I’ve been working my way through an important new book from Eric Geiger and Ed Stetzer this week. Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups is the latest project in the transformational series (Transformational Church and Transformational Discipleship). All three have been researched based and packed with insights that ought to be on your radar.
Whether you’re new to groups ministry or you’re a seasoned veteran, you’re going to want to digest the information and ideas in Transformational Groups. And regardless of the system you use or whether your groups are off-campus or on-campus, I think you’ll find the content very helpful as you think about both the need for groups and also the obstacles that might be preventing your church from both connecting unconnected people and genuinely making disciples.
I was captured by several insights just in the first couple chapters; things I had wondered about and dismissed as outside of what I could know for sure. The research that went into the development of this project definitely helped me come to a couple important new convictions.
My copy is pretty marked up after just one pass through the content. In addition to many spot on research insights, I came across a number of ideas that will make it into my thinking for upcoming discussions on our groups team. One idea in particular that I grabbed in the first few pages is that “the study what you want approach is irresponsible unless there is clear training that equips leaders for wise choices (p. 8).” I’ve developed many “recommended study lists” but I’ve never taken the time to develop either intentional training for leaders on wisely choosing what’s next or an intentional menu that guides new groups through a core curriculum. Great insight. I’ll be moving on this one quickly.
There are several things to love about Transformational Groups. First, it is research based; the result of multiple research projects over several years. That’s important because the contribution Geiger and Stetzer make is not based on opinion or theory.
Second, I love the fact that while neither of the authors are currently in full-time local church ministry, they are grouplife advocates. They are both “intimately involved in small group-life because we know that groups matter.” And that’s important because they’re looking at the research through the lens of a practitioner, not theorists.
Third, Transformational Groups is much more than statistics and numbers. Geiger and Stetzer do a very good job of unpacking their findings, making many important understandings very accessible. Like me, I bet you’ll come away with many new insights that will begin to shape a number of important ahas about why things are the way they are.
This is an important book. If you are looking for practical help and powerful insights that will help you and your team advance the cause of connecting unconnected people and making disciples, you won’t want to miss Transformational Groups. I highly recommend it.
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