Monday, November 30, 2009

Book List- Discipleship and Small Groups

A few folks requested that I post book lists from previous focus years. In 2005, I focused on learning all I could about discipleship and small groups. This is not a comprehensive list (and some of them were read before/after that year), but they are a good start.

Building a Church of Small Groups
The classic from the gurus at Willow Creek.

Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
Great resource for leaders or foundations for developing your own training material.

Coaching Life-Changing Small Group Leaders
This has served as a great reference for our coaches.

Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry
I've come back to this book recently as we have sought to re-imagine and re-invent our small group structure.

Walking the Small Group Tightrope
This book was really helpful to me when facing tensions in small groups.

Okay...moving away from the Willow Creek guys... here are some books on various small group models...

Creating Community
Northpoint Community Church's closed group model.

Dog Training, Fly Fishing, and Sharing Christ in the 21st Century
New Life Church's pioneering of the free market small group model. This book was the most influential on our system in the early days.

The Connecting Church
Randy Frazee's neighborhood groups strategy.

Cell Church Solutions
Joel Comiskey's overview of various cell church strategies.

Journey Church's (Manhattan) semester-based and affinity-driven small group system.

Sticky Church
North Coast Church's sermon-based small group strategy.

Other books that relate to small group leadership-

Growing True Disciples
One of the first books I read when trying to wrap my brain around being intentional and strategic about discipleship.

Simple Small Groups
Connect, Change, and Cultivate. Bill Search simplifies the small group experience for leaders. I bought a copy of this book for all of our leaders.

Making Small Groups Work
Another great resource for training purposes.

How People Grow
Understanding the role of community and discipleship in the growth process. Takes a while to read, but very good stuff.

The Lost Art of Disciple-Making
Back to basics look at making disciples.

The Search to Belong
Understanding relational spaces and how that relates to the levels of intimacy and transparency we strive to foster in group environments.

Organic Community
A follow-up to The Search to Belong, this book focuses on being an environmentalist in group life-- allowing community to develop naturally and, well, organically.

I don't necessarily agree with all of these books, but they were helpful to me in thinking through the strengths and weaknesses of various models, designing training content, and developing my own philosophical framework for small group ministry. If I had to make a top 5 list, this would be it:

Building a Church of Small Groups

Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry

Simple Small Groups

Making Small Groups Work

Organic Community


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