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The next book I’m blogging through will be Andy Stanley and Bill Willits “Creating Community: 5 Keys to building a small group culture.” I’m already about 75 pages into it so I’ll be back tracking a bit in the blog posts. This is the first book I’ve read by Stanley and I have to say if he’s anything as a communicator in person as he is in print, no wonder NorthPoint is as big as it is. The first 75 pages just breezed by, it felt less like a book and more like the pic on the front page of the book – a coffee table conversation.

I’m actually reading several books right now on small group ministry and small group cultures in churches, because I’m the small groups pastor at East Lanier (as well as the Mercy Ministries, Youth, and Families pastor). I’ve found in my own experience inside community groups that it is within them that Jess and I’s spiritual journey is supported and shepherded much more than in the wider church setting. Both in the love and care others display toward us, as well as the sacrificial living that is formed out of small group community life. Your small group becomes like a family and when things are going well with one another (which isn’t always the case) its one of those weekly meeting that you don’t want to miss. You end up look forward to it during your whole week šŸ™‚

Stanley and Willits are some of the premier small groups pastors in the church today along with of course the Redeemer Fellowship crew, the Willow Creek crew, and the Saddle Back crew. So reaching for their wisdom and perspective on small group ministries shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I enjoy reading books on developing, leading, and coaching small group leaders and members. The thing about reading books on small group ministries is that you’re not really reading a book that is isolated on one program or ministry within the church. You’re reading a book on the vision for the whole churches mission and ministry in general. Such is the case as well with Stanley and Willits books, I can’t wait to dive into this review series with all of you.

One word of formate is necessary here: instead of moving chapter by chapter I’ve decided to move section by section becuase the writing lends itself to broader summarizing. There are three chapters to each section of the book, and each section represents one of the five keys to building a small group culture. The five sections of the book are;

  1. People Need Community
  2. Leaders Need Clarity
  3. Churches Need Strategy
  4. Connection Needs Simplicity
  5. Processes Need Reality