Formation | Community | Culture

Life-Giving Groups: My New E-Book Has Dropped, and It’s Hot!

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I’ve been on a long journey with community groups and have arrived at a strong conviction:

Community groups are the best place for us — as relational beings — to become mature disciples of Christ.

I have spent ten years leading and hosting community groups, including seven years of serving as a community pastor at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville and now as the founding pastor and directional leader of Trinity Community Church in Columbia, Missouri. I’ve been to numerous small group conferences, listened to podcasts and interviews, and at one point, gathered a few interns to read and summarize every single book on small groups ever written. (Don’t be impressed: It’s only about 40 books.) After all this, I am more convinced than ever of this truth: There is simply no substitute for people to grow in Christ-likeness together than the trenches of a local church’s small groups.

But perhaps my statement rings a bit hollow for you. How many community groups have you been a part of that were truly life-giving? How many times have you left thinking, “I am so blessed to have these people in my life”? Many of us have been in different forms of small groups and Bible studies throughout life, and if we’re honest, we have walked away more acquainted with their challenges than their life-changing power.

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In this new e-book, Life-Giving Groups: How to Grow Healthy, Multiplying Community Groups, I have finally done it, once and for all. I have figured out how to do small groups! Just kidding.

Groups cover

My goal and prayer is to show you a better way of doing community. This e-book will not remove every challenge nor answer every question. But it will call you to a biblical view of community and refresh your vision for discipleship in groups. Throughout this e-book, I’m pleading with you: Pour your hearts and souls into your community groups.

As a pastor or church leader, you will not regret a minute spent in prayer, reflection, or planning for your groups. If you can cultivate healthy, multiplying groups in the first five years of your church plant, you will reap decades of spiritual transformation and church health.

Let me repeat it again: Pour your hearts and souls into your community groups! Your investment in community groups will pay off exponentially in the souls of your people and the culture of your church.

I hope you enjoy it!

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Here is the Table of Contents…

Introductory Letter

1. Philosophy: Life-Giving Groups
How Do We Make Disciples?
Learning Discipleship from Jesus
Jesus’s Habits of Discipleship
We Are Relational Beings
The Challenge of Community

2. Principles: Rhythms of Life-Giving Groups
Why Our Rhythms Matter
Rhythm 1 — Word and Prayer: Connecting with God
Rhythm 2 — Fellowship: Connecting with One Another
Rhythm 3 — Hospitality: Connecting with Outsiders

3. Process: Multiplying Life-Giving Groups
The Language of Multiplication
Step 1: Discovering a Biblical Vision of Healthy Multiplication
Step 2: Setting Expectations for Healthy Multiplication
Step 3: Preparing for Healthy Multiplication
Step 4: Practicing Healthy Multiplication
Step 5: Maintaining Health After Multiplication
Conclusion

4. Practices: Appendices
Leading Groups from 0 to 12
The Five Rules of Community Groups
Summer (and Liturgy) in Group Life
Group Plan
Rhythms Plan
Creating Space: A Guide to Group Multiplication
Group Multiplication Plan
Neighborhood Plan
Further Reading

Acknowledgements

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I hope this e-book serves you, your church, and your ministry well. If so, I’d love to have you leave a brief review on the Amazon page. Thanks so much!

JSL

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