Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

Who publishes is a resource from Christianity Today, a nonprofit, global media ministry that serves the church through print magazines, digital publications, websites, and blogs which together reach over 5 million people each month. We are committed to building up the church and those who lead it through our cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy. Read our statement of faith.

Amy Jackson is associate publisher of at Christianity Today. She oversees the planning and coordination of all content featured on the site, as well as the publishing and marketing strategies.

Amy has served as a small-group minister and small-group director for local churches and brings her experience to Amy is passionate about seeing people connect in authentic, transforming relationships through small groups. She gets excited about helping people connect with God through practicing spiritual disciplines, both individually and corporately. She has been married to Jim since 2007, and their daughter was born in 2014. They enjoy spending time outdoors, playing with their dog, Henry, and supporting local businesses and restaurants.

Editorial Advisory Panel:

Joel Comiskey (Ph.D. Fuller Seminary) is founder and president of Joel Comiskey Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping churches fulfill the great commission. He has served as a missionary with the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Quito, Ecuador, planted a cell-based church in southern California, and now coaches pastors in small-group ministry.

Joel has written best-selling books on the worldwide cell group movement, including The Spirit-Filled Small Group, Coach: Empower Others to Effectively Lead a Small Group, and Planting Churches that Reproduce. He also teaches as an adjunct professor at Tozer Theological Seminary.

Joel and his wife, Celyce, have three daughters and live in Moreno Valley, California. Joel enjoys basketball, computers, and the outdoors.

Steve Gladen has been on staff at Saddleback Church since February 1998. He has focused on small groups in several churches for over 30 years. Steve oversees the strategic launch and development of 7,000 adult small groups across 14 regional and 5 global campuses. He loves seeing a big church become small through true community developed in group life. Steve also oversees the Small Group Network, a community of over 8,000 small-group ministry leaders.

He has authored Small Groups with Purpose (translated in 11 languages), Leading Small Groups with Purpose and Planning Small Groups With Purpose (summer 2018). He has also written DVD and non-DVD small-group curriculum.

Steve attended Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, where he earned a BA in Biblical Studies with minors in Greek and Philosophy in 1982. From there he moved to Pasadena, California, and received a MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1985.

Steve does consulting and seminars internationally and domestically on championing small groups and what it means to have small groups with purpose. Steve and his wife Lisa have been married since 1989 and reside in Southern California with their two children, Erika and Ethan. Learn more about Steve at

Will Johnston oversees adult ministries for Eastside Christian Church, a multi-site congregation in southern California and northern Minnesota. Previously, he served as the small-group pastor at National Community Church in Washington, D.C. Will is only an average small-group leader, but what he is good at is building and troubleshooting small-group systems.

Before entering vocational ministry, Will worked in social media on Capitol Hill and studied theology at Wheaton College.

He is married to the incomparable Rachel Johnston, whose only fault is bringing their crazy cat Charlie into their home. Will spends his free time investing in real estate, getting his heart broken by the Chicago Bulls, and reading biographies of Teddy Roosevelt. Well, those things and watching too much TV.

You can follow Will on Twitter at @WillJohnston or on Facebook.

Michael C. Mack founded in 1995, and he has served as a small-groups and discipleship minister in several churches. He is a writer, editor, speaker, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of a dozen books, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group.

In May 2017, he was named as the 12th editor of Christian Standard, a monthly leadership magazine founded in 1866.

Michael received his BBA from the University of Cincinnati in 1983, and his MA from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in 1993. He and his family live in Pewee Valley, Kentucky. His interests include mountain biking and a variety of sports.

Carter Moss is currently a campus pastor and life groups director for Newbreak Church, a large multi-site church in sunny San Diego. Carter was also highly involved in small groups while on staff at a large multi-site chuch in Chicago for nearly 10 years. He has authored a number of small-group training resources and discussion guides, contributed to various ministry websites, and led small-group trainings around the country. In his free time, Carter writes album and concert reviews for a local music magazine, tries his hand at stand-up comedy and local clubs, and has been caught rapping on stage at church.

Randall Neighbour is president of TOUCH Outreach Ministries in Houston, Texas. He has authored numerous books on small-group life, leadership, coaching, and team-based evangelism, including The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry, Community Life 101, and The Pocket Guide to Coaching Small Groups.

He and his wife are currently church planting with holistic small groups at the core of their strategy. His hobbies include coral propagation and renovating his 105 year old home.

Jon Noto is a licensed Christian therapist who was called into ministry and served at Willow Creek Community Church's North Shore campus as community life pastor. There he oversaw adult ministries with a focus on group life and discipleship. At Willow, he launched ministries targeting pastoral care issues (marriage, divorce recovery, support) and led teams to author small group alignment campaigns.

Jon now works with White Stone Counseling Resources, an organization that partners with local churches to serve their leadership and congregation members. With White Stone he continues to teach, write, and train in addition to maintaining a caseload of individual and marital clients.

You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter to see some of his work.

Sam O'Neal is author of The Field Guide for Small Group Leaders (from InterVarsity Press) and a former Managing Editor of He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jessica, and their two young sons—but he will always be a Chicago Bears fan at heart.

Ben Reed is the adult ministries pastor at Mission Community Church in Gilbert, Arizona. He oversees small groups, care, baptism, and missions. He thrives on building healthy, biblical, authentic, life-changing communities. Ben is also the communications director for The Small Group Network. In addition to those responsibilities, he loves to write, blogging his thoughts on church, leadership, and theology at You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Pat J. Sikora (MAT, Fuller) is a popular author and conference speaker, with several books and hundreds of articles to her credit. Her most recent book, Why Didn't You Warn Me? How to Deal with Challenging Group Members equips leaders to effectively minister to challenging people.

Pat is founder and President of Mighty Oak Ministries, a ministry that provides tools, resources, and strategies to equip the body of Christ to encourage and nurture the wounded and broken in their churches and ministries, and to help them to grow deeply, heal progressively, and mature splendidly.

Pat believes that the transformational ministry of the Word of God, applied and engrafted to real life community, will result in a display more splendid than the grandest oak. Pat is available for leadership training and conferences, large or small.

Carolyn Taketa serves as the pastor of small groups at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California, where she has been on staff since 2005. She oversees all aspects of the small-group ministry, participates in Calvary's senior leadership team, and contributes to planning weekend services. Prior to vocational ministry, Carolyn was a litigation attorney (University of California, Berkeley School of Law). She is also part of the lead team at The Small Group Network, and hosts Group Talk, a monthly podcast on issues relevant to small-group point leaders. Carolyn is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Theology and Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has been married since 1994 and is blessed with two teenage daughters. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter @TaketaCarolyn.

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