Top 11 Highlights of 2018

2018 was an incredible year for the Small Group Network! Enjoy this annual ministry report & get a sneak peek at some big things coming in 2019!

TOP 11 HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 (In no particular order)

#1. We served thousands of small group point people in 100 different countries throughout the world!

The SGN connected with, encouraged & equipped small group point people in these countries:
1 Albania
2 Angola
3 Argentina
4 Aruba
5 Australia
6 Bahamas
7 Bangladesh
8 Barbados
9 Belgium
10 Benin
11 Bolivia
12 Botswana
13 Brazil
14 Bulgaria
15 Burundi
16 Cambodia
17 Cameroon
18 Canada
19 Cayman Islands
20 Chile
21 China
22 Colombia
23 Congo
24 Costa Rica
25 Cote d’ Ivoire
26 Cyprus
27 Dominican Republic
28 Egypt
29 El Salvador
30 Estonia
31 Ethiopia
32 Finland
33 France
34 Germany
35 Ghana
36 Honduras
37 Hong Kong
38 Hungary
39 Guatemala
40 Guyana
41 Haiti
42 India
43 Indonesia
44 Iran
45 Ireland
46 Italy
47 Jamaica
48 Japan
49 Jordan
50 Kenya
51 Liberia
52 Madagascar
53 Malawi
54 Malaysia
55 Martinique
56 Mexico
57 Morocco
58 Myanmar
59 Namibia
60 Netherlands
61 New Zealand
62 Nicaragua
63 Nigeria
64 Niue
65 Norway
66 Pakistan
67 Panama
68 Peru
69 Philippines
70 Poland
71 Portugal
72 Puerto Rico
73 Qatar
74 Romania
75 Russia
76 Rwanda
77 Sierra Leone
78 Singapore
79 Slovakia
80 South Africa
81 South Korea
82 Sri Lanka
83 Sweden
84 Switzerland
85 Taiwan
86 Tanzania
87 Thailand
88 Togo
89 Trinidad and Tobago
90 Uganda
91 Ukraine
92 United Arab Emirates
93 United Kingdom
94 United States
95 Venezuela
96 Vietnam
97 Yemen
98 Zaire
99 Zambia
100 Zimbabwe

#2. Small Group Network Espanol was Launched!

We now have the opportunity to connect with, encourage & support hundreds of thousands more small group point people & ministry leaders in Latin America! Please visit & share our new website with your Spanish-speaking ministry friends, pastors & small group point people! If you speak & write Spanish we could use you on our translation team or as an admin in the new Facebook group, please contact our director Hector Paredes!

#3. The “Communities of Purpose” Page & Forum were Launched!

We currently have 14 C.O.P., 753 forum members & 1,232 forum views to date! C.O.P. stands for Communities of Purpose – taken from Steve Gladen’s latest book “Planning Small Groups with Purpose.” Small group point people who have read the book or attended one of our “Accelerate!” small group workshops can join the forum to watch exclusive videos of Steve walking them through each chapter, ask questions & discuss & share their learnings with others! Forum members can also join or start a C.O.P. which is a peer-to-peer learning group that gathers monthly & can meet either virtually or physically to share ideas, and for accountability in executing their small group ministry planner taken from the book or the “Accelerate!” workshop! Check it out HERE!

#4. Our Seminary Partnership Initiative was Launched! 

We partnered with Rockbridge Seminary to bring you the new online course “Building a Small Group Ministry” where students read “Planning Small Groups with Purpose” & engage in our new “Communities of Purpose” forum. If you have connections to other seminary’s that may be interested in partnering with us, email us at  

#5. Our leadership team Expanded!

We added 7 new ministry directors, 5 new regional leaders, 3 new communications team leaders & launched 6 new ministry initiatives! To see team member profiles visit

Derek Olson – Network Development Pastor
Jason Banzhoff – Creative Arts Director
Jon Laster – Social Media Director
Reid Smith – Communities of Purpose Director
Carolyn Taketa – Podcast Communications Director
Hector Paredes – Latin America Director
Andrew Mason – Network Partnerships Director
Nick Lenzi – Finance Director

Greg Robins – Central Regional Leader
Brian Beall – Midwest Regional Leader
Cynthia Considine – Atlantic Coast Regional Leader
Heather Lee – Norcal/ NW Regional Leader
Brian Brunke – South Central Regional Leader

Amber Sanders – Facebook Page Manager
Veronica Hasbrouck – Author
Roger Carr – Author

#6. Our Podcast Surpassed 100,000 Downloads! 

In 2018 we’ve seen a total of 120,246 total podcast downloads to date! Join the thousands of other small group point people who have subscribed to our “Group Talk” podcast & enjoy this month’s broadcast! This Month: How Did You Do? Reflecting On Your 2018

A message from Santa Steve: “Give yourself a Christmas gift that will not only strengthen your leadership, but your small group ministry as well! Lock in early bird price by Dec 31st, HERE!

#7. We Surpassed 75,000 Blog Views!

In 2018 we’ve seen a total of 75,159 total blog views to date! Our amazing team of authors all serve as small group point people in their local churches & write some of the most insightful content available for Small Group Point People! Enjoy their articles here

#8. 38 New Huddles were Launched!

In 2018 we have started 38 new huddles for a total of 226! “Huddles” are created to gather small group point people to connect personally, build relationships & to share ideas & resources like this one in the Greenville, SC area! To join or start a “Huddle,” near you clickHERE  

#9. We Ministered at 13 different Conferences! 

In 2018 we either hosted or ministered at 13 different conferences – 6 in the U.S., 5 in Latin America & 2 in Australia! We currently have 8 events planned for 2019 & more on the way! Grow as a leader, equip your team & accelerate the health & growth of your small group ministry by attending one of our specialized events!

#10. We Expanded our Social Media Reach!

Twitter 4,766 followers – averaging 45.1k tweet impressions
Facebook Group 3,857 members
Pinterest 2,400 monthly viewers
Facebook Page 1,497 followers – 4,025 average post reach
Instagram 675 followers
LinkedIn 840 followers
Youtube 178 followers – 8,100 views
For a total reach of 66,672 impressions!

#11. Website Subscriptions Increased!

In 2018 we have seen 2,026 new website subscribers for a total of 13,134!


We are excited to announce that coming in 2019 we will be releasing an update of our mobile app that will feature push notifications & badge icons! Also coming soon this new year will be the launch of our new website featuring a stream-lined design, faster speed & improved user functionality!

GIVE: The Small Group Network is only able to do what we do because of the generous support from other churches like yours. As you have seen from the highlights above, the SGN is making a global impact for the kingdom of God. As you begin to wrap-up 2018, please begin to pray about the possibility of giving to the SGN through your missions budget – no gift is too small. If you wish to support the men and women who are on the front lines of small group ministry across the globe, click HERE


  • Derek Olson

    Derek loves espresso, the outdoors and is passionate about building biblical community! He has been active in small group ministry since 2004 & is honored to serve as Pastor of Small Group Network Development at Saddleback Church.

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Daniel Thomas

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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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