Over the past thirty years there has been a boom in small groups, both in society at large and within the church. From Bible studies to MOPS to Alcoholics Anonymous, it is estimated that four out of ten Americans belong to a small group that meets regularly for the care and support of its members. But are these groups creating true, biblical community, or do they settle for self-focus and personal gain?
Julie Gorman has studied small groups for decades and presents her analysis, insights, and suggestions in Community That Is Christian, an essential resource for building community in church-based small groups. This comprehensive book serves both as a text for those who equip leaders or lead small groups and as an interactive manual for small-group members, helping them transform their relationships into Christ-centered community.
The book begins with biblical support for coming together, contrasting it with our often individualistic mind-set that undermines community. Gorman then sets forth the goals of community and describes the process of transformation. She draws from extensive research to address the why and the how of small-group ministry, giving special attention to gender and cultural distinctions. Community That Is Christian provides readers with charts, discussion questions, and inventories to further help them establish community within their small groups.
Julie A. Gorman is professor and director of the Christian Formation and Discipleship Program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She is the author of two small-group studies, Let's Get Together and No Stranger to God, as well as The Small Group Training Manual.