we won’t make you come back every week
  • It’s a singles group, but people are there to meet God, not just find dates
  • It’s ok if you come in a little late.


4. CONTACT: Contact group members regularly

Reasons for contacting cell members regularly

  • Contacting helps your group grow
  • Contacting increases your average weekly attendance
  • Contacting helps a shepherd know the state of his or her flock
  • Contacting communicates care


Suggestions that make contacting powerful

  • Ask them, “How may I pray for you?”
  • Ask them, “What do you want God to do about that?”
  • Say, “Let’s pray right now.” Then pray for them right then, aloud
  • Ask, “Do you want to pray?”


Suggestions for what to talk about as part of a regular contact

  • What are you up to this week?
  • How are your kids doing?
  • Do you like your job?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressful was your week?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • How were you saved?
  • When were you baptised?
  • What do you like most about out church?
  • What do you like best about our small group?
  • What in your life would you like to be different 5 or 10 years from now?
  • What area do you think God wants you to grow in this month?
  • What are the things everyone says you are really good at?
  • Have you ever thought of leading a group?


The most important time to make a contact

  • Soon after a first visit to your cell group
  • Weekly for the first few weeks
  • After they have shared in the group that they are going through a trial
  • After a tense moment in the group


Secrets used by effective contactors

  • View the time you spend contacting as ministry time
  • Pray for Spirit-led direction as to what to say
  • Pray about who God wants you to contact that week
  • Be positive about God, your church and your cell group
  • Be considerate of their time and schedule. If they are busy, be brief.
  • Be sensitive to their mood
  • Have a place to record your contacts
  • Keep things that are shared in confidence, confidential
  • Be consistent, see that everyone is contacted
  • If they have shared a need with you, close the contact by praying for them
  • Use your apprentices and small group members to share the contacting load
  • Have a regular time scheduled each week for contacting


5. PREPARE: Prepare for the group meeting

Why prepare?

  • Gives God room to work
  • Increases confidence and faith
  • Builds credibility
  • Increases quality
  • Reinforces the value of group life
  • Secret of success tomorrow


What to prepare

  • Prepare yourself
    • Do I have any sin to confess?
    • Am I allowing the Spirit to be dominant in my life?
    • Do I have a heart grateful for the opportunity to lead a group?
    • Am I willing to apply the Word in my daily life?
    • Are there any relationships I need to make right?
  • Prepare the atmosphere
    • The place, clean, comfortable and spacious
    • The music, quiet as people come in and for worship
    • The snack, help people feel comfortable


Prepare the agenda for the meeting

Welcome (10-15 mins)

  • Snack
  • Greeting: Handshake or hug 
  • Icebreaker: Getting acquainted, Spiritually acquainted, Affirmation, Going deeper

Worship (10-15 mins)

  • Singing 
  • Thanksgiving
  • Praise prayers

Word (30-45 mins)

  • Introduction questions
  • Interaction discussion questions
  • Application questions


  • Pray for each other
  • Pray for people we are inviting to group or church, list names
  • Plan to contact absentees, can assign
  • Plan next social activity
  • Promotion of church activities
  • Prayer for the church and church leaders


Secrets to shorten prep time

  • Train and use your apprentices to lead meeting elements, esp. Icebreaker and prayer
  • Follow a plan
  • Shorten word discussion prep time by following a prewritten plan
  • Use resources provided by church or lesson guides


6. MENTOR: Mentor apprentice leaders

Mentoring is:

  • Cooperating with God in raising up an apprentice to become a highly effective small group leader
  • Following the example of Jesus and Paul (2 Tim 2:2)
  • A great way to love others
  • The means for multiplying yourself
  • The way one ordinary person can reach thousands
  • The heart of disciple making
  • A way to maintain godly accountability
  • Letting go of ministry in order to let others minister
  • Saying “No” to the urgent in order to say “Yes” to the potential of the important
  • The most lasting part of small group leadership


7 steps for raising up multiplying leaders and reproducing reproducers

  1. Demonstrate what you hope to reproduce (display 8 habits)
  2. Discover potential leaders
    1. See who has a heart for work
    2. Pray for God to provide
    3. Look for Compatibility, Character, Competency
    4. Look for people of FAITH – Faithful, Available, Initiative, Teachable, Honest
  3. Deepen your relationship with potential leaders
    1. Pray and play together
  4. Describe the vision
  5. Determine the commitment to be made
    1. Explain your commitment to them:
      1. Set the PACE (Pray, Available, Contact, Example)
      2. Train them to lead a meeting
      3. Train them to live 8 habits
    2. Explain their commitment as apprentice leader
      1. Be equipped by meeting with you and the small group coach
      2. Fulfill role by practicing 8 habits for 6 months
      3. To mentor others, they raise up apprentices also
  6. Develop them
    1. Model, mentor, motivate, multiply
  7. Deploy them


3 ways to birth a new group

  • Multiply: Two groups of equal size multiply from a parent group
  • Launch: A core group from a parent group launches a new group
  • Plant: One person from a parent group plants a new group while others remain
  • Use one Sunday every 4 months to enlist all church attendees into groups


Mentoring suggestions

  • Never do ministry alone
  • Take full advantage of all the training opportunities your church offers
  • Be constantly on the lookout for new leaders
  • Talk of leadership as a privilege not a burden
  • Don’t put yourself on a pedestal
  • Give responsibilities before you ask someone to consider being a leader
  • Always consult with those above you before you give any titles
  • Realise that failing to mentor will always mean  failing to multiply
  • Do not release leaders until they have a good chance of success
  • As you move through the group cycle, have your ministry role decrease and your apprentice’s role increase
  • Give lavish affirmation and encouragement to apprentices each step of the way


Multiplying suggestions

  • Talk about multiplying early and often
  • Talk about multiplying in positive terms (not breaking/splitting/dividing)
  • Talk about multiplying in terms of the big picture (reach out to more people)
  • Pray about the best method and the best timing for multiplying
  • Set a date for multiplying
  • Celebrate the new birth


7. FELLOWSHIP: Plan group fellowship activities

Power of social gatherings for fellowship

  • Social gatherings increase excitement, interest and involvement
  • Social gatherings attract new people
  • Social gatherings allow more opportunities to practice real fellowship
  • Social gatherings can create opportunities to obey the ‘one another’ commands
  • Create opportunities for further discipleship
  • Help knit new people to the group and the church (need 7 friends in 7 wks to stay)


Suggestions for effectively using social gatherings and fellowship activities

  • Think ‘togetherness’
  • Use variety
  • Use the power of food
  • Do not do all the work yourself, delegate
  • Plan ahead and inform early (have average of one activity/month)
  • Combine activities with group meetings
  • Relax, have fun, and enjoy each other


8. GROW: Be committed to personal growth

Insights into personal growth

  • Expected of us by God (2 Pet 3:18)
  • Fountainhead of group change and growth
  • Prevents decline
  • Something you must do yourself
  • Key to staying sharp and effective
  • Life-long process, not a short-term commitment (Phil 3:12-14)
  • Occuring in 4 key areas of life (Mind, physical, spiritual, social)
  • Product of daily habits


10 commandments of personal growth

  • Make the choice to be an ever-growing person
  • Focus your activities and set some goals (SMART)
  • Gather any needed tools (read good books etc)
  • Develop a plan that fits you
  • Schedule the needed time 
  • Sow before you hope to reap
  • Make yourself accountable
  • Share what you learn with others (Research and teach)
  • Associate with growing people
  • Put what you learn into practice


9. The 8 habits for leaders of leaders

Small group ministry structure


Level of leadership

Title of leader Span of oversight


Small group leader

10 group members



Up to 6 small group leaders



Up to 6 coaches

4 Small group pastor

Up to 6 directors


Applying the 8 habits to leaders of leaders

  • Dream: Of healthy group and to multiply
  • Pray: Pray for people under them
  • Invite: look out for new leaders to coach
  • Contact: Contact people assigned to you or in church
  • Prepare
    • Coach attend SGL meeting and give feedback, focus on positive
    • See each leader’s weekly goals
    • Ask about progress on personal growth
    • Give leader training
    • Keeps them informed on church activities
    • Discuss about apprentice and multiplication dates
    • Gives advice on practical things
    • Prays with leader
  • Mentor: Creates multiplication and prepares church for greater harvest
  • Grow: Help them set up a growth plan
  • Fellowship


10. Becoming an 8 habits church


  • Prepare for change: Need to meet people to share vision. The bigger the change, the more prep time and persuasion needed
  • Have the senior pastor lead the charge: Lead a small group, coach them, study it, use pulpit to promote
  • Build on what is already there
  • Start where you are and use the 8 habits to develop highly effective leaders, coaches etc.
  • Cast the vision: Nehemiah principle vision cast every 30 days
  • Recognise, reward (give them books, spend time, buy lunch, brag publicly, send them cards)  and Require (sign a covenant to 8 habits each year)
  • Promote group life: Small group leaders rally, small group Sunday (sermon, drama, testimonies, commissioning prayer, give group leaders shirts, recognise multiplying groups and new leaders, tables for people to sign up, catalogue of new groups offered), place info in bulletin, discuss importance of small groups with every new member, have a connection center to sign people up, having banners, giving t-shirts to 8 habits leaders, highlight an 8 habits leader and group each week
  • Model (always try to lead at least one group)
  • Pray

Book Summary: How to lead a great cell group meeting

Image result for How to lead a great cell group meeting (Joel Comiskey

How to lead a great cell group meeting (Joel Comiskey, 2001)

Definition of cell group: A group of people (4-15), who meet regularly for the purpose of spiritual edification and evangelistic outreach (with the goal of multiplication), who are committed to participate in the functions of the local church.

Cells need: Upward focus (knowing God), Inward focus (knowing each other), Outward focus (reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus), Forward focus (raising up new leaders)


1. Prepare yourself

Cell leadership begins with heart preparation. A heart that is pure before God is the only foundation for leading a cell meeting. Without a heart for God, the meeting consists of only dry routines and rituals.

  • Stop preparing cell details at least ½ hour before the meeting starts in order to spend time with God.
  • Prioritise your daily devotional life in order to hear from God. Don’t let the urgent crowd out what is important. Spend time with God.
  • Depend on God more than techniques. Be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.


2. How to structure a meeting

A proven small group strategy will help the cell leader gather people from the initial welcome time to the closing prayer. While the Holy Spirit might guide the cell meeting in unexpected ways, He expects the cell leader to have a plan.

  • Great cell meetings follow a predictable but not legalistic pattern:
    • Welcome (relationship building) 15 mins
      • Do an icebreaker
      • Get members more comfortable together
    • Worship (entering the presence of God) 20 mins
      • Make sure everyone has a song sheet
      • Pick the songs before the meeting
      • Mix praise and prayer
      • Don’t need instruments
    • Word (applying God’s Word to our lives) 40 mins
      • Can use materials for study, adjust it for your group
      • If using Scripture for Sunday, interact with God’s Word not the sermon
      • Use last 10 min to ask for specific prayer items and pray
    • Works (reaching out to others) 15 mins
      • Pray for non-Christians friends and family to invite
      • Decide on the next outreach event for the cell
      • Prepare a social project
      • Plan for future multiplication
    • Measure the meetings by:
      • Were the people edified (built up)?
      • Was Christ glorified?


3. Facilitating others

Cell group facilitation supports group members by empowering them to exercise their spiritual muscles, apply the Word of God to their lives, and minister to one another.

  • Facilitators refuse to preach and teach
    • It is not a mini-service where you preach a sermon
    • Leader talks only 30% of time, members 70%
  • Facilitators empower others
    • Encourage members to share
    • Listen actively
    • Summarise comments of group
  • Facilitators need coaching
    • Periodically meet with a pastor in charge for coaching
  • Facilitators learn while leading
    • You don’t need to know everything before you lead
    • If you don’t know the answer, say that you’ll look into it and get back.
  • Two essential qualities for facilitators are:
    • Sincere love for God
    • Sincere love for others


4. Practicing Transparency

Great cell leaders don’t hide their souls behind superiority and superficiality. They share honestly and intimately, starting a chain reaction among the members.

  • Model transparency in order for members to do the same
    • Leader can ask for prayer in an area of weakness or struggle
    • Leader can talk about their dreams and plans honestly
  • The Biblical mandate to confess our faults to one another often takes place in the cell
    • Maintain strict confidentiality in the group
    • Carry one another’s burdens
  • Aim for transformation rather than information
    • Transparency without transformation is superficial
    • Hold each other accountable in applying God’s Word
  • Guide the group into deeper levels of communication
    • Level one – small talk
    • Level two – information or facts
    • Level three – ideas and opinions
    • Level four – feelings (dreams, hopes, fear, failures)
    • Guide the group to deeper maturity by creating a safe climate
  • Find a mentor who will help you live honestly before God and others
    • Find 1 or 2 close friends with whom you can meet regularly to share your weaknesses and trials. Pray for each other.


5. Asking stimulating questions

A leader can prepare questions that draw out participation and stimulate lively discussion. Well-designed questions turn dry and boring meetings into creative interaction.

  • Open questions are preferable to closed questions
    • For observation and interpretation, can use closed questions
    • For application, use open questions
  • Apply the Bible through application questions
    • “Share your experience about…”
    • “How do you think God wants to use this in your life?”
    • For every two observe/interpret qn, have one application qn throughout not just at the end
  • Aim at transformation rather than information
    • Ask about last week’s application if anything significant happened
    • Wait for their response to show you’re serious about life change
  • Explain the passage clearly in order to apply it
    • Leader can start lesson with general context and explanation
  • Limit the number of questions to three to five
    • Don’t overload them, leave time for prayer
    • For ongoing open cell group, don’t use study guide since visitors can drop in anytime.
    • Better to use study guide for huddle meeting between supervisor and cell leaders


6. Listening ears

Great cell leaders prioritise listening to others, knowing that everyone has a story that needs to be heard. Go has given us two ears and only one mouth for a reason. The small group environment is perfectly suited for active listening to occur.

  • The member’s response takes priority over your own
  • Practice active listening (truly hearing what the person is saying)
    • Don’t think of a response while people speaking
  • Listen to what is not said (gestures, etc.)
    • When someone answers a qn, respond with a smile, nod or offer to help
    • Keep an open body posture, lean forward, nod and smile, eye contact with quiet person
  • Listen to feedback from the members about your leadership
    • Ask them how to improve
    • Learn how to paraphrase member’s answers to check understanding
  • Refuse to answer your own questions
    • Give members time to think and respond
    • Don’t be afraid of silence
  • Ask the group for additional responses after one person has shared
  • Limit advice giving in the group (instead practice empathetic listening)
    • Learn how to just listen and affirm person
    • Empathise with person, don’t jump to advice


7. An encouraging tongue

A small group leader must choose words that encourage (Prov 18:20)

  • Great communication encourages others to participate
    • Never totally reject an idea but affirm the person even if you don’t agree. Explore the good in it.
    • For wrong answer, you can rephrase question or ask others what they think
  • Don’t allow certain people to dominate the meeting. Learn how to deal with those who talk too much.
    • Sit next to talker to give less eye contact
    • Call on other people to give their opinions
    • Redirect conversation away from talker when they pause
    • Talk directly to the person about the purpose of small group. If problem persists, talk to your supervisor.
    • Ask talker to help make the meeting more participatory
    • Clarify the rule that no one is allowed to speak a second time until everyone has a chance to speak for the first time
  • Conflict is normal and natural in a small group. Learn how to deal with it.
    • Welcome differences of opinion as it can improve your understanding each other’s views
  • Communication tips
    • Start showing care the moment member enters the room
    • Respond enthusiastically to people throughout the meeting
    • Pray for your members during the week and tell them you’re praying
    • Ask questions about their personal life
    • Be aware of any physical needs and seek to meet them
    • Share part of your own life with them
    • Contact them outside of cell group


8. Reaching out to non-Christians

Cell leaders need hands that reach out and point others to Jesus. Such hands help cell members reach out together and warmly welcome the hurting and disillusioned into the group.

  • Effective evangelism cultivates the natural friendships and relationships that God has placed in our lives
    • 70-90% follow Jesus by relational evangelism
    • Intentionally become friends with non-Christians and develop relationships. Best is to meet a need before discussing spiritual issues
    • Often non-Christian rather join a cell group than church service
    • Keep inviting your friends. On average, person needs to hear the Gospel 7 times before he responds
  • Cell evangelism is team-oriented rather than individual-oriented
    • Each member identifies one non-Christian contact and seeks to build relationship with them.
    • Invite contact in their life first then the cell group.
    • Keep praying as a group and create a harvest event to invite contact
    • Talk about the benefits of the group and re-invite your friend again to group
  • Non-Christians are attracted to special cell events (e.g. cell dinner, video, picnic etc.)
  • Transparent sharing within the cell often wins others to Christ
    • When non-Christians come, do cell meeting the same way so they will witness the reality of true relationship with Jesus.
  • Prayer is the most effective tool to win non-Christians to Christ
    • Leave one empty chair during group meeting to represent lost friend. Gather round chair and pray for that person in their life.
    • Pair up as group members to pray daily for each other’s lost friends
    • Walk in pairs through targeted community, praying for salvation to come to each home as you walk


9. Moving through the stages of life

Knowing which steps to take will help the small group leader chart the journey, knowing that a predictable road lies ahead.

  • Small groups normally pass through four stages
  • The initial forming stage is a time to get to know members of the group
    • Strategy: To clarify purpose, direction and goals. Above all, the leader must model transparency by sharing openly and honestly
    • Activities: Icebreakers, vision casting and social times (e.g. refreshment, picnic) Goal is relationship building not bible study or missions
  • The storming stage is characterised by conflict as the members form deeper relationships
    • Strategy: To display empathy, understanding, openness, flexibility. To model ministry, while preparing members for greater involvement
    • Activities: Dynamic worship, in-depth sharing during lesson time, fervent prayer. Goal is for group ownership
  • During the performing stage, the solidified group is better prepared to reach out to others
    • Strategy: To release others to minister. Leader must spot, train, or make sure potential leaders receive training and release future leaders. Leader directs the group less during this stage, encouraging others to lead parts of the group
    • Activities: Outreach events which might include evangelistic dinners, videos, picnics. Works time is given more attention. A group that doesn’t reach out dies a painful death.
  • The reforming stage is a time to give birth to another group and start the process over again
    • Strategy: To make final preparations for a new leader to guide the daughter group. The leader must allow the new facilitator to guide the entire cell group in preparation for leading his own group.
    • Activities: Leader talks to the group frequently about the importance of new birth. Fervent prayer is offered in the Works time for the new cell group. Hold a celebration party in the parent cell group right before the birth of the daughter cell.
    • Involve the whole group in decision process to multiply. When will the new group begin, who will lead the new group, who will leave existing group to become core members of new group?
    • When you have a trained leader, you can multiply your cell group already. Take 1-3 people to form new group.


10. Eyes that see the details

Cell leaders see the smaller details (refreshments, temperature etc.) as well as the larger issues (cell lesson, multiplication, etc) To really see the details requires thoughtful reflection before and after the meeting.

  • The home atmosphere plays an important role in attracting and maintaining cell members
    • God will bless the home where you meet (2 Sam 6:10-12)
    • Make sure it is clean, tidy and remove distractions.
  • Arrange the seating in a circle
    • Everyone must see each other’s face.
    • Leader is part of the circle and not a separate level.
    • Sit in a close circle together for intimacy and closeness
  • Make sure there’s sufficient light in the room
  • Provide song sheets for everyone in the group
  • Have simple refreshments
    • Usually meeting from 7.30-9pm, fellowship till 9.30pm.
    • Leader use fellowship time for personal chats and greet visitors
  • Children are an essential part of the cell group and must receive ministry
    • Allow children to stay for icebreaker and worship. Then have a personalized bible lesson for kids by one of the members who rotate in teaching.
    • If several children, pray for an adult of teenage to lead a children’s cell group at the same time in another room.
  • Prevent distractions by preparing for them
    • Switch off TV, radio, phone etc.
  • Start on time and close on time
    • Agree on expectations about starting on time.
    • Begin on time regardless of latecomers. Sends signal that every part of the meeting is important and using the time well. Leader must set example.
    • Meetings should not last longer than 1.5 hours


Book Summary: Motivation (Brian Tracy)

Image result for motivation brian tracy

Book Summary: Motivation (Brian Tracy, 2013)


  • You can remove obstacles to motivation: Fear of failure and rejection
  • The key factor is the interaction between manager and employee


The X factor

  • The psychological factor is the self-concept. All changes in the outer world of the individual begin with changes in the inner world.
  • Self-concept made up of self-ideal, self-image and self-esteem
  • Self-ideal is a summary picture of what the person aspires to be in life
  • Self-image is the way a person thinks she is viewed by others
  • Self-esteem is how much you like yourself
  • 7 ways to motivate:
    • Challenge, give them jobs that make them stretch
    • Freedom, give people sufficient autonomy to work without close supervision
    • Control, set regular times for review, feedback and discussion
    • Respect, Ask for people’s opinions and listen to them
    • Warmth, treat them like your friends and family
    • Success experiences, give people jobs they can do well
    • Positive expectations, believe in them


Select the right people

  • 95% of your success lies in selecting the right people in the first place
  • Jim Collins: “get the right people on the bus, get the right people into the right seats on the bus, and then get the wrong people off the bus”
  • Identify the qualities you want, look for the set of basic skills needed and hire for attitude, personality and character.
  • Law of Three
    • Interview at least 3 candidates for a job
    • Interview the candidate that you like 3 times in 3 different places
    • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least 3 other people on your team
    • Check at least 3 references from the candidate. Ask for strengths or weaknesses, anything that could help me in hiring decision, would you hire this person back? 
    • Check references 3 deep, ask given reference for names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to them
    • SWAN formula: Smart, Work hard, Ambition, Nice


Start them strong

  • Self-selection must be key factor in hiring. It means they want to work for you rather than anywhere else. Never hire anyone that you have to coax into taking the job.
  • Start them off with lots of work, even an overload, from the very first day of employment. When you start them off gradually, they keep the same pace later on also.
  • Make the work interesting
  • Give new employees hands-on training and support as they have “low task-relevant maturity”. Assume they have no idea how to do something. If you have no time for training them, assign someone who can.


Communicate clear expectations

  • 5 factors for winning:
    • Clear goals and objectives which are discussed and agreed upon
    • Clear measurements and standards
    • Clear deadlines and sub-deadlines
    • Success experiences when they complete it
    • Recognition and rewards for successful task completion
  • Ask “If this job were done excellently, what would the result look like? How would I describe an excellent job?” 
  • Inspect what you expect
  • Make sure they know exactly what they are expected to do and in what order of importance, what constitutes success and the deadlines.
  • Once you have discussed and agreed upon a task, have the employee feed it back to you in his own words to ensure what you said and what he heard were identical.


Practice Participative Management  

  • 2 predictors of high achievement is positive expectations and a democratic environment
  • Let employees participate and discuss with you in determining the best way to perform the task or to achieve the goal
  • 5 keys to team building:
    • Shared goals and objectives
    • Shared values and guiding principles
    • Shared plans of action
    • An action leader, remove any hindrance
    • Regular review and feedback, “How are we doing?”
  • Keep employees “in the know”, give them a sense of ownership


The Four factors of motivation

  • Leadership style
    • Different strokes for different folks
  • Reward system
    • “What gets rewarded gets done”
    • Reward what you want more done of
  • Organisational climate
    • Make policies for no tolerance for disrespect
  • Structure of the work
    • Try to match the nature of the work with the nature of the employee and to make the work as interesting and enjoyable as possible


The Three Rs

  • Rewards
    • Only performance should be rewarded, not position or seniority
    • Tangible (money, holiday, objects): give bonus related to performance rather than increasing salary
    • Intangible: Prizes, public praise, training
  • Recognition
    • Whenever a person does anything that is exceptional (that is above and beyond the requirements of the job) the manager should give the employee recognition both in private and in public
  • Reinforcement
    • Those behaviour that you reinforce will be repeated
    • Average, Excellent, Wow and Double wow. Tie performance with bonus.


Install management by values

  • Your values -> Beliefs -> Expectations -> Attitudes -> Behaviours
  • Look at the person’s action to understand their values
  • Make a list of 3-5 most important values that you base your business or decisions. Make sure everyone knows what they are.
  • Define your work in terms of meaning and purpose it has to you and the difference it makes to your customers


Practice management by objectives

  • Refers to the practice of assigning a complete job to a competent individual and then allowing him to choose who to complete the task on schedule and on budget
  • 4 steps:
    • Get a clear agreement on exactly which goals and objectives are to be accomplished
    • Discuss with the individual the various ways that the goal might be achieved or the job completed
    • Establish clear measurements and benchmarks
    • Agree on a regular schedule to report on progress and get feedback on the job
  • Give them freedom and responsibility
  • Don’t take back the job from them. Ask them “What do you think we should do?” and then encourage them to do it. Give them feedback how to implement their idea.


Use management by exception

  • You give the person a full job and leave them to do the job except when there is a variance from the agreed-on standards or if something unexpected goes wrong.
  • You only need to occasionally check on the job to see how things are going
  • Two basic needs: Autonomy need is to be seen and respected, Dependency need is to be accepted as part of a group of people in the workplace.


Apply the Pareto Principle

  • 20% of your activities will count for 80% of the value of the results
  • Rule of Three: If you make a list of everything you do, only 3 of those activities account for 90% of the value of all the work you do
  • Qn 1: If you could only do one thing all day long, which one activity would contribute the most value to your business or organisation?
  • QN 2: If I could only do two things all day long, what would be the 2nd most valuable thing that I do?
  • QN 3: If I could only do three things all day long, what would be the 3rd? Focus your attention on those 3 things all day
  • Do fewer things, but do more important things, and do them more of the time and get better at each one of them.


Be a Teacher

  • Teaching is not a side issue or a distraction. It is a key part of my work to help others learn things I’ve already mastered.
  • Never assume that they know how to perform difficult tasks
  • Take time to instruct, answer questions and give feedback to increase their earning ability in the long term.


Train and Educate Continuously

  • The wrong question is “What if we train them and they leave?”. The right question is “What if you don’t train them and they stay?” 
  • There is a link between training  and increased growth and self-esteem.
  • Develop the skills a person needs and set up a training schedule of reading, audio programs, seminars, practicing the skills etc.


Insist on the zero defects principle

  • Quality means your product or service always does what you said it would do when you sold it to your customers
  • Set an example by doing high-quality work yourself in every area and continually strive to become even better at the most important things you do


Introduce Quality Circles, Quality Teams

  • Quality teams are assembled by management but consist only of staff members. Each team select their own leader for the group. They are to meet on company time to talk about ways that they can improve the quality of their work and the way the business operates in their area of responsibility
  • When team members are asked for their opinions and ideas on how to improve the quality of the work, they feel more valuable and important and motivated to do better work  future
  • Set specific measures of quality in each important area of the business and look for ways to practice continuous and never ending improvement (CANEI)


Practice brainstorming regularly

  • Help to unleash the creativity of everyone in your organisation
  • Never underestimate the creative capability of your staff members
  • 7 parts of the process:
    • Choose an optimum group size – 4-7 people
    • Select both a leader for the table and a recorder. Leader is to facilitate making sure all contribute, recorder record all ideas quickly
    • Set a specific time limit for the brainstorming session – 15 to 45 mins
    • Define a specific problem or question that demands practical answers
    • Focus on quantity of ides rather than the quality of ideas – make it like a game
    • Suspend all judgment
    • Gather up all the ideas generated for evaluation at a later time
  • After brainstorming, best to give all ideas to another group for evaluation as there is no ego involvement. Divide into groups and swap ideas for evaluation.


Become a Mentor

  • Types of mentoring, direct and indirect
  • Take an active interest in the careers of the people who report to you. Take time to pick one or two people in your company to mentor
  • When we pay attention to someone, we are also paying value to that person
  • Must consider compatibility or chemistry to work together
  • If you’re looking for a mentor, start with a cup of coffee and explain to the person that you would very much appreciate occasional input and guidance in your career. If he agrees, keep your mentoring sessions to ten mins. Have a list of questions, concerns or observations that you would like to discuss. Give a copy to your mentor also. When your mentor gives you recommendations of books to read or courses to take, do it immediately. Report back to them what you did and learnt.
  • If you’re a mentor, use these rules and guidelines. Use 10 min blocks or longer and have a specific starting and stopping time. Be punctual. Parkinson’s Law “Work expands to fill the time allotted for it.


Lead by example

  • You do not raise the morale in an organisation. It filters down from the top. Manager sets the tone of the whole department. 
  • Ask “What kind of company would my company be if everyone in it was just like me?
  • Employees (pastoral staff) treat customers (members) the way they are treated by their managers (pastors)
  • Adopt a warm, friendly and supportive personality around your people
  • Everyone is watching you all the time. Always be calm and positive even during hard times.


Listen to your staff

  • Listening is white magic as it makes people feel terrific about themselves
  • 4 keys:
    • Listen attentively: remove all distractions, lean in, don’t interrupt
    • Pause before replying: Tells people you are thinking about what they said, avoid the risk of interrupting others people, hear their meaning on a deeper level
    • Question for clarification: “How do you mean?” The person who asks questions has control
    • Paraphrase the speaker’s words: Check your understanding 
  • Listening builds trust and character


Remember the friendship factor

  • Best bosses are those who care about employees as a person
  • Balance clarity and consideration. Be clear about the tasks (clarity) and ask them about their lives outside the workplace (consideration, caring, courtesy).
  • Express care when they tell you of a problem and you immediately stop and make an effort to help them solve it e.g. “Children come first”
  • Express courtesy when you show respect for them. Treat other people the way you would like to be treated by your superiors. Imagine they might become your managers the next year!


Create motivational magic

  • Smile
  • Ask people questions
  • Listen to them
  • Be polite
  • Say thank you 
  • Keep people informed
  • Encourage continuous improvement 

Book Summary: Out of the Maze

Image result for out of the maze

Out of the Maze (Spencer Johnson, 2018)

Spencer Johnson wrote Out of the Maze as a sequel to his best-selling book Who Moved My Cheese. In the first book, it describes two men, Hem and Haw who ran out of cheese one day. Haw successfully adapts to change and moves out to find new cheese. Johnson picks up on this story by showing how Hem breaks free from his faulty mindset and escapes the Maze.  Sadly, Johnson passed away from pancreatic cancer. I shall summarise his book by extracting from his list on page 64:

The Way Out of the Maze

Notice your beliefs

A belief is a thought that you trust is true

Don’t believe everything you think

Sometimes “facts” are just how you see things

Let go of what isn’t working

You can’t launch a new quest with old baggage

Look outside the maze

Consider the unlikely-explore the impossible

Choose a new belief

Changing what you think doesn’t change who you are

There are no limits to what you can believe

You can do, experience, and enjoy a lot more than you think you can

This book tells me that the problem is not in the changing circumstances around us. Things will change. The problem is us. Will we change? Will we adapt quickly or allow certain beliefs to hold us back? Let us keep an open mindset as we advance in whatever arena we may be in – work, school, home, church.

Book Summary: The Trellis and the Vine

Image result for the trellis and the vineThe Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-shift that Changes Everything (Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, 2009)

1. The trellis and the vine

The trellis is the structure and programs of the church. The vine is the ministry to people. We often place trellis-work over vine work. The Bible calls us to do vine work which is discipling disciple-makers in our churches.

2. Ministry mind-shifts

Structures don’t grow ministry but vine-work which is growing people who are disciple-making disciples of Christ. Some mind-shifts:

  • From running programs to building people
  • From running events to training people
  • From using people to growing people
  • From filling gaps to training new workers
  • From solving problems to helping people make progress
  • From clinging to ordained ministry to developing team leadership
  • From focusing on church polity to forging ministry partnerships
  • From relying on training institutions to establishing local training
  • From focusing on immediate pressures to aiming long-term expansion
  • From engaging in management to engaging in ministry
  • From seeking church growth to desiring gospel growth

When someone wants to serve we usually think of where to plug them into a program or area. This mind-set shift might mean understanding their gifts and asking them to disciple someone who needs help. It’s a life-on-life type of ministry.

3. What in the world is God doing?

The Bible emphasizes gospel growth more than church growth. We have to say goodbye to our small and self-oriented ambitions and focus on the cause of Christ and his gospel. God is looking for growth in people and this only happens through the power of God’s spirit as he applies his word to people’s hearts.

4. Is every Christian a vine-worker?

The Bible sees that all Christian disciples will be prayerful speakers of God’s word, in a multitude of different ways and contexts. We can do a Bible reading discipleship in several spheres (Home, Congregation, Community) at different groupings (one to one, small groups, large groups). He advocates a Bible-reading movement as a simple yet effective to get people into God’s word.

5. Guilt or grace?

All of us are partners in spreading the gospel. We are not members of a church where the ordained do all the work, but rather it is a partnership with them. The role of the pastor or elder is to care for and equip the people for their partnership in the gospel.

6. The heart of training

Training in Conviction (knowledge of God and understanding of the Bible), Character (godly character and life that accords with sound doctrine) and Competency (the skills to speak God’s word to others). I think a simpler wording is Know, Be, Do that I learnt elsewhere! We need to train people in all three areas.

7. Training and gospel growth

3 ideas about gospel growth:

  • It happens in the lives of people, not in the structures of church
  • We must be willing to lose people from our own congregation if that is better for the growth of the gospel (missions, church plants, etc.)
  • We see people not as cogs in our wheels but as individuals each at their own stage of gospel growth

Gospel growth process:gospel growth

  1. Outreach (1a raising issues, 1b shared gospel)
  2. Follow-up
  3. Growth (3a Need step, 3b solid)
  4. Training (4a General, 4b Specific)

gospel growth 2

We can use this as a diagnostic tool to determine where each person is in the gospel growth process. It also tells us the state of our ministry. If we have little people under outreach, we need to do more outreach. If we have many stuck at outreach, we will need to do gospel presentation or followup new believers.

As a pastor, we have limited time. So who do you work with? Work with those in the training growth stage. You equip them to become partners with you and ask them to help those in the earlier growth stages. You have multiplied your ministry reach. This doesn’t mean that you don’t help those in outreach or followup. It’s just that it cannot be the main thing. This tool also help our partners see what each person needs in order to grow. Materials for each stage can be determined and used by trainers.

8. Why Sunday sermons are necessary but not sufficient

Pastor is not just a service-proving clergyman (traditional model) or a CEO (modern church growth movement) but a Trainer. As a trainer, the pastor focuses on people ministering to people, rather than on structures, programs or events. Pastoral care is also based on equipping Christians because a pastor cannot realistically care for so many people. He quotes Richard Baxter in the Reformed Pastor that sermons must be complemented by discipleship by the people. (Acts 20:20) Baxter felt that speaking to a person personally was more useful than 10 years in the pulpit!

4 implications:

  • Evangelism is at the heart of pastoral ministry
  • Ministers need not be tied to traditional structures but should use whatever “means” available to call people to repentance and salvation
  • Focus not only on what we teach but what they are learning and applying
  • There are many highly-educated laity in church that can teach others

9. Multiplying gospel growth through training co-workers

As mentioned earlier, pastor should focus on training co-workers first (training growth stage) and to equip them for ministering to the other growth stages. After that the pastor can work with those in the furthest stage (Growth – Solid stage) and so on. We cannot keep on helping those who have problems only. This will limit our effectiveness in the long-run.

Paul’s ministry was itinerant but he worked with the local congregation closely for gospel growth. We can begin by meeting with potential co-workers regularly and equip them for ministry together. It might be a fortnightly meeting for 12 months.

How to train co-workers (2 hour meeting):

  • Bible study (30 mins)
  • Prayer in response (10 mins)
  • People work that they minister to (20 mins)
  • Pray for particular people by name (15 mins)
  • Review ministry activities (15 mins)
  • Training input in Know, Be, Do (30 mins)

10 and 11. People worth watching and Ministry Apprenticeship

We should be talent scouts. Look at their character or gifts based on the Bible. When we find them, we can challenge them to join a 2-year ministry apprenticeship program in church. This is to train them further and access if they would like to go for theological education. Be ready to export gifted people from your church for gospel growth. God often honours the generous church and showers them with more and more new people to train.

12. Making a start

  1. Set the agenda on Sundays
  2. Work closely with your elders or parish council
  3. Start building a new team of co-workers
  4. Work out with your co-workers how disciple-making is going to grow in your context
  5. Run some training programs
  6. Keep an eye out for people worth watching

Book Summary: Seven Myths of Youth Ministry

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Seven Myths of Youth Ministry: How to re-ignite your passion

(Nigel James and Gary Smith, 2004)

Myth 1: We really make a difference in our one hour a week

Truth: Give all the time you can to young people

We need a community, intimacy and purpose. Give your time to your youths just to hang out with them. This creates authenticity, availability, trust and transparency.

Myth 2: Size isn’t important

Truth: Aim for growth in quality and quantity

Dream big and don’t think small. Both the small and big groups are needed.  Always seek to grow.

Myth 3: We don’t preach – we are just sowing the seeds

Truth: Commit to effective, contemporary and Biblical preaching

We need powerful, passionate, Christ-centered and relevant preaching to our youths. Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. Learn to sow and reap by asking for a response whether for salvation or renewed discipleship calls.

Myth 4: You have to ask them what they want

Truth: Seek vision from God and follow it

You must lead by seeking God for a vision, building that vision and making it a reality for the youth. We need to ask God what the youths need, not asking the youths what they want. Be clear about your vision and mission statement. Help develop and guide the next generation of youth leaders.

Myth 5: Young people lack commitment

Truth: Build commitment into the life of young people

We need to show our commitment to the youth first. If you challenge youths with a good cause and the opportunity to serve, they will commit. More than commitment to the local church, youths should be committed to Jesus. This means that some may serve Jesus outside the local church and we must support them.

Myth 6: Young people are the future of the church

Truth: Integrate young people into the life of the church

Youths not only have potential for the future but right now! Train and give them chances to lead in the church. Don’t isolate them in the youth service or church or will lead to transition problems later. Involve them locally and globally. Be an ambassador for youths, help the church be more youth-friendly and get youths involved now.

Myth 7: We aren’t in the entertainment business

Truth: Engage and entertain young people in God’s house

We must present the gospel in an entertaining way. Jesus always held interest when he spoke. This doesn’t mean the message is changed but the medium.