I've been waiting for this book for a long time

Scott Boren does an excellent job of describing the four basic kinds of small groups found in churches today because they tell a story about those who comprise them:

• 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 Scott'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 and don't 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 am finding it to be a page-turner and the content is easily understood the first time I read it.


Jon Stolpe said...

Looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the post.

Mike Johnson said...

Looks like a book I will want to read. Ironic in light of the talk you and I heard yesterday. Good to finally meet you after I heard such dynamic things about you from Paul and Boyd. Looking forward to the next time God allows us to meet.