Is your small group boring? (It's okay to be honest.) Do you sometimes have to force yourself to attend the meetings (even the meetings you lead!)? Do you wonder if small groups are doing anything for your spiritual growth? Kim Engelmann, a pastor and small group leader, describes how she felt about one small group she attended: "It is Thursday evening--small group night. I . . . hesitate before getting out of the car. Do I really want to do this? I am not the sort of person that likes weeknight meetings. I am tired from a long day's work, but I push my car door open and crunch on up the gravel driveway. . . I convince myself that this is for my own good. I tell myself that I ought to be grateful that I live in a free country where small groups that talk about Jesus and the Bible are allowed. But I am not grateful--not one little bit." As a result Kim asked herself a hard question about groups: Is it small groups that are the problem or the way we do small groups? In this book she shares her answers, offering a new format for groups that gives authentic spiritual community a chance. She challenges the compartmentalization of Bible study, prayer and even fun (only laugh during icebreaker time!), and offers creative, practical suggestions that can serve to integrate these aspects into an experiential framework. Whether you are a pastor, a group leader or a member, if you find yourself dragging when it's time for small group, then this is the book for you.
Kim V. Engelmann (D.Min., Boston University) is senior pastor at West Valley Presbyterian Church in Cupertino, CA. Previously she served as pastor of caring ministries at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California and as associate pastor for First Congregational Church in Redwood City, California, Trinitarian Congregational Church in North Andover, Massachusetts, and The Federated Church of Ashland, Massachusetts. Her books include (2004) and three volumes that make up The Joona Trilogy (1995). She also writes the Conversation Guide in the journal, .
John Ortberg is teaching pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of many books, including
"This excellent small group primer is a valuable resource for pastors and small gorup leaders or members. The exercises that comprise one quarter of Soul are reason enough to have this book, as they provide concrete examples that are very useful for leaders."
"In this book you will find not just theory but the kind of 'roll-up-your-sleeves-let's-get-it-done' wisdom that real-life small group leaders desperately need. Whether you lead that movement in the church, or lead a single small group, or are a small group member, or are thinking about grouping--this book is the real deal."