Small Groups

Does your church utilize a small groups ministry? Some churches have been using small groups for decades. Forsythe has been using them for about three years – they were already in place before I arrived.

Like every church that uses small groups, there are highs and lows. Some things are done really well, while other areas struggle. In reality that’s the way every ministry of the church goes. As we prepare to launch a semester of small groups for the Fall, I’ve been doing some reading and snooping around on the internet. I will be posting some book reviews in more detail in the coming days, but here are some things that have been beneficial to me.

Small Groups dot com! This website is a part of the Christianity Today family. That means the quality of material presented is excellent. For the main website, the material is for sale. You can buy articles individually or for $99 per year you can have access to thousands of articles and Bible studies and other resources. I didn’t make that investment, but given the quality of the people involved I would say that it would be worth it. However, there is a blog , newsletter, and other good stuff for small groups available on the site that is worthwhile … including….

Small Groups Digizine. A digizine is a digital magazine. Clicking on the link will open up the digizine reader, so give it a minute. It’s just like reading a magazine … there are some great articles, and lots of advertisements! Good stuff, though, in a format we’ll probably see more in the future.

Matt Dabbs’ Small Group Resources. Matt has done a great job of assembling a good set of studies that are available, plus a variety of links to other small group resources. He does add to this from time to time, so I definitely have that bookmarked.

Here are a few of the books that have been helpful to me during this season of getting ready for small groups. All of them are available for Kindle.

Simple Small Groups by Bill Search. This is just excellent – a superb resource for all small group leaders. I think Bill makes small groups accessible to everyone.

Activate by Nelson Searcy. Searcy takes a different path to small groups than most people. He has some great ideas that I think would fit best in a new church environment.  It’s a valuable resource that doesn’t waste a lot of time with frills…he gets to the point. Available for Kindle.

Creating Community: Five Keys to Building a Small Group Culture by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits. I’m not through with this book but have already gained some good insights. Will likely post more later.

Soul Shaping Small Groups by Kim V. Engelmann. Of the books I’ve read on small groups, I think I love this one the most. I’m not sure that all of the small groups at church could run with the concepts here, but I think it would be great if in the mix of groups there was at least one group deidcated to prayer practices. Engelmann had me laughing out loud as she shared some of her feelings about small groups, which resonated with me. I love the idea that she presents here and recommend this book – you’ll read it quickly and hope she writes more.

Missional Small Groups by M. Scott Boren. I’ve just started this one and it looks like it’s going to be awesome. I have committed to write a full review of this book, and I’ll let you know when that happens. It’ll appear first at Missional Outreach Network – which I’m sure you already read. Right?

There is no dearth of books and materials for small groups. I didn’t even mention the great resources associated with Serendipity and Navigators … small group material is available everywhere. Finding something that fits YOUR small group is sometimes challenging. Would like for you to share your favorite resources in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

John

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