Saturday, August 30, 2014

Great Books for Small Groups

Although not all small groups like to use books for the content/ learning piece of the small group gathering, I thought it would be useful to share a short list of books which I have found helpful in the past.  As always, please consider the personality make up and other contextual factors of your group as you select a book to read and discuss together.  Some groups have assigned books to read over the summer and gather at the end of the summer to discuss and share what they have learned.  

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section if you'd like.  This list is meant to get the conversation started.

Topic:  Prayer and Spirituality

1.    Too Busy Not to Pray:  Slowing down to be with God by Bill Hybels.  Hybels is clear, personable and easy to learn from.  The later editions have questions for reflection and discussion in the back.

2.     Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster.   I have found it useful to even select a few chapters and highlight a few of the inward or outward spiritual disciplines that the small group may be especially interested in learning about and trying.

3.    Power to Pray: God's Immense Purposes for our Simple Prayers by Don Andresson.  The author is a Vineyard pastor from Massachusetts who has good scriptural teaching and an inspirational perspective on prayer.

Topic:  Parenting and Family

1.   Never Mind the Joneses: Building Core Christian Values in a Way that Fits your Family  by Philip Yancy.  This book talks about how to be thoughtful, creative, and intentional about how you lead your family into the deeper values of the Gospel.

2.  Motherhood:  A Spiritual Journey  by Ellyn Sanna  I re-read this book each time I was in an era of staying awake through the night to feed a new baby.  It was new and different each time.  I think I'll read it again now that I'm firmly in my life as a "if I don't get much sleep at night it's my own fault" parent.

Topic:  Being Missional and Outward Focused

1.   God's Relentless Pursuit:  Discovering His Heart for Humanity by Phil Strout.  This is a great book about entering into God's Mission.  The discussion/ reflection questions at the end are clear and helpful.

2.     Missional Small Groups:  Becoming a Community that Makes a Difference in the World by M. Scott Boren.  There are some great, practical ideas in this book.