I teach a “Small Group Ministry & Discipling” seminary class at Cincinnati Christian University that is designed for students who have an interest in starting or further developing a small group ministry in a local congregation. I selected the required textbooks for these leaders and emerging leaders to give them a mixture of adaptable philosophy, biblical values for discipleship in community, and practical “how-to-do-it” resources.
Before sharing the books I use, it’s important to share my objectives for this course:
As a result of this course, students will . . .
- be able to internalize the importance of effective small group ministry in the local church
- understand the biblical basis for discipleship in small groups
- understand the process and system for establishing and executing an effective disciple-making small group ministry in the life of a local church
- be able to discover, develop, and deploy leaders so as to execute their ministries through effective volunteer leadership
- be able to launch (or relaunch) and operate a life-changing small group ministry in a local church
I share those objectives because I believe those are important for any and every small group ministry leader. With that in mind, I highly recommend these resources for you. I include my own book first because it provides the principles and values I believe in for healthy, overflowing small group ministry.
- Small Group Vital Signs: Seven Indicators of Health That Make Groups Flourish, Michael Mack. Houston, TX: TOUCH Publications, 2012.
- MissioRelate: Becoming a Church of Missional Small Groups, M. Scott Boren. Houston, TX: TOUCH Publications, Inc., 2011. ISBN 978-0-9825352-4-0.
- Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry: A Strategic Guide for Leading Group Life in Your Church, Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012. ISBN 978-0-310-33126-1.
I tell students that if they have read any of the previous texts within the last two years, to substitute the following:
- A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small-Group Dynamic, Rick Howerton. NavPress, 2012. ISBN: 13-978-1-61747-995-3.
- Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples, Jim Putman. NavPress, 2010. ISBN: 13-978-1-61521-560-7.
- Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities, Steve Gladen. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8010-1379-9.
QUESTION: What other books or other resources have you found that are “must-reads” for small group ministry leaders? Please share yours using the Comment button below.