Testing a Feature of GroupLife Insider on June 27th

Office HoursI’m continuing to work on a new service I’ll be launching soon. GroupLife Insider, a new member site, will allow me to focus more of my time helping a select group of small group ministry point people. Membership rates will be very affordable and available with a monthly or discounted annual subscription. Click here to read more about GroupLife Insider.

One of the features I am maybe disproportionately excited about is a weekly “office hours” concept. Like when you were in college and your professors had “office hours” and you could drop by and ask questions about assignments and projects. Everyone who was in the office benefitted. Both the questioners and the eavesdroppers.

I’ve thought about this concept for a long time. Full disclosure: It’s really something Carl George mentioned to me that he was thinking of doing. Ever since that day I’ve thought this could be a lot of fun and very helpful for the most interested students.

How will office hours work for GroupLife Insider members? It will be a regularly scheduled video conference session that members will have the password to attend.

Testing GroupLife Insider Office Hours Soon

I’m testing the concept on Tuesday, June 27th, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. (PDT, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (EDT).

Want to check it out?

Only those who have expressed interest in GroupLife Insider will get an invite (Note: If you’re already on the GroupLife Insider list, you don’t need to sign up again).

I’d love to include you!

Sign up to find out more right here:

Can’t see the sign up form? Click here to sign up.

Get My Best Price for Small Group Ministry Basic Training (+ NEW BONUS ADDED)

I want to invite you to join me for my new 6 session mini-course: Small Group Ministry Basic Training.  Whether you’re on the paid staff as a small group pastor or director or you’re a passionate volunteer dedicating your time and energy to champion small group ministry…this course will help you understand and implement the basics.

BUT…and I don’t wan’t you to miss this…Small Group Ministry Basic Training is about WAY more than what some might call The Basics.

I believe what I’m teaching in this course will help you unlock some of the secrets of building a truly thriving small group ministry. I’ve personally discovered that without some of the strategies and skills I’ll be highlighting, you could easily spend years stuck at one of several roadblocks…keeping you from the promised land.

And DON’T miss the BONUS I just added today!

Here’s what you’ll gain in Small Group Ministry Basic Training:

  • Core training in the seven skills every small group pastor or director must develop.
  • Proven strategies that will help you move your ministry in the direction of your preferred future.
  • An in depth understanding of what you must do to build a thriving small group ministry.
  • The tools that will help you identify future opportunities with the most upside.

What’s Included:

  1. Six 75 minute LIVE sessions (60 minutes of content + 15 minutes Q&A)
  2. Downloadable outlines (allowing you to capture every detail)
  3. Each session is packed with actionable takeaways
  4. All sessions are downloadable to share with your team
  5. Password-protected site with additional supporting resources.
  6. 100% money back guarantee.  If you’re not completely satisfied…I’ll refund your money.
  7. Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through Monday May 22nd at 12:00 a.m.
  8. Regular pricing: $124.95
  9. Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  10. Questions?  Email Me for information.

BONUS; Register by Monday, May 22nd at 12:00 a.m. and receive a FREE registration for an additional mini-course (How to Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry, How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign, or How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure).

When, Where and Other Details:

  • Note: All sessions will be recorded live and available to download the morning after the every session.
  • Live sessions 1 and 2 on Tuesday May 23rd at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Live sessions 3 and 4 on Tuesday May 30th at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Live sessions 5 and 6 on Tuesday June 20th  at 11:00 a.m. and  12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Regular pricing: $124.95
  • Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through May 19th.
  • Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  • Questions?  Email Me for information.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions!


Registration Options (pulldown)



Frequently Asked Questions (about Small Group Ministry Basic Training)

Here are the most frequently asked questions (and the answers!) to Small Group Ministry Basic Training:

How basic is small group ministry basic training? That is a great question! The content covered in the 6 sessions is basic in the sense that every small group pastor or director must develop this skill set and understand this set of essential strategies. They need to have clarity about the practices that build a thriving small group ministry. And they need the tools that will help them identify the opportunities with the most upside. I believe even fairly experienced practitioners will benefit from this course.

I can’t join the live sessions. Will they be available for me to watch later?  Absolutely! All 6 sessions will be recorded and available for viewing or download at your convenience on my password-protected site.

Can I share the video content with my team? Definitely. Your purchase gives you the right to share the recorded video sessions (as well as the other supporting documents and helps) with your team. However, because there are limited openings for the live sessions, only the recorded sessions will be able to be shared with your team.

Will Small Group Ministry Basic Training be available later?  Like my other short courses, this one will be available later…but the special price of $97.00 increases to $149.95 on May 19th.

I live in another country. Can I take advantage of Small Group Ministry Basic Training? Every session will be a web-based video call and every session will be recorded and uploaded the same day to my password protected site. If the session is live at a time you can join, you should be able to join no matter where you are. If it’s not convenient for you to join live, you can watch the recording later that same day (or early the next day depending on where you are in the world!).

I’m not exactly new to small group ministry. Will it be worth my time (and money) to sign up? You don’t have to be new to small group ministry to benefit from my basic training course! Even if some of what I’m teaching is familiar, the rest may very well be eye-opening and ground-breaking!

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.07.41 AMI don’t have a Paypal account. Can I pay with my debit or credit card? Absolutely. When you click the Buy Now button you’ll see the form to the left. Click the link at the bottom of the form that says “Pay with a debit or credit card or Paypal Credit.”

Can I pay for the course with a check? You can pay for the course with a check but enrollment is limited to the first 50 sign-ups. If you need to pay by check, Email Me  to arrange payment.

Do you have a question I haven’t answered?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Would Small Group Ministry Basic Training Help You?

I want to invite you to join me for my new 6 session mini-course: Small Group Ministry Basic Training.  Whether you’re on the paid staff as a small group pastor or director or a passionate volunteer dedicating your time and energy to champion small group ministry…this course will help you understand and implement the basics.

Here’s what you’ll gain:

  • Core training in the seven skills every small group pastor or director must develop.
  • Proven strategies that will help you move your ministry in the direction of your preferred future.
  • An in depth understanding of what you must do to build a thriving small group ministry.
  • The tools that will help you identify future opportunities with the most upside.

What’s Included:

  1. Six 75 minute sessions (60 minutes of content + 15 minutes Q&A)
  2. Downloadable outlines (allowing you to capture every detail)
  3. Each session is packed with actionable takeaways
  4. All sessions are downloadable to share with your team
  5. Password-protected site with additional supporting resources.
  6. 100% money back guarantee.  If you’re not completely satisfied…I’ll refund your money.
  7. Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through May 19th.
  8. Regular pricing: $124.95
  9. Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  10. Questions?  Email Me for information.

When, Where and Other Details:

  • The first session is on Tuesday May 23rd at 11:00 a.m. pacific.
  • Sessions 2 thru 6 are on May 30, June 6, June 13, June 20, and June 27* (June 27th will be two sessions, 11:00 a.m. AND 12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Regular pricing: $124.95
  • Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through May 19th.
  • Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  • Questions?  Email Me for information.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions!


Registration Options (pulldown)



What would this be worth to you?

What would this be worth to you?

(I’d love your feedback! I’ve included a short survey below)

If you’ve been reading what I’ve been posting at MarkHowellLive.com for very long, you are just the person I want to ask a few questions! (And if you are new to my blog, I want to ask you a few questions too!)

As you may know, there are now well over 2100 articles here on a variety of important small group ministry topics. Everything from the best ways to launch the largest number of group (and connect the largest number of people), to strategies for identifying and developing new leaders, building effective coaching structures, identifying and recruiting potential coaches, making disciples, what changes might be necessary in the 21st century, leader training ideas and tips, working with your senior pastor, investing in your own spiritual growth, etc.

You know that right?

And most likely, you also know that even the best articles are often only a taste of what you need and in order to begin to get what you need you’ve got to dig deep, follow the links I include (i.e., “See also…” and “Further Reading”).

You might have purchased one or more of my most popular mini-courses. You might have set up a coaching call (or even a package of calls). And you might have participated in one of my coaching networks.

The truth is…if you’re still reading this article, you might be exactly who I want to ask a few questions!

I’m always looking for the service or program that will allow me to help the largest number of small group pastors and directors. And I mean really help. More than just point in the right direction. Actually help build a thriving small group ministry. More like an adjunct staff member…if you know what I mean.

Would you take 2 or 3 minutes and complete a simple feedback survey? I’d love to know what you think!

Click here to take the survey!

Your feedback means a lot to me!

P.S. In order to provide this new service I will be adjusting the frequency of my posts here at MarkHowellLive.com. What I’ve already written will largely still be available, but I’ll be writing more detailed pieces for GroupLifeInsider.com.

Hey there, Friend, I could use your help today

First, good morning!  Or good afternoon or goodnight…depending on where in the world you are reading this email!

I could use your help today! I’m testing a couple ideas and need some feedback. Also, don’t miss a GREAT price on GroupLife Southwest ’17 registrations below!

First, I wanted to let you know I’ll be testing Facebook Live this week. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but Facebook Live’s technology allows you to easily broadcast livestream video right from your phone or computer.

I’m planning on testing Facebook Live on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. (PST). I’m going to spend a few minutes teaching on Maximizing a Church-Wide Campaign (This Fall) and then opening it up for Q&A (the way Facebook Live works makes it easy for you to ask questions).

To participate you’ll need to do 2 things:

Be sure and Like and Follow my new Facebook Page. Here’s a link to the page. Also, in the screen shot below, you can see where the Like and Follow buttons are on a Facebook page.

The other thing you might want to do is be thinking about a question you’d want to ask!

Second, I’m testing a new blog format this week. I like it…but it has a bug or two I’m working on today.

Could you play around a little with it and see what you think? I could use some feedback.

Just added Mike Foster to GroupLife Southwest ’17!

That’s right! We’ve just added Mike Foster, author, speaker and founder of The People of the Second Chance to the program at GroupLife Southwest ’17! His work has been very well received over the last several years (Freeway, Wonderlife, his new book People of the Second Chance).

Also, we rolled back prices to $124.95, but it’s only good til midnight Tuesday, February 21st (you’ll need to register with the code: 6WEEKS to get the price).

Hope you don’t miss a great price on the best small group ministry conference this year.

 

Joining Us for GroupLife Southwest? Take Advantage of THIS Price

GroupLife Southwest Speakers Twitter

Joining Us for GroupLife Southwest? Take Advantage of THIS Price

So it’s like this. This is the best speaker lineup for a small group ministry conference in 2017. Period.

I can say that, because I’ve seen the other lineups.

Here is the lineup for GroupLife Southwest ’17:

  • Bill Willits from North Point. Bill has been at North Point since their beginning and has been the point person for the small group ministry that has connected over 72,000! His insights alone will be worth the price of the conference.
  • Tim Cooper from North Point. You may not know Tim, but I can tell you his breakout at re:group 2016, Community for Everyone, was truly inspiring and incredibly challenging. I personally came away from his breakouts with a number of game-changing insights.
  • Chris Surratt from LifeWay. You probably recognize Chris’s name, but you may not remember his role as the Small Group Pastor for Cross Point Church (and prior to that Seacoast Community Church) and the author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us (packed with the great insights that only come from a seasoned practitioner accustomed to figuring out how to connect the people you aren’t already connecting and actually make disciples).
  • Mindy Caliguire from SoulCare. Mindy Caliguire is the founder of Soul Care, a spiritual formation ministry that exists to increase “soul health” in the body of Christ.
  • Dave Enns from North Coast. Again, you may not recognize Dave’s name, but you probably recognize North Coast Church. Well known for their sticky church small group strategy and philosophy, they have consistently connected over 80% of their weekend adult worship attendance in small groups. And they’ve been doing it for years while they’ve become one of the largest churches in the country.
  • Hugh Halter from Forge America. Hugh is not a household name…unless you want to connect unchurched friends, neighbors, co-workers and family. I’ve heard him a number of times at conferences like Exponential. His latest book Happy Hour is packed with insights. When I was assembling the lineup, he was the first person I contacted. If you want to be effective in the 21st century, you need to be paying attention to Hugh.
  • Todd Engstrom from Austin Stone. Several years ago The Austin Stone Community Church began a transition from an ordinary, business-as-usual small group ministry (that primarily existed for insiders) to a missional community strategy, intent on becoming a force that would impact Austin. Their journey is a great story and their transition is full of lessons learned.
  • Me. In addition to hosting the conference, I’m planning to present two breakouts that I think you’ll find very helpful. In addition, I’m cooking up a special breakout for Monday night that will be a live demonstration of how a small group connection works.

See where I’m going? THAT is the best lineup. Period.

I don’t want YOU to miss this conference! And I want you to bring your team!

That’s why I’m offering a really good sale on registration.

What’s a REALLY good sale? How about $124.95? If you think that’s a good price, you can register today by entering the code: SUPERFRIEND (I’m only offering this price until midnight on Monday, February 13th).

Why are we even holding GroupLife Southwest ’17?

Here are the 5 main reasons:

  1. To give you live access to some of the most important small group ministry ideas. Reading about small group ministry is one thing. Interacting with leading practitioners and trusted experts is another thing.
  2. To expose you to the systems, models and strategies designed for the 21st century. If you’re paying attention to the culture, it is an inescapable reality that every step into the 21st century takes us farther away from the way things were when many of the most common small group ministry practices were developed. Connecting people and making disciples in the 21st century will require new insights.
  3. To provide a west coast gathering for small group ministry practitioners. When I’ve written about conferences I’ve been to in other parts of the country, I’ve routinely heard from readers who’ve wished for a closer option.
  4. To provide an additional conference at a time when there are limited options. It just seems like there were more options not that long ago. At the moment, there are only two main options (Saddleback’s The Lobby and North Point’s re:group). Both are excellent. GroupLife Southwest will add an important additional option.
  5. To provide a conference that curates a diverse collection of systems, models and strategies, The speakers you’ll hear are representatives of a variety of effective systems, models and strategies. Exposure to their thinking will help you identify and develop the best approach for your church and your community.

Bottom line? I really hope you’ll join us for GroupLife Southwest 2017! I don’t want you to miss it. And I’d love to meet you!

Here’s a link to the conference website for more information.

$124.95? If you think that’s a good price, you can register today by entering the code: SUPERFRIEND (I’m only offering this price until midnight on Monday, February 13th)

Will You Take Advantage of My 2017 Coaching Network?

coaching-network-calendarEvery year I block off six days and several hours a week for six months to personally invest in a very limited group of small group pastors.

My 2017 Small Group Ministry Coaching Network experience is designed to give you the tools and strategies you need in order to build a small group ministry that works in the 21st century. The coaching network program will expose you to a new perspective. While it makes sense that in order to get different results you need to do different things…it’s not always clear what those different things might be. My coaching network program is designed around the idea that different, not better, leads to the kind of strategy that connects beyond the usual suspects.

Who will be part of the network? Each of my networks are limited to 12 participants and are designed for small group champions who serve in a local church. Because of the nature of the role, champions may be senior pastors, executive pastors, small group pastors and directors, ministers of education, and other key leaders.

Special Bonus: Registration for GroupLife Southwest is included (my small group conference here in Las Vegas is March 27th and 28th).

What will you receive?

  • Five monthly coaching sessions. Anchored by a 90 minute video conference call, these group session provides focused exposure to the strategies that will build a more powerful platform.  Sessions are scheduled at 11am Pacific on January 19th, February 16th, April 20th, May 18th, and June 15th).
  • Two day gathering in Las Vegas. March 29th: 1pm-5pm followed by dinner | March 30th: 8am-12pm
  • Bonus: Registration for GroupLife Southwest is included (my small group conference here in Las Vegas is March 27th and 28th)
  • Focused training on key strategic steps including planning with the end in mind, developing an annual grouplife calendar, identifying an unlimited number of new leaders, launching new groups in waves, and impacting your community through groups.
  • Tools, strategies and next steps to be implemented after every session.
  • Access to special password protected network pages with customized content for each session.
  • Scheduled 60 minute one-on-one calls to address questions more specifically, bring team members into the conversation, or help equip your senior pastor or other key staff members.
  • The opportunity to connect with other network participants between sessions
  • Email access to Mark during the six months

What are the expectations?

  • Participate in all six sessions
  • Invest as little as $1250 after 11/30/15)
  • Cover your own travel expenses to the two day gathering
  • Commit to the reading and exercises between sessions

What’s next? Complete the Coaching Network Application. My 2017 Coaching Network begins on January 19th, 2017. Questions? Contact me.

What’s Your New Year’s Plan for Stewarding Well Your Responsibility?

how-can-i-helpIt’s not always popular…but this is the way I think. And I’m pretty sure it is the right way to think about what we do.

When I read Matthew 25 (the Parable of the Talents), I am very confident that one of Jesus’ points is that we’ve each been given something to steward “according to our abilities” and we’re expected to steward it well. As a small group ministry point person, I interpret that to mean that I’ve been entrusted with investing the time and talents of coaches (leaders of leaders) and the leaders they care for.

I’m not sure about you, but for me I take this stewardship seriously. I really hope you do too.

Because I believe this is the right interpretation, I feel compelled to manage the investment well! After all…I really want to hear “well done” at the end of the game.

And as a result, as I come to the end of the year, I’m thinking about next year. I’m thinking about how I might improve what I’m doing.

Is that you?

If it is, I want to suggest a few things you might want to consider as 2017 approaches:

  1. You might consider signing up for my new FREE email course, 31 Days to a Better Small Group Ministry. I think this will really help a lot of people steward their responsibility/opportunity more effectively.
  2. You may want to consider attending GroupLife Southwest 2017. I can guarantee you this conference will expose you (and maybe some from your team) to some of the best ideas for small group ministry in the 21st century. I’m offering the Super Early Bird registration through 12/31/17. You can read about it right here.
  3. You might want to consider joining my 2017 coaching network. Every year I invest 6 months in a small cohort of small group pastors and directors. Limited to 12 members, this is an excellent way to reach your goals. You can read about my coaching network right here. Believe it or not, you can still apply and get an excellent rate.
  4. You might want to set up a coaching call (or a series of calls) to help you get from where you are to where you want to be (from your present to your preferred future). My coaching call packages can be tailored to fit your need.
  5. Need to build an effective coaching structure? Train new coaches? Go back to the drawing board and design your ministry to do things it can’t currently do? Jumpstart January? Maybe one of my mini-courses is just the thing to help you be a good steward of the opportunity.  You can find out about my growing list of tutorials, designed to allow you to move at your own pace and include other members of your team! You can find out about my mini-courses right here.

Listen, I don’t really know what the solution is for you and for your needs. I do know you’ve been entrusted with a stewardship. And I’m pretty sure you want to do a good job.

If I can help you…I’d love to!

mark

31 Days to a Better Small Group Ministry

31-days-to-a-better-small-group-ministry2Invest 31 days and I’ll help you build a better small group ministry.

Have big hopes and dreams for your small group ministry? Got a list of improvements sitting in the ‘someday’ basket?

Want to kickstart your small group ministry into a new gear?  Accomplish some things you’ve been meaning to but haven’t found the time?

31 Days to a Better Small Group Ministry is a 31 day program that launches on January 1, 2017.

Each day in the program includes:

  • Teaching – each day you’ll be given in depth instruction on both the WHY and HOW of the task of the day.
  • A Task – something to DO that will help you accomplish that step.
  • Further reading – so you can dive deeper on any task.

Take a series of small steps to go farther than ever

By the end of 31 days you’ll have:

  • Accurately assessed where your small group ministry stands.
  • Established a clear picture of your preferred future.
  • Created a one year calendar that strategically shapes your approach.
  • Customized a set of activities (lead measures) that forecast success.
  • Customized a job description for launch-phase coaches that fits your ministry.
  • Identified a list of potential coaches.
  • Recruited an initial set of coaching candidates using the launch-phase coach job description.
  • and much more.

I’m opening up a limited number of “seats” for this 31 day program to test it for a future course for sale.

Are you ready for a challenge? Are you willing to invest the time and energy to take a test-drive?

Sign up today for this limited enrollment course!

Click here to see the sign-up form.