Started putting your summer grouplife reading list together? If you’ve been along for this ride, you know I am always reading. I’ve just found that we can all learn so much from other practitioners and reading a book makes it easy. I’m a big believer in including your team in what you read, as well. There are definitely some books that you’ll want to share with the others on your journey. Here are my top five for summer, 2011:
My first recommendation has to be Steve Gladen’s long awaited Small Groups with Purpose. I read an advance copy. It’s packed with the philosophy that has built the largest small group ministry in the United States. As the Pastor of the Small Group Community at Saddleback Church, Gladen is one of the smartest grouplife guys I know. He’s not a theorist. He’s a practitioner. This book releases on June 1st. You can be the first on the block to get it in your bag this summer. You can order it right here (affiliate link).
Second, if you haven’t read Connecting in Communities by Eddie Mosley, this is one I’d definitely add to the list. Another practitioner, Eddie is the Executive Pastor of GroupLife at LifePoint Church. This is a very easy read and very practical. Make sure you’ve got a pen nearby because your copy is going to be marked up like mine. There’s a lot here you’re going to think about adding to your system. You can read my review right here. You can order your copy right here (affiliate link).
Scott Boren’s Missional Small Groups has got to be on your list right now. I included the missional group movement in my list of current grouplife trends because there is an increasingly important conversation going on right now about how to build groups that can impact and influence communities. I particularly loved Boren’s “four different stories within grouplife.” You can read my review right here. You can order your copy right here (affiliate link).
One of the books that has influenced me the most this year has been The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons. I can tell you that since I read it in late December, early January, this book has influenced more conversations that any other. If you want to be involved in the grouplife opportunity to reach the widening 60% that will not be reached by the attractional model, this is a book you need to be reading. Here’s my review of The Next Christians. You can order your copy right here (affiliate link).
Carl George’s Nine Keys to Effective Small Group Leadership: How Lay Leaders Can Establish Dynamic and Healthy Cells, Classes, or Teams is one of the best books on small group ministry…that you’ve never read. First published in 1991, it’s been revised and updated. This is a very important book if you want to build an effective small group ministry. You can order your copy right here (affiliate link).
You might also take a look at my list of essential grouplife reads right here. Although I published this list in 2009…it’s packed with some of the very best books on the subject of grouplife.