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Leading Life-Changing Small Groups-paperback Paperback – August 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Like nothing else, small groups have the power to change lives. They're the ideal route to discipleship a place where the rubber of biblical truth meets the road of human relations.

As director of adult education and training at Willow Creek Community Church, Bill Donahue knows that small groups are key to building biblical community and thriving individuals. In Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, Donahue and his team share in-depth the practical insights that have made Willow Creek's small group ministry so incredibly effective.

The unique, ready-reference format of Leading Life-Changing Small Groups gives small group leaders, pastors, church leaders, educators, and counselors a commanding grasp of:

Group formation and values

Meeting preparation and participation

Leadership requirements and responsibilities

Discipleship within the group

The philosophy and structure of small groups

Leadership training . . . and much more.

From an individual group to an entire small group ministry, Leading Life-Changing Small Groups gives you the comprehensive guidance you need to cultivate life-changing small groups . . . and growing, fruitful believers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Bill Donahue, Ph.D., is the director of adult education and training at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. He oversees educational programs for more than 5,000 adults and provides leadership training for more than 1,300 small group leaders and overseers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310247500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310247500
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Bill Donahue, Ph.D., is a popular conference speaker, prolific author and leadership consultant.

Bill has leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit arena. After working for P&G in New York and PNC Corp. in Philadelphia, Bill was Director of Leader Development & Group Life for the Willow Creek Church & Association where he created leadership strategies and events for over 10,000 leaders on 6 continents in over 30 countries.

Bill has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Princeton University, a master's degree from Dallas Seminary and a Ph.D. in Adult Learning and Development from the University of North Texas. He serves as an adjunct teacher at a number of graduate schools training both Masters and Doctoral students in organizational strategy, team-building, leadership development and transformational community.
In addition to the best-selling, Leading Life-changing Small Groups, Bill developed the DVD training resource ReGroup™ with Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Partnering with Steve Gladen he released Building Biblical Community for churches in January, 2011. He also co-authored Coaching Life-Changing Leaders with Greg Bowman, and has partnered with Russ Robinson to create a number of resources for strategic leadership. Bill's newest work is a collaborative effort with Les Parrott called Small Group Insights, an online assessment and learning tool for building authentic relationships in any group or team.

Contact Bill at www.DrBillDonahue.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A. Jennerjahn on January 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Written by the director of adult education and leadership training at Willow Creek Community Church, this book is the result of experience rather than theory. Although the Willow Creek small group model is more structured than many leaders will feel comfortable with, the issues raised and the resources supplied will be helpful to anyone involved with small group leadership. The very title stresses the underlying principle: changing lives
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Stuart on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Whether you have led small groups for years or you are just starting out, you will find practical advice in this great resource. The text is easy to follow and can easily be used by small group leaders as they "group" together to learn to lead.
Most of the Church is now focussed on relational evangelism. What better way to cultivate a personal relationship than in the small group. The group offers the opportunity to really know each other. Once strong relationships are in place, people begin to grow, multiplication takes place, and lives are changed.
If this is what you want to accomplish you will find easy to understand technique in Leading a Life Changing Small Group.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
This best selling small group guidebook is now in its third edition. Filled with great ideas and teachings about small group leadership, it is not only a resource for teaching, it is a practical ready to use tool for growing the small group ministry. Written to be used intuitively, with ready answers to anticipate reader questions, this book shines in terms of clarity, comprehensiveness, and creativity.

Chapter One sets out some biblical principles, with the conviction that beliefs precede actions. The essence of growth is relationships through community living. This is where small groups shine. Being a disciple means learning how to live and grow together. This leads to the group developing a group mission, meeting, and practice.

Chapter Two looks at the area of leadership. It provides four biblical principles of leadership that are, Christ centered, servant-led, shepherd-style, and cooperative leadership. The author talks in depth about the qualities of leadership and the selection process. It is also practical in which leaders are encouraged to cultivate active listening, learning, loving, leading people, and leaning upon the support of a leadership community. There is also a wonderful segment on spiritual practices for leaders which I feel is critical for leaders to adopt.

Chapter Three stresses the need for leaders to develop new leaders. This can be done by sharing the leadership role, through cultivating values.

Chapter Four reminds us about the purpose of small groups: Growth greenhouse style and not factory style. This is done using three essentials, namely the process of living, the basic structures like ground rules and behaviour expectations, and a strategy for growth.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Crowe on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Our congregation has used Bill Donahue's Leading Life-Changing Small Groups as our primary reference manual for training small group leaders for over 5 years. It gets right to the heart of the organization and leadership issues needed for successful ministry. It is also an excellent reference for avoiding and resolving problems that may occur as people get to know one another.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Follower on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Our 350 member church has studied 'small groups' intentionally for 18 months. We just launched 18 groups with 150 participants. Things appear to be going very well. This manual has grown continually in our esteem and confidence. It is thorough, Biblically rich, helpful in the extreme, organized, & educationally sound. A small group leader can take this resource, and with study and effort, learn how to start immediately as an effective leader and then how to continually enrich the group's life together. A church program can choose it as a foundation and better the odds for success greatly and instantly. Highest recommendation. Thank you, Willow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wally on August 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My comments are mainly regarding the new third edition versus the second, but let me first say that I certainly recommend having this guide. I like to hike in the national parks and I've come to rely on the Falcon guides. They break down the trails in a park on three basic levels (short, moderate, and long for the Yellowstone guide), give you directions to the trailhead, and describe highlights of the trail. Although the book also contains small maps of the trails, except for very short trails one should have a more detailed trail map to actually take on the trails.

I didn't notice major differences in terms of the information between the second and third editions, though that may just have been because of the particular trails I was interested in hiking for a recent trip. The new edition does have about 50 additional pages, so some info is new or updated.

The biggest difference from the second edition is that the third edition uses a higher quality paper. That allows for color photographs and nicer maps. The material just looks much nicer, which might encourage you to hike more trails! Unfortunately, the higher quality paper is also heavier. I don't take the book on the trail with me, but if you do it will add a small amount of extra weight. I also liked to pencil in notes about a particular trail in the old edition. You can't do that with the better paper in the new edition, but ink might work.

One problem with the new edition concerns the small diagrams that show altitude rise and fall over the course of the trail. The diagrams are plotted on an x-y chart that shows the miles on the x-axis and altitude on the y-axis. Although the diagrams look much nicer in color on better paper, the mile indicators are missing.
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