I originally reviewed Activate in 2008. Still a great resource, I think this is must-reading for small group pastors who want to understand how a semester system can work. Here’s my review:
Looking for a soup-to-nuts primer on small group ministry? For most churches, Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups by Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas will neatly fill that need. Unless yours is a large church (average adult attendance of more than 1,000), this will be a resource that will fill in a lot of blanks.
Covering the Journey Church methodology very thoroughly in 223 pages, Activate guides you from philosophy to implementation in a semester based approach. Is it an “entirely new approach to small groups?” No. Does that make it any less valuable? No again. Incorporating concepts from a variety of sources, the Journey approach is a neatly designed system that will work in most churches.
If you’ve attempted to construct a small group system the way you’d select food at a buffet, the wisdom of implementing a system will be immediately obvious. As the authors challenge in the introduction, “Read and digest this book. Grab a highlighter and work your way through the following pages. Make notes in the margin. Disagree with us, laugh at us or raise your eyebrows. We don’t mind. Over the next 200 pages, we are going to show you a small group system that can consistently accomplish the goals we mention above.”
I like the concrete, step-by-step approach of this book. If you’re looking for a systematic approach, this is a good one. You can buy your copy right here.
By the way, here are two links you may want to check out: