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Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus Paperback – December 16, 2014
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"In Leading Small Groups, you'll learn fresh insights into how to keep real relationship―with God, with one another―at the heart of your group life. You'll be empowered to keep turning your group's attention outward in real ministry to your community. And you'll have your vision redirected not to the administration of yet another program but to the way of Jesus, who gathers us together to follow in his footsteps."-- Today's Christian Living, July 2015
"In a world where church leadership is rapidly changing and spiritual purpose is being altered by cultural influence, Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus offers a satisfying alternative to Christian leaders who want to keep their small groups relevant and alive."-- The Midwest Book Review, May 2015
"Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' from beginning to end, Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read for anyone charged with the responsibility of leading small study groups of Christians or groups of Christians seeking to live their lives in Christ. Very highly recommended for personal and church library collections."-- Julie Summers, Midwest Book Review, March 2015
"In this book he reminds us that any small group, no matter how it's organized, is at its heart a collection of people each walking in the way of Jesus. That means we are going somewhere―together―and that means we have a reliable guide."-- The Light Magazine, February 2015
"This book was like a second salvation for me when it comes to leading and loving people the way Jesus did. When it comes to discipleship and biblical community, Scott Boren soars way past thought provoking―this book is one hundred percent kingdom provoking."-- Scott Hagan, senior pastor, Real Life Church, Sacramento
"Every pastor longs for renewal in small group ministry. In his Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus, Scott Boren provides the biblical foundation and theological imagination for such a renewal. Boren shows us the way to open up spaces for the presence of Christ among us, and then calls them 'small groups.'"-- David Fitch, Northern Seminary, author, Prodigal Christianity
"When Scott talks, I listen. He combines missional fervor, a disciple-making focus and community-building passion here, calling us to something greater every time we gather in community."-- Bill Donahue, author, Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
"Scott Boren, one of the most experienced leaders in the field of small groups and missional community, has given us a fresh perspective on how to experience life in and beyond group meetings. Rather than giving us a formula, Scott lays out proven principles that are scalable to multiple settings and scenarios of group life. Every group leader should read this book."-- Tim Catchim, church planter and author of The Permanent Revolution
"Scott Boren writes in a winsome way and leads us to the core values behind effective small group leadership. . . . Offers time-tested principles that will help us become better small group leaders. I appreciated how Boren often illustrated a concept with a real life example rather than only explaining it. I will recommend this book to the leaders and pastors I'm coaching."-- Joel Comiskey, president, Joel Comiskey Group
"This is a game-changer! In this breakthrough message, Scott Boren gets beneath the surface of our superficial assumptions about small groups to uncover the life-giving way of the Master. I highly recommend this book to all pastors, leaders and followers of Christ!"-- Andrew S. Mason, founder of smallgroupchurches.com
About the Author
M. Scott Boren is president of the Center for Community and Mission, a consulting and training ministry that helps churches develop effective small groups and equips leaders for missional church life. He is the author of numerous books, including Missional Small Groups and Difference Makers.
- Publisher : IVP Books; Illustrated edition (December 16, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 219 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0830836810
- ISBN-13 : 978-0830836819
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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LEADING SMALL GROUPS IN THE WAY OF JESUS is a next-steps book for current small group participants. It answers, "What's supposed to happen with groups?" and, "How do we actually share a meaningful life together, listening to and practicing the Way of Jesus?" Boren writes several insights and practices, things I resonate with and have even practiced a little. It feels great to read and resonate with something he's been practicing.
I most resonated with Boren's words about great questions and how curiosity (more my word than his) leads to nurturing disciples of Jesus. He writes:
"[We must] develop eyes to see and ears to hear. For that, leaders need to ask questions and foster conversations. When we ask good questions, we provide opportunities for people to discover for themselves the radical nature of the kingdom of God" (p.54).
"We do not [really] "make" disciples. We are formed as disciples in community together as the Spirit works in us" (p.61).
"We cannot force people to enter the way of Jesus. Many of them may agree with the vision, but that doesn't mean they actually 'hear' it. This is where the questions are so important. Listen to how people respond. Who is already asking questions like these? Who is expressing frustration with the status quo? Who wants to talk about distinct ways of following Jesus? Who is willing to put some extra thought and time into answering these questions?
"The goal is to work with people who already have a sense of urgency to experience a different kind of group life. One way to determine this is to lead people through a short-term experience..." (p.62-63).
Boren would then add that by focusing on people who are already hungry and thirsty for the kingdom of God, nurturing their desire, kindling their flame within, will in turn bring life to others. This idea reminds me of Thomas Merton's analogy of the Desert Fathers and Mothers who upon fleeing to the desert were not fleeing people but recognizing that society and the "christianity" present was a sinking ship. Someone needed to get a foot to shore in order to reach a hand out for rescuing. I think this continues to be the largest need in the western church today. Many who are faithful to Jesus wonder how the religiosity they see relates to Jesus and Jesus' Way. It just isn't connecting. Some say it's a sinking ship and they've swam out to get a foot to shore, and then they'll toss a rope our way.
If this is how you see it too, I think Boren's book will make you happy.
If your church has small groups, then don't even bother reading other books about small groups. This book is the place is the start.
Since small groups are all about encouraging one another to follow Jesus and BE the church in the world, this book provides helpful insights and suggestions to make this a reality in your small group.
This is a smooth read for a how-to-book but he offers great suggestions built upon the way of Jesus, leading collaboratively, "hanging out and being yourself." It suggests we aim to be Jesus focused, Jesus directed, and honest as we learn from one another in a small group setting.
I have read all the old books on small groups, this is a new and fresh look loaded with great ideas.