Had a chance over the weekend to dig into Connecting in Communities: Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups by Eddie Mosley. I recently interviewed Eddie about LifePoint’s Discipleship Pathway and was eager to get a look at his new book. I wasn’t disappointed. There’s a lot to like about the newest addition to the small group ministry reading list!
First of all, Eddie is a practitioner. I’ve talked about this before. He actually does what he’s writing about. He’s not just a theorist and not just a writer. That’s huge! You can know that he’s arrived at these practices the old-fashioned way…via trial and error. I love that we can learn from a veteran!
Second, I like that Connecting in Communities begins where a book on small group ministry dynamics should, with a set of fundamental questions. After an important opening chapter laying out his small group ministry origins and the framing experiences of LifePoint (then First Baptist Church, Smyrna, TN), Eddie lays out a great set of diagnostic questions that every church ought to wrestle with when they’re considering launching a small group ministry. I really think for a lot of churches, this chapter alone would make the book worth buying. Very helpful.
Third, I like how every chapter ends with a set of practical steps “for your ministry” and another set “for your small group.” This takes the book to a very practical place. It’s not just the story of LifePoint’s system. It really could be a kind of road map for the development of grouplife in your church.
Finally, this is an easy read but is packed with takeaways that will probably pull you back to the drawing board. You’ll find plenty of ideas that will have you writing in the margins, folding down page corners, and making a list of “must talk about this” notes. In fact, this is a book that ought to be read by a few people together. Whether you agree with Eddie or find yourself deciding to take an alternate route, the argument and engagement will be beneficial.
There are a number of essential grouplife books I recommend all the time. I’m thinking I may need to revise that list. Connecting in Communities is definitely something you should be reading.