Finally had an opportunity this week to spend some time with a new resource from Bill Search. The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders is Bill’s first small group offering since Simple Small Groups was published in 2008. I loved his first book and was excited to dig into his new book. I was NOT disappointed. The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders is a great resource.
I love the clarity of The Essential Guide. It is clear from the opening paragraph of the introduction. This is a book for small group leaders who don’t have time to read a book on small groups.
I also love the fact that the 153 pages are jam packed with 60 short chapters that get right to the point on a single topic to equip small group leaders. And The Essential Guide is the definition of readable. This is not complex stuff. In fact, every action step seems doable and is very doable. “Read this chapter and try it this week” ought to be the tagline!
The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders is divided into five sections:
- Start Your New Group: 13 short chapters on how to help a new group get off to a great start. Everything from who to invite and how to invite to pursuing no shows and sharing the load of leadership.
- Develop Meaningful Relationships: 19 short chapters on the relational aspect of small group leadership. When you see the table of contents, you’ll realize immediately that this book was written by a group practitioner. Not a theorist, Bill does a great job including the chapter that will help leaders become more than hosts who get the house ready.
- Focus on Growth and Transformation: 19 short chapters on helping group members actually grow and make groups about more than fellowship and connecting.
- Cultivate a Heart for Others: 5 short chapters on a very important aspect of grouplife: serving others as a normal activity. If you’ve hoped your group leaders would add the element of others first and outward focused ministry…you will love this section.
- Discover Biblical Foundations for Small Groups: 4 short chapters on the biblical framework for small groups and small group ministry. These will be very helpful reading assignments that will raise your leaders understanding of the biblical basis for groups and community.
I like this book! If you’re looking for a resource to hand to your leaders, The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders really is essential. I highly recommend it!