A while back Tyler sent out a survey email asking for our top five resources on small groups as well as our top five insights. It was fun to think through some of the things I’ve learned in working with Life Groups here at Real Life. I’ve worked with some wise people, which has made up for my own natural incompetence in this area! Below are the resources I offered.
1. “Flow questions” – Mariners Church in Orange County has put together a model for small groups discussions that I think is the best out there. I think you can get it emailed to you here.
2. Making Room for Life and The Connecting Church by Randy Frazee. These are indispensible, in my opinion. They make the case for actual community (not just group success), and for diverse geography-based groups as the path to get there. (Not as necessary or even helpful in some urban contexts.)
3. Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg. Life groups are messy, and people need to get this from the start. This is good material for new groups to work through to be prepared for what will come.
4. Soultalk by Larry Crabb. This book will give you a vision of the type of connection we dream about in doing life groups. He talks about moving beyond accountability to authentic relationship, and unleashing the Holy Spirit within us all to empower transformation.
5. Building a Church of Small Groups by Donahue and Robinson or Simple Small Groups by Bill Search. Both of these will provide an overview of small group ministry. Building was one of the first written and is still valuable for some of its insights. Simple is newer and more streamlined; it would be very helpful if you’re looking for a simple overall vision of what groups should be about. Both will help some people “get it.”