Small Groups With Purpose - Review

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 6:58:00 PM
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On my flights to and from the National Association of Church Business Administrators annual conference last weekend, I read Saddleback Small Group Pastor, Steve Gladen's new book, "Small Groups With Purpose".  I count it a privilege to call Steve a friend and enjoyed getting to know my friend even better by reading his book.  He shared some great stories that I had heard before as well as some new ones to me.  Sharing your life with each other is what authentic community is about and no one does it or builds it better than Steve.

Saddleback innovated several ideas and practices for the small group movement the past decade.  These include:  1) gatherings to create new groups from scratch, 2) sermon and small group alignment campaigns (like 40 days of purpose), 3) the Host strategy and 4) the use of DVD curriculum.  I can hardly think of a church that hasn't in some form adopted some or all of these strategies.  

When you're in front, you are always the target for criticism.  Like me, you've probably heard criticism about the bar being set too low for leaders at Saddleback.  What you might not know is the back story to lowering the bar and the training pathway that follows.  I've heard Rick Warren talk about Saddleback being one of the most spiritually mature churches and, having met many staff and even group leaders through the years, I believe it.  Steve explains every part of the process that makes it happen in very clear, practical terms.  Check it out.