Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Help for Small Groups

If you are interested in establishing a small group ministry you have probably encountered the reality that there is virtually no end to materials being published under the heading of “small groups.” Several years ago we looked at a number of them and found that most were heavy on sociology and psychology and light on theology.

Eventually our search turned up a wonderful book entitled “Why Small Groups? (ISBN#1-881039-06-4). In this excellent little work (116 pages) seven pastors associated with Sovereign Grace Ministries, and its vibrant small group ministry, each wrote a chapter addressing specific aspects of biblically authentic small groups. In chapter one the General Editor, C.J. Mahaney addresses the critical and biblical need for small groups and in subsequent chapters the topics of: biblical fellowship, member participation, group leadership, care and correction, and group multiplication receive focused attention. The final chapter of the book addresses the question of how successful small groups fit into and help fulfill the ministry of the local church. This strong emphasis on the local church is another feature of the book that causes me to commend it.

As for style and accessibility, the book is easy to read and includes many in text questions for application, as well as Scripture passages recommended for further study. A series of questions for discussion make the book ideal for both group use and leadership training. Graphically the book is well done and appealing to the eye.

Presently we are using this book for a summer study in our college and career ministry and the feedback has been uniformly positive. So if you are looking for a solid help on establishing or revamping your church’s small group ministry this fall, or just interested in becoming a better member of an already existing small group, you can not help but profit from taking the time to read and interact with this book.