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Leading Small Groups with Purpose: Everything You Need to Lead a Healthy Group Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801013801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801013805
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Take Your Small Group to the Next Level

Steve Gladen, pastor of small groups at Saddleback Church for more than a decade, takes you step-by-step toward a healthy, dynamic group with focus and purpose. For the new small group leader, the seasoned leader who feels their small group lacks purpose, or the leader who is itching to move their small group to the next level, Leading Small Groups with Purpose is the road map to follow.

Every chapter includes ideas that you can implement immediately, as well as ways to shape your small group over time. With Gladen's expert help, you will define success clearly, develop a personal leadership plan, invite members into your group, and help members fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

From the Back Cover

The nation's most successful small groups pastor equips you to grow a healthy group of your own

"This is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders. Biblical, intentional, and focused, this book is full of real-world advice on the practical matters of running a group. Steve Gladen gives your leaders the information they need not only to guide their groups but also to develop their members toward maturity and health. Want a healthier church? Develop healthier small groups. Start here."--Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

"When it comes to small groups, Steve is not just a theoretical expert, he is a consummate practitioner. Groups have the power to change lives; this book has the power to change groups."--John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church; author, The Me I Want to Be

"I wish this book was in the hands of every small group leader in America. The power of God's work in community is not in the form (small groups); it is in the function (the purposes) lived out in deep, authentic relationships. Steve Gladen's biblical focus, practical instruction, and game-day experience make this an essential for all of us committed to transformation, not simply transmission of information."--Chip Ingram, senior pastor, Venture Christian Church; president, Living on the Edge

"I am thrilled to endorse this powerful work by Steve Gladen. Steve and Rick Warren have pioneered one of the most successful small group systems in America, and Steve's quiet, behind-the-scenes guidance has made this happen. I trust that you will realize the profound success their emphasis on Scripture and discipleship has birthed in Saddleback Church. Steve is humble, helpful, and powerfully passionate in connecting members in fellowship. I look forward to this book's impact on your small group leaders."--Larry Stockstill, senior pastor, Bethany World Prayer Center

"I'm so glad Steve Gladen wrote this book! Leading Small Groups with Purpose is an incredible resource that should be in the hands of every small group leader. It's filled with practical insights and time-tested wisdom on how to lead a group to be effective and balanced. His comprehensive approach gives clear direction on how to achieve health and mission in community. Don't miss it!"--Jud Wilhite, senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas; author, Torn

More About the Author

Steve attended Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies with minors in Greek and Philosophy in 1982. From there he moved to Pasadena, California and received a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling in 1985.

While completing his Masters, Steve was awarded an internship at a local church in the San Fernando Valley, which started his full-time pastoral career in 1982. Influenced by the small group model taught at Fuller, Steve began to realize the value of small groups in connecting people to the church and in the discipleship process.

Throughout his ministry, and in churches of varying denominations and sizes, he has successfully implemented the small group strategy in youth ministry, singles ministry and overall church structures.

Steve joined the staff of Saddleback Church (www.saddleback.com) in February of 1998 as Pastor of Small Groups, where he oversees the strategic launch and development of the small group community. Steve also founded the Small Group Network, a network for leaders of small group ministry in 2006 (www.smallgroupnetwork.com). Using the Great Commission and Great Commandment as inspiration, Steve encourages every group member to balance the five Biblical purposes in their heart and groups.

Steve does consulting and seminars throughout the United States and internationally, championing small groups and teaching what it means to have small groups with purpose. Learn more about Steve at www.smallgroups.net.

Steve and his wife Lisa reside in Southern California, have been married since 1989, and have two children, Erika and Ethan.

Customer Reviews

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I personally really recommended this book for Small community leaders and Pastor as well.
Ractery
Steve Gladen's new book Leading Small Groups with Purpose is an excellent guide for small group leaders to help them foster the health of their group.
Laurence T. Baxter
This is a great collection of what-to-do ideas, backed up by some very practical crawl, walk and run how-to-do suggestions for implementation.
Mark C. Howell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurence T. Baxter VINE VOICE on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Steve Gladen's new book Leading Small Groups with Purpose is an excellent guide for small group leaders to help them foster the health of their group. Those who lead the small group ministry itself would do well to check out Gladen's first book Small Groups with Purpose, while this book is aimed squarely at the small group leader.

Part One helps the small group leader understand his or her role, what is needed for healthy small groups, and some great discussion on the barriers people face on considering joining a small group. He talks about how each group is unique, how this requires being flexible, and how people must first crawl then walk before they can hope to run.

Part Two has ten chapters, a pair for each of the five purposes considered: fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism and worship. For each of these areas there is one chapter which talks about the importance and necessity of living out that purpose, and a second chapter 'Practical Suggestions'. Together this core section of the book talks about the essential foundations of biblical community, spiritual growth, reaching out, and living for God. I really enjoyed sections like: "understanding the after-the-group meeting", "don't let the agenda crowd out the Holy Spirit", "an intentional pathway for development", "it's about health not just connection", "the goal of discipleship is transformation", "help your group members find their serving suite spot", and "conflict resolution."

Part Three is also very helpful and practical. It covers several of the common obstacles (and opportunities) surrounding group health.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ractery on February 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As on his previous book small groups with purpose Steve Gladen did and outstanding work in this volume. Here Steve concentrated specifically in the work of the small group leader. He gave a detail set of steps for the small group leader to fallow in order to have a spiritual healthy group. I personally really recommended this book for Small community leaders and Pastor as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allen White on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When you think about such a large scale small group ministry like the one at Saddleback Church, it's a little hard to wrap your mind around. How could a church of 25,000 or so on the weekend have over 50,000 connected in small groups? A ministry of that size doesn't sound like small groups. It sounds like a decent sized town.

Sure, any church can get a bunch of people into groups for a short-term church-wide campaign, but how does Saddleback keep the arrow moving up and to the right? If these were temporary, thrown together groups, then you would expect them to disband as quickly as they formed. What's the secret?

What makes a good group system? Trained, motivated leaders. Visionary direction. Welcoming groups. Growing group members. Any or all of these descriptions would produce effective groups. But, there is one word that captures all of this and is the secret to Saddleback's small group success: Health. Balancing the biblical purposes of fellowship, discipleship, ministry, worship and evangelism creates healthy groups, which in turn produce healthy group members.

Leading Small Groups with Purpose is a multifaceted resource. Steve Gladen not only gives the theory of small group ministry, he offers practical next steps to hit the group where the rubber meets the road. Whether a group has just started or has been together for a long time, each topic contains Crawl, Walk and Run steps to integrate the biblical purposes in the group, thus producing group health. This book is not over any leader's head and is certainly not beneath any leader either.

Beyond the tools Steve offers in the book, he points the reader to many tools available on the web as well as quite a number of other resources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By natalie Johnston on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with excellent ideas that are both practical and Christ centered from cover to cover. I would recommend this book to small group leaders for the following reasons: to help them be in tune to some of the common obstacles for small group growth, to help them identify growth opportunities, to help them keep a balanced and healthy small group both spiritually and through fellowship, and to provide resources for further areas of learning. This book promotes the need to be surrounded by a loving community of people in a small group who can share together joys and challenges of life as individuals who seek to grow in their faith. Author Steve Gladen recounts real life stories to help demonstrate the ideas presented in the book. It is easy to relate to the examples he gives on a personal level. Don't hesitate to purchase this book as a resource and guide.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Howell on February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you've been looking for small group leader training resources, you're going to want to take a look at Leading Small Groups with Purpose: Everything You Need to Lead a Healthy Group. New from Steve Gladen, this is gem of a resource! Packed with real-life illustrations, how-tos, and ideas...this is a must-have for every leader.

Gladen's earlier book, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities, was an excellent resource for point leaders (whether from the purpose driven camp or not). The same is true for Leading Small Groups with Purpose. The content is so relevant, it works regardless of the type of small group system in use.

Part One--Before You Begin Your Group is just that; some very helpful content that will find its way into your leader training concept. Especially for anyone unfamiliar with the spiritual health assessment and plan, part one will be an eye-opening experience. The simple idea behind the assessment and plan will help many groups take advantage of new understanding about the spiritual development needs of its members. This is a gold mine!

Part Two--What to Do in Your Group is as good a collection of practical tips and ideas as I've ever come across. I loved the way this part of the book is organized and your leaders will, too. Ten chapters.
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