Category Archives: Small Groups

Review: In Visible Fellowship by Jon Walker

Fans of Dietrich Bonhoeffer will enjoy In Visible Fellowship by Jon Walker – a book that seeks to encapsulate for contemporary audiences the principles found in Bonheoffer’s classic Life Together.

In Visible Fellowship has been described by some as “Bonhoeffer in bite-sized chunks”. The 174 pages of this book are broken down into 36 chapters – most just two or three pages long. Each begins with a quote from Bonhoeffer and a scripture before moving in to a commentary on the “big idea” of the lesson. Chapters conclude with a brief description of how Jesus embodied the discussed principle along with well-written personal reflection questions for group discussion.

The principles dealt with in this book are basic to healthy Christian community. A few include the importance of being in community, suggestions for a strong devotional life, the primacy of prayer, confession, and more – each with a strong emphasis on practical application.

In Visible Fellowship is not designed to be read alone – this book would be best used in a small group setting with participants reading three or four lessons ahead of a meeting coming prepared to discuss application. I stress application, because this material has the potential to be transformative, but not simply through discussion – application is a must.

Remember, this is a reworking of a classic book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The phrase, “Bonhoeffer says …”, or, “Bonhoeffer suggests …” shows up from beginning to end and will likely become tedious to readers unless they have some appreciation for Bonhoeffer’s life and teachings. I highly recommend leaders familiarize themselves and their groups with him ahead of time so they have at least some knowledge of Bonhoeffer in order to give his words and teaching credibility. The easiest way to do that would be to watch a film together about his life – several are available to buy through Amazon or to rent/stream via NetFlix.

In sum, this book might be tedious for individual readers outside of ardent Bonhoeffer fans, but would be excellent to use in a small group made of people who 1) appreciate Bonhoeffer’s life and work, and 2) are committed to practically applying the teachings found within.

The lessons found in this book are patently biblical, and, if put into practice, will be transformative for your small group

You can pick up In Visible Fellowship through Amazon for $11.07 here, or directly from Leafwood Publishers for $13.99 here.

Jon Walker has served as a writer and editor for many years in addition to serving on the pastoral staff at Saddleback Church. You can find out more about his ministry at gracecreates.com.

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Want to Listen to Some Great Lessons Online? 2009 Campus Ministry United Workshop Audio Posted!

Into Christian ministry?

Want to listen to some great lessons for free?

Bookmark this page, and yes – I said *free*?

That’s right – Campus Ministry United does NOT charge 6 or 7 bucks a pop for lessons from our workshops. We release them for free, and, Lord willing, always will.

Of course we understand workshop overhead must be covered, but we prefer to take care of that in ways other than charging people for listening to the lessons.

We want these lessons to help as many people as possible, and believe charging for them hinders that.

I wish those in charge of other workshops and seminars would follow CMU’s lead in this!

Anyway, let me step off my soapbox for a moment and share these links with you:

  1. Wes Woodell – “2009 Workshop Kickoff & Planter Interviews” (31:09) (Scriptures & Interview PowerPoint)
  2. Anthony Wood“How Evangelism to the Poor Can Equal Evangelism to Your Campus pt. 1” (59:42)
  3. Anthony Wood – “How Evangelism to the Poor Can Equal Evangelism to Your Campus pt. 2” (36:16)
  4. Kerry Cox “Curriculum Planning Mini-Workshop pt. 1” (51:18)
  5. Kerry Cox – “Curriculum Planning Mini-Workshop pt. 2” (32:33)
  6. Buddy Bell“Displaying Strange Behavior: The Value of a Holy Life” (55:12)
  7. David Weidner “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 1” (63:44) ( David’s Purity pt. 1-4 PowerPoint)
  8. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 2” (61:29)
  9. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 3” (61:33)
  10. David Weidner – “Men’s Session: Real Sexual Purity in Campus Ministry pt. 4” (68:06)
  11. Robin Weidner – “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 1” (41:07) (Robin’s Purity pt. 1-3 PowerPoint; Full Class Notes )
  12. Robin Weidner – “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 2” (41:47)
  13. Robin Weidner “Women’s Session: Staying Secure & Sexually Pure In Your Campus Ministry pt. 3” (24:15)
  14. Buddy Bell“Effective Small Groups In Campus Ministries pt. 1” (56:07) (Effective Small Groups Class Notes )
  15. Buddy Bell“Effective Small Groups In Campus Ministries pt. 2” (46:14)
  16. Wes Woodell & Marvin Crowson – “Fundraising: Seven Principles Behind Effective Fundraising for Ministry Planters” (36:41) (Fundraising Class Notes Outling 7 Principles; Example Fundraising DVD; Example Fundraising PowerPoint; Sample Fundraising Info Packet )
  17. Wes Woodell & Marvin Crowson “Fundraising: Group Discussion on Fundraising for Smaller Events” (34:00)
  18. Kerry Cox – “Communicating a Strange Idea: Sharing the Gospel with Strangers” (52:19)
  19. Rita Cox – “Women’s Session: Ladies Leading In Campus Ministry pt. 1” (48:16)
  20. Hannah Cox “Women’s Session: Ladies Leading In Campus Ministry pt. 2” (51:53)
  21. Seth Simmons – “Strange Behavior: Spiritual Disciplines pt. 1” (67:13) (Spiritual Disciplines PowerPoint )
  22. Seth Simmons – “Strange Behavior: Spiritual Disciplines pt. 2” (69:43)
  23. Gary Lambrecht & Lynn Stringfellow – “Healthy Elder/Campus Minister Relationships pt. 1” (71:51) (Connection PowerPoint )
  24. Gary Lambrecht & Lynn Stringfellow – “Healthy Elder/Campus Minister Relationships pt. 2” (57:13)
  25. Lynn Stringfellow – “Strange Criticism: Responding to Criticism & Persecution” (47:57)
  26. Robert Cox – “Avoid Strange Teaching: Clear Doctrine in an Unclear World” (39:57)

To easily access these lessons anytime, visit the Campus Ministry United Audio/Video Page. There you can download all of the lessons from the 2009 Workshop as well as all available audio from previous CMU years (that’s four years worth of great content at no cost to you).

CMU Workshop in blogs and Facebook notes:

(If you’ve written a blog post or Facebook note about the CMU workshop, leave a comment with the link and I’ll add you to the list)

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Notes From the Pepperdine Lectures – Phil and Meredith McCullom

Notes from Phil & Meredith McCullom’s class at Pepperdine – “New Churches in New Places for New People pt. 4” – Friday, 9:00PM

  • We don’t plant churches – we teach people to obey – church plants occur naturally when people obey.
  • When we obey, God gives us more opportunities to be obedient.
  • Making disciples isn’t an event so much as it is a way of life. If a person isn’t making disciples where they are right now, why should they go “plant” a church somewhere else and expect things to be different?
  • The Holy Spirit & Jesus plant or build churches – our job is simply to be gospel planters or Word of God planters – God will build His church, not us.
  • Make sure you’re planting the real seed – not something else. Your goal has to be for people to rely on the Lord – not for them to rely on you!

Phil & Meredith are simple church planters working in East Hollywood, CA. Airiel and I are hoping to have them up for a visit sometime.

I thought their comments on the church planting panel were biblical and very practical.

If you’d like to keep up with the McCullom’s work, bookmark their website: http://WayOfLifeVillage.org

Happy Wednesday!

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