by Parker Haynes, Associate Minister at Myers Park UMC, Charlotte
If you don’t already listen to podcasts, you might want to check them out. It’s one of the best ways to learn and get new ideas about all kinds of things from history to politics to culture and, yes, even ministry. But like books, there are some really good ones and some ones that you could do without. There are not many podcasts simply on creating a culture of small groups, but there are a ton that have an episode or two on that topic. Keeping in mind that you might have a different philosophy of ministry or a different theology entirely, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast and the unSeminary Podcast are podcasts that can offer some practical help for small group ministry.
But the podcast relevant for most of us is the Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way podcast. In their own words, their podcast is about “going beyond curriculum, beyond programs, beyond best practices to recover and learn from our Wesleyan roots and to explore the foundations for small groups that produce disciples of Jesus Christ who in turn disciple others.” The hosts for the podcast are Scott Hughes, Director of Adult Discipleship for Discipleship Ministries, and Steve Manskar, Director of Wesleyan Leadership and Covenant Discipleship for Discipleship Ministries.
It’s a relatively new podcast and they only have around 15 episodes out, but they cover everything relating to small groups from theology of small groups, curriculum, safe sanctuaries, covenant groups and Sunday School. Plus, they talk about small groups for every age from children to youth and teens and also adults. They are distinctly Wesleyan and that’s important considering how many resources there are for ministry leaders that don’t work with our theological emphases.