I reviewed the first version of Creating Community in 2008. That was a very good book that I've had on my recommended list ever since. Definitely one of the top 10 books I'd recommend for small group ministry.
The revised and updated version is awesome and packed with timely insights!
Creating Community: Five Keys to Building a Thriving Small Group Culture (Revised and Updated) is what I'll be recommending going forward. I'll still keep my recommended lists in place, but this new version is really special.
My copy is marked up, starred, underlined, and dogeared. There are just a lot of things I want to be able to locate for my own use. If you follow me on Twitter you've seen how many times I've tweeted a quote.
What makes the new edition so good? Several aspects make it a great resource:
First, it really is a book that can be read as a team. If you're working to build a thriving small group culture, this is a book that will benefit your whole team. Every chapter concludes with a set of questions that will help take your understanding deeper and application more practical.
Second, the thinking North Point has done over the last 28 years is extraordinary and you can see the way they think in every chapter. And there is never the sense that "this is the way you need to do small group ministry." Instead, there is always the sense that they're simply providing a glimpse into the decisions they've made while acknowledging there are other ways to do small group ministry (and this is the way we know how to do it).
Third, Creating Community very thoroughly explains the rationale behind what seems to be every important piece of their puzzle. The "why" and the "what" are so clear it provides much of what you need to form your own opinion and develop your own strategy.
Finally, while there is so much more to love about the book, it's important to note that Creating Community was written by a hands-on practitioner. Bill Willits provides the insights into they way their strategy was developed, the assumptions they've made, as well as the adjustments they've made in their thinking over time.
If you hope to build a thriving small group culture, Creating Community is a must-read. And don't read it alone. This will benefit your whole team.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”