The following is the introduction from my book Jesus in 3D which came out this past month. (The Amazon search feature only gives half of the intro, so I figured I’d offer it here in full.) Of course I’d love for you to buy it, read it, and let me know what you think. (And if you like it, post a favorable review there on Amazon!)
Last week I posted my fave 5 small group resources. Here is a follow-up of my top 5 insights about leading small groups or a “small group ministry.” Let me start by saying that there is no way to grow a faithful small groups ministry in a hurry. Choosing a model and sticking with it will produce more fruit than constantly changing. This must also be balanced with the general ministry principle of embracing change as a way of life. Here are my five. Feel free to add (!) or disagree.
- Small groups are not great places for Bible study; in any small group the emphasis should be on application rather than gaining new information. I highly recommend the “flow questions” model of writing the small group discussion. It works.
- Groups must engage in the following activities together: eat, pray, serve, play. Of course groups will also study, which is important, but the groups must be multi-dimensional. (Don’t underestimate eating together!)
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.) Continue reading »