One of Rick's deepest passions is communicating the power of biblically-driven small groups. Rick is available to preach, teach, keynote or lead training experiences. He has created an approach for training that should be affordable for any church. As you read below you'll find the following categories, 1) What others have said about Rick's ministry, 2) Rick's approach to training, 3) How to contact Rick about coming to your way.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT RICK:
Rick has become a regular at our national Saddleback Small Group training events. For the last three years his passion for and knowledge of small group ministry has touched the hearts of those attending his sessions. Rick creates an environment that captivates his audience. Not only that, he is careful to embrace the ideology of the host church and carefully creates an experience that will not contradict the vision and strategy of that church. If you can get Howerton, sign him up.
Pastor of Small Groups
Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California
Author of Small Groups With Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities
The Body of Christ is becoming increasingly aware that sustained life change happens best in the context of community. And there are few people who understand how to create, maintain, and multiply community like Rick Howerton. His advice and wisdom in the area of small groups has been priceless for us at Cross Point Church over the past eight years. I would recommend any church leader who is serious about creating an environment of grace and growth to lean heavily into what he has to say.
Cross Point Church, Nashville, TN
Author of Plan B
When I invite speakers to address our leaders, I can almost always tell how it’s going to go based on the number and kinds of questions they ask about our local context and ministry. Rick asked a bunch: how we’re structured, what issues we’re facing, what we hoped to communicate, what needs we have, and so on. Armed with a great understanding of our church and culture, Rick brought an energetic, encouraging challenge to our leaders that met them right where they were and left them re-energized and ready to make the most of the opportunity God’s given them to impact the lives of others! Many of our leaders pulled me aside to comment that this year’s Leadership Forum being the best we’ve ever done, and Rick deserves a ton of the credit for that. It’s a rare blessing to have your expectations far exceeded in a guest speaker, but that’s exactly what happened with Rick. His passion for group life and the power of community to lead people into a deeper relationship with Christ was obvious and palpable, and it left a lasting impression on our leaders and ministry!
Small Group Pastor
Chase Oaks Church, Plano, Texas
Rick Howerton is a small-group-ologist who lives what he speaks. His experience and knowledge of people and small group life is valuable to every SG Pastor. Small Group pastors and leaders have plenty of training material available on line, in books, but more information alone is not what we need. In Rick's training and development events he brings information to you and your leaders in a very relational and applicable way. His entertaining style of sharing stories and principles enables leaders to walk away with training they can implement the next day.Rick has led development events and spoke at our Small Group Leader banquets. Each time our participants learned through the interactive approach Rick brought to the event. And each time they walked away more confident as leaders and had new practices they could practice in their next meeting.
Executive Pastor of Group Life
Life Point Church, Smyrna, TN
Author of Connecting in Communities
Rick came and was the keynote speaker for our small group leaders training. But I hesitate to even call him a speaker. Because a speaker simply presents information. Rick did so much more. He engaged. He dialoged. He put hands and feet to what he was presenting. And people walked out of the training understanding how they could incorporate these challenging ideas and principles that Rick shared into their small group. I was absolutely blown away by the response from our small group leaders. They were equipped, inspired, and commissioned to go and make disciples. What more could you ask for? Rick absolutely hit a homerun!
Director of Community Groups
Grace Community Church, Clarksville, TN
“We have had Rick Howerton speak twice to our congregation. We call him the Small Group Guru. He not only practically knows how to organize Small Groups but he can effectively cast a vision for the life changing impact that small Groups can make. We have added over 20 new small groups each year that Rick has come to our church. We highly recommend him to you.”
Silverdale Baptist Church,Chattanooga, TN
“All we heard from our Small Group Leaders about Rick Howerton’s training were complaints…. that we didn’t invite him sooner. Rick’s interactive training was engaging, relevant, and inspiring. In just two hours, Rick not only empowered our volunteers, he also laid the foundation for a year’s worth of small groups training!”
Small Groups/Discipleship Pastor
Westover Hills Assembly of God,
Cool River Church (Superior, CO) was delighted to have Rick Howerton among us at our Small Group Leaders Training. Rick is masterful in his instruction and graceful in his approach. He's got an expansive view of group life and has a deep reservoir of experience and knowledge to help you right where you are in your unique context and culture. In the small group world there is no one else I would turn to for insight and advise.
Cool River Church, Superior, Colorado
Whether your church has been doing small groups for years, or is just beginning to transition, Rick Howerton will encourage and equip your leaders and help your people take the next step toward cultivating missional community. Rick has been eating, sleeping, and breathing small groups before you knew what they were. If you're ready to take your leaders to the next level, bring Rick to your church NOW!
The Brook, Madison, Alabama
No one understands small groups better than Rick Howerton. Rick's perspective on life is as a sojourner with others toward Jesus and toward living a Kingdom-life. However we formalize it in a small group structure, Rick gets it, believes in it, lives it, and teaches it--and he does all of this very, very well! I highly recommend you get to know Rick Howerton, and I know he can help you and your faith community go to the next level of small group life. I know it because I've seen it first hand.
Community Life Pastor
Rolling Hills Community Church, Franklin, TN
When I think about Rick Howerton several things come to mind... he's a devoted Christ-follower, a passionate discipler, and a veritable small groups guru... Rick's passion for small group discipleship and his vision for a Kingdom-advancing, world-wide, groups movement is palpable! When Rick speaks on this subject, he speaks with sincerity, authority, and purpose. He knows what he's talking about and he knows how to communicate it effectively and with humor. As a church committed to group life, we've had Rick at Long Hollow for small group leader training and we'd have him again in a heartbeat.
Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN
RICK'S APPROACH TO TRAINING:
In case we haven’t met, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rick Howerton. I am the Global Small Group Environmentalist for NavPress. It is my honor to work alongside small group pastors and leaders worldwide as we make Jesus known through small groups. We recently polled small group pastors and leaders nationwide and what we found out was astounding. 68% of those who took the survey pointed out that they did no small group training.
I realize the importance of great leader training. I am also aware of the dilemma many churches find themselves in. Most have been forced to cut their conference budgets and, even if there were budget monies for you and/or your team to attend training, there are few small group conferences available.
Because it is my goal to someday see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet,” I began to consider how I might partner with you to bring great training at a cost affordable to any church.
I have described the approach I am suggesting later on this page. It is designed so that you can understand almost all there is to know by simply reading through a quick list.
It would be my honor to encourage, equip, empower, and inspire your small group leaders.
Global Small Group Environmentalist, NavPress
· Partner with at least three other churches to host the four hour experience. Please be aware, if you choose to do this on a weeknight, it can be completed in three to three and a half hours.
· Each church pays $300.00 and shares the Rick’s expenses for travel, food, and lodging. Please know that every church with persons in attendance will pay the $300.00 fee so, if five churches are represented the trainer will receive $1500.00, if six churches are represented, $1800.00, etc…
· Rick will send you an outline that you will forward on to each of the other churches bringing their leaders to the training experience. Each church is responsible for getting these to their small group leaders who are attending the training experience.
· Rick will forward the PowerPoint that will be used during the training experience. Please download it into your system and have it ready to go.
· Your church will be responsible for setup and tear down.
Please allow us to clarify for you the reasoning behind these requests.
· We long to see churches effectively bringing Christ to the streets and cul-de-sacs where small groups are meeting.
· Concerning each church making copies for their leaders who will be in attendance… In the past, a substantial amount of money has been spent in the creation of and shipping of notebooks that trainers brought and distributed at their conferences. In most instances, attendees later disposed of them. Also, we have found that many churches want to create a notebook of their own filled with their philosophy of ministry and words from their church leadership.
· Concerning your church having the PowerPoint up and running upon arrival… This simply keeps there from being any last minute technical difficulties as Rick’s computer may not sync well with your system.
· Rick asks that your church do setup and tear down because, when doing a session with a large number of people in attendance, a trainer would have to bring someone else with them to handle this which drastically increases the cost of the training.
HOW TO CONTACT RICK: