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Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
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The best-selling small group guidebook?over 100,000 sold. NOW UPDATED.< br> < br> Like nothing else, small groups have the power to change lives. They?re the ideal route to discipleship?a place where the rubber of biblical truth meets the road of human relationships.< br> < br> For six years Bill Donahue provided training and resources for small group leaders so that Willow Creek could build a church of small groups. Now he is committed to creating tools that will help church leaders pursue the same goal?to provide a place in community for everyone in their congregation. In Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, Donahue and his team share in depth the practical insights that have made Willow Creek's small group ministry so effective.< br> < br> The Comprehensive, Ready-Reference Guide for Small Group Leaders< br> < br> The unique, ready-reference format of this book gives small group leaders, pastors, church leaders, educators, and counselors a commanding grasp of: < br> ??Group formation and values< br> ??Leadership requirements and responsibilities< br> ??The philosophy and structure of small groups< br> ??Meeting preparation and participation< br> ??Discipleship within the group< br> ??Leadership training . . . and much more< br> < br> From an individual group to an entire small group ministry, Leading Life-Changing Small Groups gives you the comprehensive guidance you need to cultivate life-changing small groups . . . and growing, fruitful followers of Christ.
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Table of Contents

Preface 11 Introduction: A Structure That Serves People 13 Part 1: Small Group Philosophy Section 1--Mission, Values, and Vision Mission Statement and Ministry Philosophy for Small Groups . 21 Five Core Values 22 Developing Fully Devoted Followers ... 24 Vision for Small Groups . 26 Section 2--Structure Structure of Small Groups 28 A Typical Small Group . . 29 A Small Group Division . 31 Section 3--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Small Groups . . 32 Additional Resources ... 33 Part 2: Small Group Leadership Section 1--Biblical Leadership The Call to Servanthood . 37 Qualifications of Small Group Leaders ... 38 Motives for Leadership . . 42 Section 2--Leadership Responsibilities The Small Group Leader's Commitment ... 44 Small Group Leadership Responsibilities . . 44 Section 3--Personal Growth How to Study the Bible . . 49 Spiritual Practices 51 Becoming a Contagious Christian . 54 The Prayer Life of a Leader 57 Spirit-led Leadership ... 60 Section 4--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Leadership ... 62 Additional Resources ... 63 Part 3: Developing Apprentice Leaders Section 1--Apprentice Development Identifying Apprentice Leaders ... 67 The Four Responsibilities of an Apprentice Leader . . 72 Developing an Apprentice Leader . 73 Section 2--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Apprentice Leadership . . 75 Additional Resources ... 76 Part 4: Group Life Section 1--Group Values Key Small Group Values . 79 Section 2--Group Formation Casting a Vision for Your Group . . 81 Developing Objectives for Your Group ... 82 Essential Components of Group Life ... 84 Communication in a Small Group . 85 Stages of Group Life ... 86 Small Group Covenants . 87 Section 3--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Group Life ... 90 Additional Resources ... 91 Part 5: Conducting Meetings Section 1--Preparation Meeting Preparation ... 95 Choosing and Using the Right Curriculum . 101 Section 2--Group Dynamics Group Roles . . 104 Learning Styles 105 Personalities--God Made Us All Different! 106 Helping Members Use Their Spiritual Gifts in Your Group . . 107 Section 3--Skills Ice Breakers and Group Openers . 110 Facilitating Dynamic Discussion . 114 Group Prayer . 119 Conflict Management . . 122 Building Relationships . 126 Troubleshooting Tips . . 134 Section 4--Meeting Follow-Up Gaining Feedback for Your Ministry ... 139 Section 5--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Conducting Meetings . . 144 Additional Resources . . 144 Part 6: Shepherding Members Section 1--Making Disciples Group-Based Discipleship ... 147 Promoting Spiritual Growth ... 147 Using the Shepherding Plan ... 149 Tips and Clarification for Using the Shepherding Plan 150 Encouraging Group Members . . 151 Section 2--Providing Care Caregiving and Shepherding ... 153 Section 3--Responding to a Crisis Crisis Caregiving ... 155 Section 4--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Shepherding Members . . 157 Additional Resources . . 158 Part 7: Multiplying Your Ministry Section 1--Adding Members to Your Group Group Multiplication . . 161 Finding Potential People 163 Inviting Seekers 166 Section 2--Birthing Day of Birth . . 168 Types of Births . 169 Reducing the Trauma of Birthing . 170 Birthing Follow-Up Care 170 Section 3--Resources Commonly Asked Questions About Multiplying Your Ministry ... 171 Additional Resources . . 173 Part 8: Starting Small Groups in Your Church Section 1--Getting Started Eight Key Questions . . 177 Section 2--Phasing In the Small Group Ministry Four Phases . . 183 Section 3--Developing Small Group Leader Training Decentralized Training . 187 Centralized Training . . 188 Section 4--Evaluating Your Church's Small Group Ministry Checkpoints Along the Way ... 192 Section 5--Resources Commonly Asked Questions about Starting Small Groups . . 194 Additional Resources . . 194 Index 195

About the Author

Dr. Bill Donahue is Executive Director of Small Group Ministries for the Willow Creek Association (WCA) and works with Willow Creek Community Church to train and develop small group leaders. The church has over 2,500 small groups and the WCA has over 12,000 member churches worldwide representing over 95 denominations in 27 countries.

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