Textbook Survey: Books on Community Development and Small Groups

From: Volume 5, Issue 1: Spring 2008, College & Young Adult Ministry Pages 244-251


The following 10 textbooks target community development and spiritual maturity through the building of relationships in small groups. Books were selected from those recommended by NAPCE members in a survey conducted during the 2006 Conference in Denver, CO. Multiple professors used several of the texts reviewed. Each review below grows out of experienced classroom use by that reviewer.

The big book on small groups: Featuring a complete program for training small group leaders. Revised edition. By Jeffrey Arnold. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2004.

Life together. By Dietrich Bonhoeffer. San Francisco: HarperOne. 2003 (originally published in 1939).

Making small groups work: What every small group leader needs to know. By Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.

How people grow: What the Bible reveals about personal growth. By Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2001.

Truly the community: Romans 12 and how to be the church. By Marva Dawn. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. 1997 (originally published in 1992).

Leading life-changing small groups. By William Donahue. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2002.

Walking the small group tightrope: Meeting the challenges every group faces. By Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.

The connecting church: Beyond small groups to authentic community. By Randy Frazee. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2001.

Community that is Christian: A handbook on small groups. By Julie A. Gorman. Second edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2002.

The search to belong: Rethinking intimacy, community, and small groups. By Joseph Myers. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.

Reviewers are:

Tom Bergler. Ministry and Missions. Huntington College/Link Institute, Huntington, IN. (TB)
Gary Bussmann. Christian Education and Spiritual Formation. Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL. (GB)
Julie A Gorman. Christian Formation and Discipleship. Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA. (JG)
Mike Parrott. Ministry and Mission. Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH. (MP)
David Setran. Department of Educational Ministries. Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. (DS)



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