About two years ago, I began working for SmallGroups.com, a ministry that provides everything you need for small-group ministry. To be honest, it was a bit surreal. For the previous four years, I'd been launching and leading a brand-new small-group ministry at a church, and SmallGroups.com was my go-to resource. Whenever I had a question on how to handle issues in groups, I visited the site to search for expert advice. When I needed to train new leaders, I used a collection of several articles and resources from the site. And when I was looking for new small-group books, I browsed the reviews. Though it was a small church, I had plenty of questions, and SmallGroups.com helped answer them. It's not an overstatement to say that without SmallGroups.com, I would not have been successful.
So when I started writing and editing resources for the site, I was overwhelmingly excited. Not only do I have the opportunity to give back to a ministry that means so much to me, I also have the privilege of ministering to other small-group leaders and directors through the resources I help create.
Take Carolyn Taketa for example. She's the executive director of small groups at Calvary Community Church, a large church in Westlake Village, California, and she's been using SmallGroups.com for years to support her ministry. A few years ago, Carolyn began writing for SmallGroups.com, sharing the wisdom she's gained from leading. So when I had the chance to meet her face-to-face this year, I was excited.
We talked about many of the common pitfalls of small-group ministry—from handling group dynamics to tackling theological issues—and she shared why she loves SmallGroups.com so much. She feels it's a trusted resource for fresh ideas, practical strategies, training materials, and thoughtful perspectives on a wide range of small-group topics. In fact, she says it's a staple for her ministry. She went on to say that she shares articles with her leaders and uses them in training. Plus, she enjoys the fact that the downloadable training resources are fully adaptable to her ministry environment, something that makes her workload a lot lighter.
The bottom line is that she trusts the writers and editors of SmallGroups.com. She appreciates how the articles and Training Tools help bring clarity to her own decision-making process.
On top of providing valuable content for both new and veteran leaders in her ministry, SmallGroups.com led Carolyn to Her.meneutics and Gifted for Leadership, which she greatly appreciates for her own personal enrichment. As a minority, and as one of the few women leaders in her church, she appreciates both the encouragement and wisdom of other Christian women. Plus, the well-written articles from Leadership Journal give her practical advice for leading well.
As I spoke with Carolyn, I could see the excitement in her eyes, and it reminded me of the privilege we have here at Christianity Today to minister to leaders in the trenches. I'm so thankful that God is using what we do to inspire, encourage, and equip leaders to carry out his kingdom work. Especially because I've served in that role, and I know the difference these resources can make in a person's ministry.