I would love to give a play by play of our weekly meeting here, but I don't think it would be appropriate as sometimes we actually discuss things that some people probably don't want made public. Part of the dynamic of a small group setting is in the way each member of the group feels safe to share what is really going on in his or her life and sometimes that means sharing things that might be embarrassing or less than something one might want to be public knowledge.

As a small group leader, it is a fine line that while not carrying the responsibility of being a professional counselor does carry some of the same ethical and moral obligations. Unlike this forum where we are as anonymous as we want to be, in a small group setting we see people face to face and when they share things with us that have directly touched their lives it is a trust that we simply can't betray if we really want to be able to help people.

As far as your church leadership and the dynamics there, I could probably write a book on what we have experienced at our church.

I don't think that ordination is the criteria for understanding the bible of the things of God. Even attending bible school is not something that is required as far as I am concerned in order to be able to teach others. I never went to school to learn the bible but I have studied it for about 40 years. I know enough (I took a class for two years) koine Greek to get by and know where to find the Hebrew that I need to figure out if something is missing in a passage that I don't understand.

Like I said, I could probably write a book about church leadership and have read probably over a hundred of them written by others. I think we might be on the right track since our numbers are growing in a town where church attendance is down almost everywhere. We are not "seeker sensitive" in that we don't dilute things or provide entertainment for people on Sunday morning. But people who find us seem to come back and our budget has doubled in the last three years almost all of the increase going to support things outside the church or at least things that touch those outside the walls.

I need to get back to work but drop me a line and we can talk about this off line if you'd like.