This month we will be looking at two books, one is brand new and the other is a classic must read: Sticky Church by Larry Osborne and Sharing the Journey: Support Groups and America’s New Quest for Community by Robert Wuthnow.
Larry Osborne shares proven strategies that he has used for closing the back door of your church through using sermon-based small groups. Sticky Church tells the story of North Coast’s word-of-mouth growth and offers tips for launching your own sermon-based small group ministry.
This is a good book for church leaders who are looking to start or reorganize their small group ministry. It includes samples of sermon notes, study questions, and leadership training materials.
This isn’t a new book, but it is a must read for anyone interested in the topic of community. Through extensive research, Wuthnow attempts to answer the following questions:
How many people are involved in small supportive groups?
What motivates them to become active in these groups?
What kinds of groups do they join?
How do these groups actually function?
What do their members like most?
What do they like least?
How are members spirituality influenced, if at all, by these groups?
Is the wider society being influenced by them as well?
How do people in small groups reconcile the strong individualistic tendencies that exist in American culture with the demands of being a responsible group member?
Are small groups in any way altering the character of American religion?
What do they tell us about the balance between private life and public commitments in our society?
If you haven’t read this one yet, buy it, grab your highlighter, and dig in. It represents more than three years of research by fifteen scholars and is the result of a survey of more than a thousand small group members. It is a must read.