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Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support (Re: Lit Books) Paperback – September 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“I sincerely believe this book has the power to redefine small group ministry. With brilliance Brad unearths the theology behind micro-Christian communities, clarifies the role and realities of the gospel, and vividly describes the system, infrastructure, and strategy that Mars Hill has, through trial and error, found to be most effective. If your goal is to create gospel-centered small groups that make Jesus known on the streets, cul-de-sacs, and neighborhoods where God placed you to do ministry read this book, reflect on this book, and make it your guide for doing groups.”

Rick Howerton, author, Destination Community: Small-Group Ministry Manual

“In a rare combination Brad House bridges the biblical and theological underpinnings of small groups and presents practical ‘how-to's.’ He explains why smaller communities are imperative to the health of the individual and the church then goes on to explain from bottom to top how to make it work in your church. Free of clichés and stereotypes, Brad takes a fresh look at an ancient concept!”
Bill Search, Small Groups Pastor, Southeast Community Church; author, Simple Small Groups

“In the 20th century multitudes of churches grew through attractional evangelism and Sunday school classes on their property. In the 21st century newer and growing churches focus missionally on community groups not in educational buildings but in the homes of believers scattered in the neighborhoods all around a church's region. This is a good thing. Pastor Brad House has written a fantastic book to help conventional, transitional, and emerging churches to live out the gospel in community. Read your Bible, then read this, and then go reach your neighbors.”
Alvin L. Reid, Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry, Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


About the Author

Brad House serves as executive pastor of ministries at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of Community: Taking Your Small Groups off Life Support. He and his wife, Jill, have four children.

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Product Details

  • Series: Re: Lit Books
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143352306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433523069
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brad House is a pastor Sojourn Community Church, based in Louisville, where he is the Executive Pastor of Ministry. He is married to Jill House and has four children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David P. Craig on September 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Brad House is on staff at Mars Hill Church in Seattle - a church that is solid theologically, philosophically, and missionally. They are a church that is exceptional in theological depth and missional outreach in impacting their culture for the sake of Christ. The message of the gospel comes through loud and clear, and without compromise in both their corporate and communal contexts. In one of the least churched cities in America they have proven that what took place in the book of Acts, is still possible today - especially through the medium of the teaching of the Word and its balanced application within the context of community groups.

According to the author one study indicates that less than 18% of young evangelicals ages 18-23 participate in a small group, Bible study, or prayer group that is sponsored by their local churches. This book is not only written to combat this problem, but provides ample Biblical solutions and real life illustrations of how to build a solid foundation for building community groups that are healthy and result in personal, corporate, and communal life transformation via living out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I highly recommend this book for the following types of people:

1) Senior Pastors - It will motivate you to launch community groups in your church and help you to be more strategic and missional in your ministries of in reach and outreach.
2) Existing Small Group Leaders and Participants - It will help give you ideas, tools, and applications that you have never thought of - in order to have a more effective, strategic, and balanced community group.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick Rynerson on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
'Community', with the bold subtitle "Taking your small group off life support" was written with a clear goal to do just that, however unpopular it may be. This book comes at a timely point in the Reformission movement where we have a bevy of churches, leaders and small group attendees who are tired of the old systems and methods of "community" that seem to be nothing more than an awkward social gathering, yet are unsure on how to cross into organic and truly gospel-made community.

The Foundation:

Community, broken into three major sections, starts out by laying a theological groundwork for community in the church. This first section does what it was written to do, which is remind the reader of the gospel and the gospel's communal implications, which is essential to building any foundation or vision because "A clear view of God puts life into perspective" (P.37). House uses a host of effective charts, graphs and diagrams to create a clear understand of the church's biblical call to community and the practice of that call. Community is able to successfully avoid being theoretic and successfully springboards into a healthy deconstruction of the current state of the social purgatory that is most churches "small groups ministry".

The Health Plan:

House gets to the root of the problem, which is, community has become an "event, rather than a lifestyle" (P.96-97). So House digs and digs and digs so much so that you will read this and hopefully feel some holy discontentment in this area. House talks about why non Christians do not and would not feel comfortable in the typical `small group' setting in the Church, and where we Christians have built barriers instead of bridges to the culture around us (p.128) by the way we do small group.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phil Auxier on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was privileged to get a copy of Brad House's book Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support (RE: Lit), the latest in the RE:LIT series. House serves as a pastor at Mars Hill Church, Seattle, where he oversees community groups for the multi-site church. For me, a good book is built on the basics of God's Word and filled with practicality, or what the foundational truth from God's Word should look like fleshed out.

The tension in a book on a particular facet of ministry is that while a broad cross section of evangelicalism may agree that something is important and even rooted in God's Word, we may disagree on its practice. I thought House did a great job of helping us see that what Mars Hill Church has chosen to do, how it has come out of Biblical conviction, but isn't meant to be replicated by every church. We are responsible, however, to flesh out community in our midst and this is the real strength of the book.

In Part 1, the foundation (or as he calls them, Building Blocks For Life) is unpacked. This lays some biblical footings for how the book will flesh itself out in the later chapters. Why do we need community? How did God create us for this and other truths.

Part 2, health plan, helps to lead us in a positive direction by helping us see the different facts of community that need to be considered. How should groups function, how often should they meet, where should they meet, what should they do? Are you getting a feel for the practical side yet?

Part 3, treatment, gives us ways to effect change in our groups.
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