The Top Six....Small Groups Minsitry
Small Groups are one of the best ways for people to get connected within a church, whether your membership is 25-2500. It is physically impossible for a solo pastor (or even a team of pastors in a large church setting) to minister & care for each person in their congregation/community. Small group ministry allows each person in that congregation/community be cared for. So whether you have small groups, are thinking about starting small groups or have only just heard about small groups, here are the top six books on small groups.
6. Making Small Groups Work by Drs. Cloud & Townsend. These gentlemen have dozens of books dealing with relationship building, community & conflict (obviously all important concepts within a small group setting). The main thesis of this work is for groups to move from being a gathering of people together to being a "growth" group. This is a book for the leaders of a small group in particular, but would also be a great book to have in your library as a small group coach or the leader of the small groups ministry. The book covers the whole gamut of small groups, from why they are important, what a good group will look like, how to start a small group, what the responsibilities of both facilitators & members are, to how to deal with conflict in a small group.
5. The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry by Bill Donahue & Russ Robinson. This is one of several books by this duo (4 of which find themselves on this list).This is a troubleshooting guide for those heading the small groups ministry & coaches. It is a great follow-up for Building a Church of Small Groups (see below). This book helps leaders/coaches assess, diagnose & correct what the authors see as the top "sins" churches fall into regarding small groups ministry. At the end of each chapter, the authors offer strategies & tools to prevent the sins they just spoke about.
4. How to Lead Small Groups by Neal McBride. This book doubles for both small group leaders/facilitators as well as coaches. It helps you define the type of group you are leading (task/Bible study/fellowship) as well as understanding the development of your group from birth to maturity. Dr. McBride helps the leader/facilitator handle issues, questions & conflicts in the situation as well as help the coach to prepare the leader for such situations. The final chapter gives nine ways to evaluate your group as well as your leadership.
3. Building a Church of Small Groups by Donahue & Robinson. This is a book which lays out how your church can be a community of small groups. The authors share the story of their church (Willow Creek) & how small groups connect people in such a massive church. This book shows not only how to start, plan & organize a small groups ministry, but also has a section which helps churches develop their people as leaders. Mr. Donahue & Mr. Robinson share the need for community within the church as well as how to help that community flourish. This is a must have for any church who wants or has small groups ministry.
2. Walking the Small Group Tightrope by Donahue & Robinson. This book on the surface seems very like The Seven Sins... (above), but is more for helping leaders strike a balance between crucial topics & issues. How do you balance things like truth & grace, care & discipleship, openness & intimacy? These are some of the issues which leaders & coaches deal with on a weekly basis & which need to be addressed. A very important book for every small group coach & leader to read.
1. Leading Life-Changing Small Groups by Bill Donahue. The best book on small groups. This book (as well as Coaching Life-Changing Small Group Leaders) is required reading for any church leader who has even one small group in their church. My small group coach has taken me through this book & I have taken others through it. Mr. Donahue helps readers develop a vision for their small group, how to develop apprentice leaders, & multiplying your ministry. Most of the other books expound on & specialize on one or two areas of small groups, but this book can easily be your main resource for small groups ministry. If you only get one book on small groups (not recommended) this would be the one.
Category: Bible Studies