Review | Lead Small

Lead Small by Reggie Joiner & Tom Shefchunas

Summary (from Goodreads)

Five big ideas every small group leader needs to know.

Summary (from Amazon)

If you’re a small group leader, you believe in the power of community. You know that every stage and phase of life needs a unique kind of influence.

But what exactly do you do? What exactly is your job?

It’s possible that you may feel lost at times, like your role falls somewhere between a parent and a friend, a coach and a teacher. Remember, you aren’t supposed to be any of those things. You are a little of all of those things.

Small groups come in many sizes.
Those who wear diapers.
Those who watch Disney.
Those who are learning to drive.
Those who are picking a college.

Lead Small clarifies the responsibility of the small group leader for those who work with children and teenagers. it establishes five common threads so that those who choose to lead in any size church can work off the same blueprint.

When you lead small…
you realize that what you do for a few has more potential than what you do for many.

When you lead small…
you choose to invest in the lives of a few to encourage authentic faith.

With personal insight and practical advice, Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas will show you how to do something small for a big impact.

Review | 5 stars

Reggie Joiner’s guidebook on leading small groups from elementary school through college comes chock full of insight into how to communicate with students and invest in their lives. Lead Small isn’t just about giving you the practical tips to do things well (if that isn’t reason enough to read it!) – it gives you the reasons why those recommended steps and actions work to help you continue to create ideas as a Small Group Leader (“SGL”). Reggie and Shef also offer their personal examples from their leading small groups and being in them, providing valuable perspective and refreshing realism to their suggestions.

The book’s structure is easy to navigate and shows how each piece works in relation to the others. The main topics:

  • Be Present
  • Create a Safe Space
  • Partner with Parents (a favorite section of mine)
  • Make It Personal
  • Move Them Out (arguably the most important piece)

Other topics discussed include: Connect Their Faith to a Community, Clarify Their Faith as They Grow, Nurture an Everyday Faith, Inspire Their Faith by Your Example, and Engage Their Faith in a Bigger Story.

Lead Small contains lots of prompts throughout the book to guide you in taking action instead of merely reading. While I typically never do journal entry responses when called for (just being honest here), I liked the questions and considered them before moving through the rest of the book.

I will definitely keep this short read on hand as a field guide in the future.

A thing to remember: This book is not the only way to having a strong small group. Some of the tips may not be applicable, especially if you are not coming in as the single SGL a student will interact with. Lead Small is spelling out the ideal situation where one SGL leads the same group through whole stages of their groupies’ lives.

Another thing to remember: This book is all about the action of ministry and is not a theology book. It is also meant primarily for the North American church and American culture.

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