Rather than give a specific method or model for groups, Reed encourages readers to start different kinds of groups for different kinds of people, allow groups to form naturally, and even consider yearly campaigns to align your church. More than that, he rightfully reminds readers that no small-group pastor can please everyone, a reminder that's hard to hear yet extremely helpful to remember.
The last chapter gives great tips for leading healthy groups. Reed offers practical points on everything from food to atmosphere, and from praying to having fun together. It gives a great overview of the kinds of things all healthy groups do and can even give new leaders a great place to start.
Who Should Read This Book
This book works especially well for new small-group pastors or directors who want a great overview of small-group ministry. It will give you the big picture of group life with practical information on getting started. Each chapter has helpful questions at the end that will help guide you as you lead your small-group ministry. Plus, at fewer than 100 pages, it's short enough to use with other staff members or your coaching team.
The biggest help this resource provides is a starting point. After reading through the book, you'll have a good idea of the areas of your ministry you'll need to flesh out more. For instance, you may realize you need more information on models or on training leaders. You may decide you need to learn how to implement a coaching structure, or you may need to find better ways to recruit leaders. By the end of this great overview, you'll have a good idea of the next step for your ministry.
Starting Small is available in paperback and e-book.
—Amy Jackson is managing editor of SmallGroups.com; copyright 2014 by Christianity Today.