5 Takeaways from The Lobby Gathering

It’s November and I am still thinking of my very first experience, eight months ago, at the Lobby Gathering. I attended not really knowing much about the Small Group Network, what the Lobby Gathering was or even what all I’d do once I arrived. Just in case you are interested in attending but are in the same boat, I want to tell you five takeaways I had from the Lobby Gathering!

If at all possible, arrive early to attend a Saddleback Campus the weekend before. My wife and I attended the Lake Forest campus and it was a wonderful experience.

Take an honest assessment of your groups, ministry, and even spiritual condition. Know you are walking into an experience that will grow you in many ways, but it cannot happen if you’re not sure where growth is needed. It was also important for me to be ready and open to hear how God would speak into our groups during this time.

For me I needed connection with other Small Group Point People and my goal was to meet and connect with as many as I could. I remember conversations with others happened without much effort. I have so many new Facebook friends and partners in ministry. My second goal was to hear how other churches tackled discipleship growth with great intentionality. Wouldn’t you know, there was a breakout just for that! What would your goal be? Maybe you’re looking for an innovative group idea, leader training tips, or a way to better facilitate groups in a multi-site environment. Whatever your goal is, establish it before you arrive in sunny SoCal.


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This has no importance other than it is an awesome restaurant. The fajitas are ridiculously awesome and they are a must if you care about your tastebuds being happy. Also, any meal without cheese dip isn’t a meal at all. Am I right?

I remember thinking these few days would be dedicated to filling my personal tank, but I was blown away by the desire for input from each point person. Church size, ministry experience nor notoriety mattered. During each break out, everyone met with one goal… “How can we help each other succeed.” We were all asked to bring both an area of concern and a successful method to the table. This organization lives out the “Better Together” mission in every way.

I am so thankful for Steve Gladen and his entire team for hosting this event. They were all so friendly and I am still blown away by how accessible they were to each person in attendance. These takeaways have greatly altered groups at our church and the way I operate as a small group point person. I cannot wait to attend the next Lobby and I hope to see you there!

Register HERE for the 2018 So Cal Lobby Gathering


  • John Tyler Black

    JT is the Small Groups Pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, GA. He enjoys connecting families with others and the local church. When he is away from the desk, he enjoys being with his family and all things basketball.

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Daniel Thomas

Connections Director



Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



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*Registration ends on Nov 8th, 2021. Walk-in registrations are not available.