Community within the church today is hemorrhaging. Attention spans are dwindling, noise levels are increasing, and we can't seem to find time for real relationships.
The answer to such social fragmentation can be found in small groups, and yet the majority of small groups—at least in the traditional sense—are often not the intentional, transformational community we really want and need. Somehow we need to get our groups off life support and into authentic community.
Pastor Brad House helps us to re-imagine what gospel-centered community looks like and shares from his experience leading and reproducing healthy small groups. With wisdom and candor, House challenges us to think carefully about our own groups and to take steps toward cultivating communities that are able to glorify Jesus, bless one another, and participate in the mission of God.
“Community will inspire your small group leaders to grow and maintain healthy, Christ-centered and mission-minded groups. It will be a vital tool for your pastors, church leaders, and small group leaders.”
—Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv; author, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
“Christianity is not for Lone Rangers. We are saved by Jesus to be a vital part of a team called the Church, the body of Christ. Community is an excellent book that clearly, theologically, and practically helps us to see what it means to be a biblically functioning community on mission for Jesus. It answers the question ‘why have community groups,’ and it provides a reproducible pattern as to how to implement them. Read it; then go and put its insights into practice.”
—Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“When people think of Mars Hill, Seattle, they probably of a big church that's big on preaching. In this helpful book, Brad House shows that it is far more than that. But this book isn't merely a description of how Mars Hill does small groups. This is a thoughtful and thorough treatment of the what, why, and even how of gospel-centered, community-focused, mission-shaped small groups. I've been doing church this way for years, and there is a great deal in here to help me as I learn how to do life-on-life, together on mission with the people of God.”
—Steve Timmis, Executive Director, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
“I sincerely believe this book has the power to redefine small group ministry. With brilliance Brad unearths the theology behind micro-Christian communities, clarifies the role and realities of the gospel, and vividly describes the system, infrastructure, and strategy that Mars Hill has, through trial and error, found to be most effective. If your goal is to create gospel-centered small groups that make Jesus known on the streets, cul-de-sacs, and neighborhoods where God placed you to do ministry read this book, reflect on this book, and make it your guide for doing groups.”
—Rick Howerton, author, Destination Community: Small-Group Ministry Manual
“In a rare combination Brad House bridges the biblical and theological underpinnings of small groups and presents practical ‘how-to's.’ He explains why smaller communities are imperative to the health of the individual and the church then goes on to explain from bottom to top how to make it work in your church. Free of clichés and stereotypes, Brad takes a fresh look at an ancient concept!”
—Bill Search, Small Groups Pastor, Southeast Community Church; author, Simple Small Groups
“In the 20th century multitudes of churches grew through attractional evangelism and Sunday school classes on their property. In the 21st century newer and growing churches focus missionally on community groups not in educational buildings but in the homes of believers scattered in the neighborhoods all around a church's region. This is a good thing. Pastor Brad House has written a fantastic book to help conventional, transitional, and emerging churches to live out the gospel in community. Read your Bible, then read this, and then go reach your neighbors.”
—Alvin L. Reid, Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry, Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary<div> </div>