Every small group has a different DNA made up of interests, needs, desires, passions, and perspectives. Selecting a curriculum is not as easy as slipping on a one-size-fits-all t-shirt. In fact, choosing a Bible study can be the most difficult part when launching any small group.
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To celebrate Halloween or to ignore it?
That is the question Christian families have been asking themselves for decades. Halloween has become almost impossible to completely ignore due to the media and consumer hype behind the princesses, ghosts, and snack-sized Snickers bars.
The origins of Halloween connect back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain-which marked the end of the harvest.
The harvest festival showed traces of celebrating death and Irish mythology. This holiday has pagan origins. Now, Halloween is a real celebration for followers of the Occult and Wicca. It is no doubt that for that culture-Halloween is a chance to celebrate evil spirits and death.
In the seventh century, Pope Gregory III instituted another holiday in substitution of Halloween: All Saints Day (celebrated on November 1st). Designed as a day to pray for the saints who have already passed, this holiday was created to combat the pagan rituals of Halloween.
Throughout the centuries Christians have tried to find alternatives.
Here are five creative ways to celebrate October 31st:
I love the way God is at work and even uses a tiny sheep to accomplish his purposes.
For those of you who have read Scouting the Divine or been through the six-week Bible study, then you're familiar with Lynne, the shepherdess, who I spent time with her and flock unpacking Scriptural truths.
Lynne and I continue to keep in touch, and I recently received the following note from her regarding a small sheep named Piaget. This precious creature was near death and Lynne nursed her back to life as a loving shepherdess.
While other shepherds would have given up on Piaget, Lynne never did--even waking in the middle of the night to crawl in the pen to be with Piaget.
Their story offers a rich portrait of God's tender love for us.
Here is an update from Lynne on how God is still using Piaget for his purposes:
Small Groups. We’ve all been in one where the numbers continue to whittle down until it’s just you and the leader left.
But when you’re the one leading, what do you do if people start leaving yours?
Here are three things to do when people leave your small group: Continue Reading...
One of my favorite moments in the classic children's tale Alice in Wonderland comes at point when Alice arrives at a crossroads. She notices the Cheshire Cat in a nearby tree and asks for advice as to which road she should take.
The cat promptly asks her, "Where do you want to go?" Continue Reading...