The Good: Small groups are essential for fulfilling the 60+ Biblical commands for believers to “build up one another.” Sometimes though, small groups do a better job at being a source for frustration and division within the church. Bradley Wright, the author, gives practical, biblical help for organizing and leading small groups, while keeping your church in one piece – and growing as a result.
The Bad: I’m an ADD story lover, who can learn to rebuild an engine on YouTube but can’t figure out how to change windshield wipers with the instructions that come in the package. Bradley has a treasure chest of small group experience. This means his instructions are spot on – but it can read like an instruction manual. I need YouTube. Here is an example.
On page 61 Bradley writes, “Effective small group leaders prepare for their role prior to the first meeting. Great small group leaders are always preparing for their role…” Then he explains how to prepare – through prayer, following another leader, etc. I was hoping the next paragraph would state, “The last time I wasn’t prepared we started talking politics, a fight broke out, the police had to be called, three people went to the hospital, (only two died) and the church split.” I suppose a good example of preparation would have been cool too. In short, the book tells, rather than shows.
The Ugly: As a pastor, I’ve struggled to find a good book on small groups – at least one that is current being printed. I think this may be the best out right now – as the content is sharp, even if you have to dig a bit. I heard rumor Brad is editing and updating the current edition. I hope he will put in some stories and pictures for me. Then this easily goes from 4 stars to 5!