As of late, I've come up with some ideas I wanted to pitch your way for your input. If you would be so bold, comment on one or more of them, but don't tell me you like the idea or not... what I want to know is if you think you, your church, or your group leaders or members would actually use it! Please feel free to be brutally honest if the idea stinks or you don't think it's even worth considering. Additionally, if I'm describing something that already exists that I've yet to stumble upon, comment with a link where I can find it.
Small Group Leader's iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app
My thought here is how handy it would be to have an app on my iPhone where I could submit a very quick update about my group to my pastor and/or coach, contact everyone in my group with an email, tweet, or FB message, keep a list of goals the group has come up with and how those goals will be achieved, and integrate a message upon launch from the pastor of the church to encourage all the leaders using the app.
Small Group Coach's Journal
This could easily be turned into an app as described above, but I'm thinking of a hard back book with a leather jacket on it that would be a great companion for one's Bible. In this journal, a small group coach could write out prayers for each group he or she oversees, jot down the names of members of each group who could climb into the driver's seat and lead the group if they were encouraged in motivational ways to do so, notes as to what was observed in recent interactions with group leader or visits to groups, as well as space to write out personal goals for spiritual growth. This journal could be brought to coach's gatherings with the small groups pastor with specific times of sharing appropriate bits and pieces.
Free YouTube small group leader training and small group member encouragement videos
Mike Mack and I are both up to making and posting two-minute vids we post online for both group leaders and members. The thought behind this is that group leaders are busy but will give you two minutes of their time to learn something new or ponder the depths of something they know cognitively but are not practicing.
The thought behind the series of short videos for group members is to expose them to a completely new understanding that group life is about far more than showing up for a meeting with a bag of Cheetos, moving them into missional living.
Note: I've already found a few of these on YouTube, but no one to my knowledge has posted 2 minute videos that take someone through the content of a really good book on that subject. As an author and publisher, I can make this happen. For example, I might be able to twist Dave Earley's arm and get him to record 8 little videos on the various 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders, which is one of TOUCH's all-time best-selling books.
Don't just read this and click off. Brainstorm with me and comment! If what I've written here gives you an even better idea for something completely different, post it or contact me through the TOUCH web site if you want to keep the idea a secret and have TOUCH publish it for you.
I do think that the app would be used for connecting group leaders to members to pastors, etc... as long as it is VERY user friendly and EASY to install.
Concerning the equipping/training videos...Absolutely! If they were organized around specific themes, leadership skills, methodology, etc. several people would use and benefit from them. You may want to consider Vimeo instead of Youtube. It has a bit more organizational features and privacy...Not that you would want them particularly private, but it might serve somewhat as a separate "compartment" from the plethora of randomness on Youtube. Anyone in the network of interested viewers would have free and easy access and opportunity to inform others about them.
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