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Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community That Makes a Difference in the World (Allelon Missional Series) Paperback – July 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Small groups are a great place to connect with others, but you may wonder, is this all there is? Is sitting in a living room, talking about a book or watching a video, the extent of what we can do together? Isn't being a Christian community about something more?
Missional Small Groups will help you see beyond the borders of your small group and into the lives of those around you so that you can make a difference. It's filled with practical suggestions for becoming intentionally involved with your community and bringing Jesus's message and healing to a hurting world.
"Scott's work aims to restore movement, mission, and community transformation to the heart of group life--right where it belongs!"--Dr. Bill Donahue, PhD, bestselling author, Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
"An important book to challenge us and help us bring more meaning and purpose to our small groups . . . but not for the purpose you may think. Scott knows the goal of the church is to make not simply better groups but a better world."--Bill Willits, author, Creating Community; director of group life, North Point Community Church
"Today, amidst an abundance of small groups literature, Missional Small Groups clearly stands out. This is a must-read for anyone interested in living out small group life within the church for the sake of the world."--Craig Van Gelder, PhD, professor of congregational mission, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
"Wow! This one volume is the new guide for understanding missional community, being a missional community, and creating missional communities."--Rick Howerton, director of events and training for Serendipity by LifeWay
M. Scott Boren is one of the pastors at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a trainer, a consultant, the coauthor of Introducing the Missional Church, and the author of The Relational Way: How Do We Get There from Here? He can be reached at www.mscottboren.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are like me and have done all sorts of small groups over the years, maybe you are not too interested in another book on the subject. This one, however, is a little different. Boren attempts to get us to the life source of a small group, rather than simply hand us another set of principles to help us be successful when we gather. He writes about small groups not necessarily being the "focus; they were simply a mechanism for carrying the kingdom of God to this world." (p.19) If we make small groups the "end all," they will always fall short of our expectations. Again he wrote that he longed for a hidden "rhythm" that would permeate how we live that would enable us to reach those who have no interest in attending church. (p.20) This is what we, too, are looking for as we journey together towards missional and incarnational living. "Instead of doing groups for he sake of experiencing community, groups experience community for the sake of participating in God's redemption of creation." (p.23)
Boren agrees with Alan Roxburgh that one of our most important tasks is to become good listeners and conversationalists with those who live around us. He names three topics about which we in the church need to discuss. The first one is about the need for God's people to live as missionaries in our own land. The United States is becoming increasingly post-Christian and post-modern in its thinking.Read more ›
* The Story of Personal Involvement
* The Story of Lifestyle Adjustment
* The Story of Relational Revision
* The Story of Missional Re-creation
I won't go into all the details as to what each one means and steal the author's thunder. But I will comment with this: most small group ministries in American churches attract folks with the top two stories and hope the groups will naturally follow the story of the third and then the fourth, which will not happen by giving the groups service or outreach projects or evangelism tasks.
The book goes on to describe small-step practices that can move a group from one story to the next in a way that is more value-driven than task oriented.
This is an important book for lead pastors and small group pastors who see their small groups as far more than a key to member retention, but don't know how to walk the small group members into a much deeper expression where missional activities happen naturally (although not easily because missional living is consistently sacrificial).
A word to readers: don't skim it or just read the first ten pages and set it aside because you're a few pages into a bunch of other books that you should finish first. This book actually has the answers to some of the deepest small group questions you have in your heart, but you may not have ever thought of in your head. Prioritize the finishing of this book when you sit down to read it.
By the way, this book is much easier to read than some of the author's other excellent, yet deeper and theological books such as The Relational Way. I found it to be a page-turner and the content is easily understood the first time I read it.
Boren's vision challenged me and my understanding of groups. He suggests something much deeper than a programmed, one-night-a-week gathering. He describes a rhythmn of small group life that is more like family life, a sharing of life and activities together. The missional aspect of this is that this sharing of life is not done exclusively with small group members but is expanded to include neighbors, friends, etc. It is a very organic model of small groups and one that may not be easy for everyone to implement, but my guess is that the rewards will be that much greater. (Reading back over this paragraph, I need to say that this vision of small groups is very much God-centered. It is small group life caught up into the life of God.)
The nice thing is that the "theory" behind these missional small groups is relatively short: 65 pages or so. The remaining 100 pages help with concrete practices for missional small groups and an appendix to help you get started step-by-step.
Even if you are sure Boren's vision for small groups isn't for you or your church (and his ideas cannot be described adequately in a short review), take the time to read this book. It will challenge you and help you dream of a way of being the people of God that is deeper and richer than what's usualy described - and experienced.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this book shows how a small group can allow for persons of all varieties can fit into a small group. Read morePublished on May 10, 2014 by LukeSkywooker
This was used in a course. It was a great assistance in this course. The idea of small groups in the church is a wonderful topic in today's environment.Published on April 1, 2014 by Melissa H.
As one with a life-long vision of the church as the missionary fellowship of Jesus, and with an enduring frustration at my and our failures to aid the transformation that alone can... Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I bought this for my husband. I am not sure why, but we just could not connect with the info. Not quite what I was expecting.Published on November 28, 2013 by Shay Johnson
The content of the book has been given by others, and I have nothing to add to that. What I especially liked about the book is that it is not "how-to" and leaves open for each... Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by K. Steckert
Roxburgh totally gets it and is one of the pioneers in the missional shift. Many are writing about this but not everyone has probed the depths of the fundamental changes required... Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by Ron Harmon
I really liked this book, there is a lot out there on Missional communities/groups, but this is worth reading like many other books out there.Published on December 20, 2012 by Trent A. Shivley