Well I finally finished Steve Gladen’s new book “Small Groups with Purpose.”  It took me a while to read it from cover to cover because every few pages I read I would stop, take a few notes, call some of my team together and begin to implement the adaptations of what I had just learned from Steve and his experiences.  Seriously, after following Saddleback Small Groups for several years and learning from them and other great small group ministries, I am still learning and Steve is still teaching.

One of the keys to growth is continued learning.  When we quit reading and/or learning…because we are too busy at work, in the ministry or with life…we quickly loose the edge of what God wired us with, new discovery.  What Christ-follower would not agree that each day we have the opportunity to learn something new and fresh about God?  What leader in society or a company would stop research in order to just enjoy what they already have?  What ministry would settle down after seminary and quit trying to discover ways to communicate the message of Christ?

In these 200 pages Steve shares from his experiences and Saddleback’s journey to see God grow His Kingdom.  From foundational principles for the ministry to personal evaluation for myself, Steve includes it all.  And at the end of each chapter there are 5 or 6 questions that aren’t designed to rehash the chapter, but catapult you to the next step in our/your ministry.  A different chapter may stand out to you today than it will in 6 months depending on where you are in your ministry.  I know for LifePoint my whiteboard was filled up with ideas from chapter 13 because leadership development is one of our major focuses right now.   It is located in the “Step-by-Step, How Can I Do This?” section.

If you only have a few minutes today, get the book and read chapter 18, “Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me.”  You will learn or be reminded of earlier learnings in your ministry career whether you are on staff or not.

I challenge you to read “Small Groups with Purpose, How to Create Healthy Communities” and see how many practical ideas you find to implement in your ministry.

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