Connected in Communities: Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups is intended for pastors, church leadership, and small-group point people (hosts/ leaders) but the lessons can be integrated into anyone’s ministry perspective or mindset. The writer sought out to learn (and then engage us in that learning as well!) by procuring wisdom from several well-known church leaders specializing in small group ministry. They each struggles and triumphs, bringing the reader to understand the heart being small group interaction and allow them to not just view small group ministry as “another program” or “Christian thing to do.”
I found an overarching emphasis to be on the need for the church to be in the community, and the belief that this is best procured through the utilization of small groups within the church. Core groups that will strengthen and shape each other, not just come Sunday morning, but as daily life goes on in each family and group member. Each core group is then “assigned” their surrounding neighborhood or community and encouraged to let life happen – hosting block party barbecues, gardening in their front yards and talking with neighbors as they walk by, inviting children over to play (with their own kids), conversing at little league games –intentionally letting their own neighbors know that they care about them and opening relationships so that true Christianity can be lived out and the saving grace of Jesus shared.
I appreciated the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all program. The emphasis is simply on seeing the need for small group community within a church and how to go about proactively and intentionally bringing the reality of a small group ministry about in your local congregation. I loved being a part of our small group in Colorado Springs and can only wholeheartedly agree with how important they are! I also appreciated the practical tips and advice on starting a small group if there isn’t one already – with help on childcare, hosting, food, timing, curriculum, etc.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”