Spent some time with a new book from M. Scott Boren this week. Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is his latest (and might be his best) in a long list and you are going to want to know about this one.
The essential premise of Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is that objective of small group ministry is not good group meetings.
The prelude hints at a set of practices “that will move your group from being a ‘good’ meeting group to one that participates with Jesus in the way that changes life as we know it and shines forth the surprising and unexpected way of God’s kingdom.” The rest of the book reframes leadership greatness “so that our way of leading begins to reflect the way of Jesus.”
Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus introduces and highlights a set of 8 practices that help leaders become “the kind of leaders who live in the love of God demonstrated on the cross.” The 8 practices are:
- Hear the Rhythms of the Jesus Way
- Gather in the Presence
- Lead Collaboratively
- Be Yourself
- Hang Out
- Make a Difference
- Fight Well
- Point the Way to the Cross
If you’re any kind of small group ministry veteran you can probably come very close to the topics addressed in each of these chapters. What you would almost certainly miss is the rich detail offered in the effort to help small group leaders develop these practices; these new habits. In the opening lines of chapter two Boren introduces a set of ideas from Charles Duhiggs’ The Power of Habit. This little detail underpins a very good aspect of the ideas here, as the practices are not new–they are ancient and rarely practiced. If you want to incorporate them into your small group ministry, you will need to teach new habits.
Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is a very good addition to the short list of books that are a must-read for small group point leaders. If you want the small group leaders in your ministry to accomplish more than convene a good meeting, you need to be devouring this book right now!
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