Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus
Is there any arena in the contemporary church more perplexing than small groups? Leaders and participants alike fill them with promises of unparalleled spiritual intimacy and reliable relationship. Experts put forward model after model, paradigm after paradigm, and frustrated small group leaders and followers meander from one to the next in increasingly vain hope that the next model will deliver the goods.
What could be more natural than a group of people sitting together, talking? What could be more contrived than a packaged curriculum, with prefab questions and notes for leaders? Such is the problem of small groups.
Scott Boren has wrestled with these challenges for years, in the context of his own small-group ministries and in consultation with churches of every stripe. In this book he reminds us that any small group, no matter how it's organized, is at its heart a collection of people each walking in the way of Jesus. That means we are going somewhere—together—and that means we have a reliable guide.
"This book was like a second salvation for me when it comes to leading and loving people the way Jesus did. When it comes to discipleship and biblical community, Scott Boren soars way past thought provoking—this book is one hundred percent kingdom provoking."
"Every pastor longs for renewal in small group ministry. In his Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus, Scott Boren provides the biblical foundation and theological imagination for such a renewal. Boren shows us the way to open up spaces for the presence of Christ among us, and then calls them 'small groups.'"
"When Scott talks, I listen. He combines missional fervor, a disciple-making focus and community-building passion here, calling us to something greater every time we gather in community."
"Scott Boren, one of the most experienced leaders in the field of small groups and missional community, has given us a fresh perspective on how to experience life in and beyond group meetings. Rather than giving us a formula, Scott lays out proven principles that are scalable to multiple settings and scenarios of group life. Every group leader should read this book."
"Scott Boren writes in a winsome way and leads us to the core values behind effective small group leadership. . . . Offers time-tested principles that will help us become better small group leaders. I appreciated how Boren often illustrated a concept with a real life example rather than only explaining it. I will recommend this book to the leaders and pastors I'm coaching."
"This is a game-changer! In this breakthrough message, Scott Boren gets beneath the surface of our superficial assumptions about small groups to uncover the life-giving way of the Master. I highly recommend this book to all pastors, leaders and followers of Christ!"
"Scott Boren is a sage of small group life and leadership. He writes as a veteran practitioner from down in the trenches. Scott leads us beyond the techniques of leading a good meeting—he calls us to embrace the richness that can only come when we follow in the way of Jesus."
"In Leading Small Groups, you'll learn fresh insights into how to keep real relationship—with God, with one another—at the heart of your group life. You'll be empowered to keep turning your group's attention outward in real ministry to your community. And you'll have your vision redirected not to the administration of yet another program but to the way of Jesus, who gathers us together to follow in his footsteps."
"In a world where church leadership is rapidly changing and spiritual purpose is being altered by cultural influence, Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus offers a satisfying alternative to Christian leaders who want to keep their small groups relevant and alive."
"Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' from beginning to end, Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read for anyone charged with the responsibility of leading small study groups of Christians or groups of Christians seeking to live their lives in Christ. Very highly recommended for personal and church library collections."
"In this book he reminds us that any small group, no matter how it's organized, is at its heart a collection of people each walking in the way of Jesus. That means we are going somewhere—together—and that means we have a reliable guide."
Prelude: From Good Small Group Meetings to Great Group Experiences
1. The Search for Great Group Leadership
2. Leading the Way of Jesus
3. See the Way of Jesus: The First Practice
4. Gather in the Presence: The Second Practice
5. Lead Collaboratively: The Third Practice
6. Be Yourself: The Fourth Practice
7. Hang Out: The Fifth Practice
8. Make a Difference: The Sixth Practice
9. Fight Well: The Seventh Practice
10. Point the Way to the Cross: The Eighth Practice