In spite of her gifts as a communicator and writer, Heather Zempel is truly humble. She admits her mistakes and paints a picture of stumbling through the maze of small group ministry and leadership, but her passion and heart are also very clear. She loves people and isn’t afraid of a little mess – and in some cases a lot of mess. She doesn’t try to prescribe any particular model for building community but rather draws on her experiences (sometimes very funny) to give the reader some helpful tools for gaining a better perspective on your particular situation.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“I decided a couple years ago to stop trying to strike a balance [in my life] and to pursue life in rhythm instead.”
“People can find legitimate community and be discipled outside our structures.”
“Most people come into groups looking for social space; we encourage leaders to aim for taking their groups [beyond that] to personal space; and we hope individuals will look for intimate space opportunities with a select few inside the group.”
“We need to ensure that our routines don’t become routine.”
This is the best book I’ve ever read on small group ministry! If you’re a part of a small group or want to be, you should read this book!
Heather is actually a family friend, (As a child, Miranda played football with her every Thanksgiving. Mike was the all-time quarterback.) but. . . . well, nevermind – I can’t deny that I’m biased to this book, but it’s still the best I’ve ever read on community groups.
I leisurely walked out of the biggest Bucees in Texas with my road snacks in hand and noticed the wheel on the camper . . . it looks . . . what in the world? . . . huh? How could it be crooked?
Well. . . It wasn’t just a flat. A few hours later a Mobile RV repairman arrived and when he jacked up the camper the wheel just fell off. I knew something was wrong when I left Lake Jackson. Imhad no idea how bad it was. We had been on the road for at least 4 hrs and travelled about 60mph the whole time. The repairman explained that “someone must have been looking out for you” ’cause if the wheel had come off while we were on the road. . . well, we probably would have lost a lot more than a wheel and axle. My children were in the truck. My bride was in the truck. I can’t imagine and don’t want to think about what could have happened.
In the end we had to spend a lot of $$ that we hadn’t planned on spending. We had to drive another 10hrs to pick up the camper. However, I have been blessed. The LORD protected us that day. He had His hand on us.
I wonder how many other times He has protected me without my knowledge? How many “Thank Yous” do I owe God? More than I’ll ever know. I’m sure. I’m just grateful.
LORD, for all of the the missed thank yous, please accept this one, “Thank You.”
We had a great time today at the Beltway 8 BMX track! The people at the track were great hosts and led us through the whole process. Some of the riders were very helpful to Kasen and the other little guys while they were on the track as well.
Kasen loved his first experience as a BMX racer. He even fell down once and got up to race the next time – made daddy very proud. As a dad, I’m learning so much about what it means to love – and how much God must love me. I take so much joy in watching my kids. It doesn’t matter too much what they’re doing – I just love watching them learn, and grow, and experience new things. I love watching them succeed and even watching them overcome obstacles when they fail. It’s so much fun watching who they are becoming.
I’m recognizing how great God’s love must be for me in all of this too. If I can love my kids in this way, I figure God’s love must be even better. Maybe it I shouldn’t stress so much about “what” I’m doing and focus more on “who” I’m becoming? Maybe that’s more what God is interested in too?
Anyway, here’s the video: You can see all of it – the good, the bad, the wipeout. . . everything. Miranda pointed out that I say “buddy” an awful lot too.