I started writing Small Group Vital Signs in October 2010. After sixteen months, the book has finally been released today! Actually, in a sense I began writing it the summer of 2009, when our church, Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, first started developing a ministry plan to assess and then improve the health of our groups. I tell the story of our church in Appendix B and throughout the book.
As I shared in the “Acknowledgements,” writing this book was a group effort. Hundreds of people over the years influenced my thinking about what makes a small group healthy. I mentioned some of them in the book, but I definitely could not include everyone. One person I don’t want to leave out is Murphy Belding, who worked with me at Northeast as we initiated the development of the seven vital signs. Also our great small group leaders at Northeast provided a lot of input on these vital signs, worked through the initial assessment, and committed to the health of their groups. One of our elders and most experienced small groups leaders at Northeast, Jerry Anderson, helped me refine the assessment questions.
Finally, I want to especially thank my editor and the publisher at TOUCH, Randall Neighbour, who tirelessly chopped, improved, revised, and provided lots of feedback and ideas along the way. His partnership on this book was invaluable!