What's Coming Up for our Community Group Year?

Here are 3 quick reminders as we prepare for our fall Community Group trimester beginning on September 16th:

1. RE:GROUP 

Group Leader Kick-off Training. Sunday Night, September 9th, 5:00PM-7:15PM

  • Our Group Leader Kickoff Training events have received a name, "RE:GROUP".  We'll refer to these events as "RE:GROUP" going forward. 

  • You will be receiving an RSVP email shortly.

  • WHO SHOULD WE INVITE? Do you have any potential group leaders you'd like to invite to Kick-off? Email or text your coach their names so we can send them the RSVP invite email.

2. Fall Group Trimester Dates

September 16th - November 17th

3. Is your Group changing? 

  • Let your group coach know if your group has any changes as we move toward the fall:

    • New/Different Leaders?

    • New Night?

    • New Location?

    • New Campus?

    • Multiplication?

    • Roster Updates?

  • We'd be happy to update your groups profile online and help you think through these changes. You can also make these changes on our Groups Database: Group Vitals.

What questions do you have as we approach the fall? Please let us know.

We hope you are enjoying the summer break and getting a chance to cool off on this 91 degree day!

Additional Resources:

Why Summer Is Danger For You and Your Group

10 Simple Ideas To Connect With Your Group This Summer

4 Phases of Healthy Multiplication (Breakout Audio/Notes)

Do You Have A Question?

We would love to be of assistance to you.  Reply to this email or check outNorthridgeLeaders.com to find Group Trimester dates, curriculum options, leader tips, group forms, sermon discussion questions, past leader training content, and much more!

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 Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life is better connected!

A New Video Resource For You and Your Group

As a Community Group Leader at Northridge we wanted you to be the first to know and have access to an amazing new resource for you, your family, and your group.

Watch this video from me and Drew Karschner to learn more.

Have any questions? Let us know.

Thanks for all you do to help your group members grow deeper in their relationship with God and each other.

We believe this resource will be a valuable tool to help us each grow in our faith!

Jason DeGraaff
Community Groups Pastor
Life is Better Connected

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3 Important Community Group Updates

As we near the end of our winter Community Group trimester (March 17th) here are a few details to help you plan ahead.

Communion

At the beginning of the trimester we shared that we'd like all Community Groups to celebrate communion in their group at the end of our trimester.  As you plan ahead for which week works best for you, we wanted to let you know we will also be celebrating communion in our Night of Worship service on Sunday night, March 4th at 6:00PM.  

Communion Supplies: 

If you would be interested in using the same Prefilled Communion Cups

we use in our services, we purchased a limited supply.  They will be available at the info center at your campus the next few Sundays.

Communion Instructions: 

HERE is our communion instructions guide to help you prepare for communion in your group.

Baptism

As we mentioned last Sunday, we will be hosting an Open Baptism service at Northridge on Sunday, March 11th. This will be a great opportunity for those who have been putting off baptism to take that step. Those getting baptized won't be required to record a baptism video.

As a Leader, we would encourage you to ask everyone in your group if they have been baptized, and if not, encourage them to take that step. This may also be a great opportunity to find out if you have any group members who have yet to cross the line of faith.

If you as a Group Leader have not yet been baptized, then this is your opportunity to lead by example for your Community Group.

You and your group members can preregister for the baptism service HERE.

Membership Class

One of the requirements of Community Group Leadership is membership. The way we talk about it in our Leader Application and New Leader Orientation is that you either need to be a member, or on your way to membership in the next 6 months.

If you are Group Leader but not yet a member, this is your next step. 

Our next Membership Class for each campus is on Sunday, March 25th from 12-2PM.

You can preregister for the Membership Class HERE.

Here are a few additional resources you may find helpful:

9 Ideas To Change Up Group This Week

Is your group in a rut? Here are 9 ideas to mix things up and reengage your group.

7 Reasons Community Groups Lose Momentum

How do you keep your group from losing momentum? Here are 7 group momentum killers to avoid.

Help With Timing Issues

We can demonstrate a respect for the people in our group by showing respect for their time in a tangible way: by starting and ending on time.

Do You Have A Question?

We would love to be of assistance to you.  Contact Your Coach or search this website to find group trimester dates, curriculum options, leader tips, group forms, sermon discussion questions, past leader training content, and much more!

 

Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life is better connected!

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Why Confronting Is Showing Love And How To Do It Well

This Group Leader article was written by Nancy Simmonds who serves on staff at Northridge as a Community Group Coach, Counselor, and our Webster Kids Director. Nancy shares highlights from a counseling article on confrontation I think you'll find helpful as you care for your group members.


In a recent issue of the Journal of Biblical Counseling, J. Alasdair Groves shares why confronting someone about their sin is actually the most loving thing to do. He goes on to share some guidelines on when to confront and when not to, as well as how to confront lovingly for the good of the other person.

Here are some highlights from this article:

  • The Bible is clear that confronting can be a "vital element of love."

  • "Refusing to confront a fellow sinner stumbling toward destruction is not kindness, politeness, or being non-judgmental; it is selfishness. It places our desire to avoid discomfort ahead of the good of another person."

  • We have natural tendencies to lean either away from or toward confrontation:

    • Some of us are hesitant to confront but we often end up judging from a distance, gossiping, avoiding the person or just pretending the problem doesn't exist.

    • Some of us appear to thrive on confrontation, always ready to put others in their place. We can be full of harsh words, leave a string of broken relationships in our wake, and can be short on grace.

No matter what direction you lean, Alasdair shares some helpful insights on how to confront well.

When Should You Confront? 

NOT every time. We are all sinners in need of a savior and we need to humbly remember that! At each opportunity we have a choice to let love cover the offense OR confront the offender.

When To Cover: 

 "The vast majority of our responses to sin ought to fall into the category of covering an offense." Covering means continuing in the relationship without making an issue of their sin.

When To Confront:

Confront when it is causing significant harm to the offender's relationship to you or others. However, you may want to ask these questions first:

  • How close is your relationship?

  • Who else is in their life that could speak into the issue?

  • How big of a problem is it?

How Should You Confront?

Here are 10 ways to confront (from least to most forceful):

  1. The first step is to prepare your own heart, NOT think about what you want to say! Loving confrontation is always gentle and focused on the other's good. 

  2. Ask genuine questions that invite self-reflection, not judgmental leading questions.

  3. Encourage them in what they are already doing about the problem.

  4. Show compassion for other's temptations.

  5. Exhort - urge them to pursue God-pleasing behaviors and attitudes.

  6. Express concern - describe the behavior and your concern.

  7. Warn - call attention to specific negative consequences of their behavior.

  8. Plead - appealing to the relationship that the two of you have.

  9. Rebuke - name the problem, call it wrong and insist it stop.

  10. Pull back - change how you relate to the unrepentant person.

Ultimately, the aim in confrontation is help the other person repent - turning from their sinful ways to God's ways for God's glory and their good! 

If you found this helpful and you want more details, you can download J. Alasdair Groves's article for $1.99 here: Nine Ways to Confront in Love, A Primer for the Timid.

  Nancy Simmonds    Community Groups Coach

Nancy Simmonds

Community Groups Coach

 

Here are a few additional resources you may find helpful:

How to Have "The Talk:" Overcoming the Dread and Delay of Crucial Conversations (Breakout)

This breakout will give you tools and approaches that prepare for emotionally charged conversations. It will introduce strategies to transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, making it safe to talk about almost anything, so you can be persuasive without being abrasive.

How To Address Unhealthy Dating Relationships (Breakout)

What do you do when someone in your group makes a bad relationship decision? Whether it is dating an unbeliever, living with their boyfriend, sleeping with their girlfriend, or dating while in the process of getting a divorce. This breakout will give you a Biblical framework for how to think about these issues and practical steps on how to carefully address them with the members of your group.

Discipleship & Counseling Training (Northridge Equip Class - Begins March 3rd)

This ten week training will teach you how to compassionately and skillfully use God's word to help people grow and change for God's glory, whether through casual conversations, mentoring, leading a group, discipleship, or counseling.

Do You Have A Question?

We would love to be of assistance to you.  Contact your Group Coach HERE or search our website to find other counseling resources, Group Trimester dates, curriculum options, leader tips, group forms, sermon discussion questions, past leader training content, and much more!

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How Do You Know If You Are Succeeding As A Leader?

At our Group Leader Kickoff on Sunday, January 7th, we addressed an important question we as leaders should know how to answer, "How do you know if you are succeeding as a Group Leader?"

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In short, we know we are succeeding when we are helping our Group Members experience Biblical Community - aka the ABCs: Applying the Bible, Building relationships, and Caring for each other.

Whenever we see our group members living out the ABC's, that is success!

The best way to help our Group Members live out the ABC's is by practicing the 6 Group Leader Essentials (See below). These are 6 essentials that we as leaders can't go without!

Which of these 6 Essentials do you need to work on? Identify one, review it, and make a goal to improve this trimester.

Group Leader Kickoff Training Recap

Lead Pastor Drew Karschner shares with our Group Leaders about some of the stories about what God has been doing at Northridge as well as sharing upcoming sermon series and events that would be helpful for Group Leaders as they plan ahead for the Community Group Trimester.
How do you know if you are succeeding as a Group Leader? In this talk, our Community Group Pastor Jason DeGraaff answers how to know if we are succeeding as a leader and introduces the Group Leader Essentials we as a Group Leaders can't go without if we are going to be successful.
In this video Andy Woodall talks about the importance of Pursuing Christ as our #1 Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.
In this video Nate Miller talks about the importance of Cultivating Relationship as our 2nd Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.
In this video Nancy Simmonds talks about the importance of Promoting Participation as our 3rd Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.
In this video Aaron Hixson talks about the importance of Modeling Authenticity as our 4th Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.
In this video Brad Files talks about the importance of Providing Care as our 5th Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.
In this video Mark Nelson talks about the importance of Replacing Yourself as our 6th Group Leader Essential. This is 1 of 6 Group Leader Essentials that we believe Group Leaders can't go without.

Here are a few additional resources you may find helpful:

Why and How To Share Facilitiation

Here are 3 tips on sharing facilitation and a 1 page guide and suggested email for 1st time facilitators.

How Do You Get People To Show Up To Your Group?

While we can't control people or make decisions for them, here are 2 steps that will help move people from your group roster to your living room.

Tough One: Handling The Person Who Refuses To Change

Admit it! There are times as a leader you are frustrated with an individual who you feel you've poured loads of energy and attention into, but who doesn't seem particularly interested in changing. In this breakout we will explore how to handle those who show little or no progress in their spiritual lives.

Serving Opportunity

Red Cross Blood Drive at Northridge (Irondequoit Campus)

Saturday, January 27th, 8:00AM-3:00PM

The Community Group with the most donors will win tickets to a Red Wings game. 

Do You Have A Question?

We would love to be of assistance to you. Contact your Group Coach HERE.

  Jason DeGraaff    Community Groups Pastor     Life Is Better Connected

Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life Is Better Connected

 
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Group Social Media Contest Reminder + Christmas-Gram From Your Coaches

Don't forget the Community Group Christmas Contest

Post a Christmas picture on Facebook or Instagram with your Community Group between December 10th-23rd using hashtag #ChristmasWithMyGroup and tagging @NorthridgeRoc.

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We will have 3 prizes. Your group can win one of the following categories by being the group with the: 

1. Most Creative Post

2. Most People Included in a Picture

3. Most Liked Post

So, start planning now for how your group can win.

Looking for ways to connect or serve together?

Check out our last Group Leader blog HERE for 10 Christmas Gathering ideas and 7 Serving Ideas.

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Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life is Better Connected

Christmas Contest + Christmas Social and Serving Ideas

As we move into our winter Community Group break, we would encourage your group to stay connected before our new group trimester begins on January 14th. 

The holiday season can be a challenging time as many of us interact with broken families, as we are reminded of friends and family that are no longer with us, as we face unique temptations, and as we deal with the anxiety that comes along with this season.

Group may be on break, but our relationships shouldn't. In fact, we may need each other during the holidays more than ever. 

As you celebrate the holidays, we'd love for your group to participate in our Community Group Christmas Contest by sharing your group experience with us and your friends.

Community Group Christmas Contest

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Post a Christmas picture on Facebook or Instagram with your Community Group between December 10th-23rd using hashtag #ChristmasWithMyGroup and tagging @NorthridgeRoc.

We will have 3 prizes. Your group can win one of the following categories by being the group with the: 

1. Most Creative Post

2. Most People Included in a Picture

3. Most Liked Post

So, start planning now for how your group can win.

What are some Christmas ideas for your group to connect together?

10 Group Christmas Ideas

  • Have a gingerbread house building contest with hot cocoa and Christmas music.

  • Watch a Christmas movie like "Elf," "It's A Wonderful Life," or "The Nativity."

  • Make and give away Christmas cookies.

  • Go caroling.

  • Get outdoors - skiingsleddinghiking, or have a snowball fight.

  • Go ice skating downtown.

  • Bring your kids to see Santa at the mall and grab a meal together.

  • Attend a Christmas concert.

  • Sit together at the Christmas Eve service (see times HERE).

  • Serve together (See ideas below).

Connect with your co-leaders and set a date on your calendar this weekthen you can start brainstorming with your group what your Christmas celebrations might look like.

Looking for a serving Idea?

7 Group Serving Opportunities

  • Open Door Mission

    Fill out a volunteer inquiry form for Open Door Mission to find out more about their seasonal serving opportunities. https://opendoormission.com/getinvolved/

  • Basketball Tournament

    Youth For Christ is hosting a Christmas basketball tournament and can use volunteers to help run the event and participate. www.northridgeserves.com/blog/trunk-or-treat-and-a-christmas-basketball-tournament

  • Christmas Basket Giveaway

    Mission Share has Christmas related service opportunities such as their Christmas basket giveaways and their Christmas Hope Gifts Program. Northridger Patrick can help you find out more details and connect: www.northridgeserves.com/our-team/patrick

  • Pack Hygiene Kits

    Pack hygiene bags for Supports on the Streets or hygiene/cleaning kits for Genesis House with a Christmas themed twist (such as including Christmas cards for those receiving the bags). Contact Allie for Supports on the Streets (http://www.northridgeserves.com/our-team/homelessness) and Leanne for Genesis House (http://www.northridgeserves.com/our-team/youth).

  • Christmas Carols and Cookies for neighbors

    You can put together some cookies or other goodies as a group and pass them out to your neighbors and optionally sing Christmas carols too.

  • Kids Care For Northridge Youth Ministry

    NYM provides childcare each week on Wednesday nights for our volunteer youth leaders. You and your group can take care of a group of children from infant to 6 years old. Contact Justin Laskowski for more info: jlaskowski@NorthridgeRochester.com 

  • Serve at Northridge

    Contact your Campus Pastor or the Ministry Leader in the area you already serve to find out what opportunities Northridge has for Christmas Eve or the holidays.

Enjoy the break. Get some rest. Have fun connecting. I look forward to seeing your Christmas posts! #ChristmasWithMyGroups

See you January 7th at 5PM for our Group Leader Mid-Year Kickoff and some Outlaw Baked Potatoes!

  Jason DeGraaff    Community Groups Pastor    Life Is Better Connected

Jason DeGraaff

Community Groups Pastor

Life Is Better Connected