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Making Small Groups Work: What Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know [Paperback]

By Henry Cloud (Author) & John Townsend (Author)
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Item description for Making Small Groups Work: What Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know by Henry Cloud & John Townsend...

This book by two well-known psychologists provides small-group leaders with valuable guidance and information on how they can help their groups to grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. In addition to describing what makes small groups work, this book explains the roles and responsibilities of both leaders and group members.

Publishers Description
Lead small groups through astounding growth with principles from the best-selling books How People Grow and Boundaries. No matter what need brings a group of people together---from marriage enrichment to divorce recovery, from grief recovery to spiritual formation---members are part of a small group because they want to grow. This book by psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend provides small-group leaders with valuable guidance and information on how they can help their groups to grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. With insights from their best-selling book How People Grow, Cloud and Townsend show how God s plan for growth is made up of three key elements: grace plus truth plus time. When groups embrace those elements, they find God s grace and forgiveness and learn how to handle their imperfections without shame as they model God s love and support to one another. In addition to describing what makes small groups work, Leading Small Groups That Help People Grow explains the roles and responsibilities of both leaders and group members. Employing tenets from the book How People Grow, this book equips leaders to understand the ins and outs of how to promote growth, and using principles from their best-selling book Boundaries, they show how to identify and find solutions for common problems such as boredom, noncompliance, passivity, aggression, narcissism, spiritualization, over-neediness, over-giving, and nonstop talking."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.36" Width: 5" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 12, 2003
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310250285  
ISBN13  9780310250289  
UPC  025986250287  

Availability  0 units.

More About Henry Cloud & John Townsend

Henry Cloud Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, psychologist, co-host of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and co-founder of the Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He is the author of many books, as well as co-author of the 2003 Retailers Choice Award-winning God Will Make a Way and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries (over 1 million copies sold). He maintains a private practice in Newport Beach, California, andlives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles."

Henry Cloud currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.

Henry Cloud has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Fox Faith

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Pastoral Counseling

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Ministry Resources

Reviews - What do customers think about Making Small Groups Work?

A great disappointment...  Aug 5, 2006
I bought the unabridged audiotape version of this book, hoping to utilize some significant portions of road-trip time to learn more for my leadership role with our church's small group ministry. Though not normally a Cloud/Townsend fan, I was pleased to hear them introduce the book by indicating that they would discuss two questions that all church leaders are asking: how do we find more small group leaders and how do we train them. They proceeded to spend the next eight hours completely ignoring those key questions. I only wish they would have answered them.

Instead of offering strategic, visionary, thought-provoking advice for ministry leaders and small group leaders, Cloud and Townsend rambled on about how to deal with people's feelings and emotions. This type of book is exactly why I generally avoid books written by Christian counselors. I couldn't begin to count the number of times that they referred to feelings and emotions. While I know that emotional understanding is important to leading people in groups, there is so much more to it. I agree with an earlier reviewer who suggested that this book is primarily geared toward leading support groups. While important, that is only one type of legitimate group within the church. The title of this book presumes to be too broadly applicable, when their focus is very narrow.

I was also annoyed by their insistence on using the word "facilitator," rather than "leader." I think that every lousy group that I've attended resulted from the mindset of the leader that they wanted to facilitate and not lead. What groups need is passionate, committed, and competent leadership, not just facilitators.

As another irritation, despite the multitude of fantastic small group resources available, Cloud and Townsend did not refer to a single resource other than their own books. It's as if they feel specially enabled to speak with authority about small groups, and no one else in the world has anything to add. That's nothing if not arrogant.

Finally, they included innumerable scripts for precise wording that leaders should use within the group context. The suggestions that they offer are so wooden and trite that any leader who would actually say those things to people would yield nothing but laughter. It is so much more helpful to describe concepts and ideas, rather than pat one-liners.

The best part of the book came near the end, when they discussed the plague of spiritualization that often happens in Christian small groups. Those few minutes were very worthwhile, and I wished they had covered the topic more thoroughly (though they were kind enough to suggest that I read another one of their books on the topic!!).

Quite frankly, I would not recommend this book to anyone, with the possible exception of a support group leader. It was boring and lacked any substantive strategic help for church and small group leaders. Check out Donahue and Robinson's "Walking the Small Group Tightrope," Frazee's "The Connecting Church," or Willits' "Creating Community" instead.
good for support groups, but not what I was looking for...  May 26, 2006
This book was not what I was looking for in regards to small groups. It seemed mostly about "support groups". By this I mean small groups where the focus is specifically about a certain area of needed support: divorce recovery, parenting teenagers, addiction recovery, etc. Because "support" seemed to be the focus, there was a lot of valuable info about leading a group where there will be a lot of personal sharing. There were practical ideas for setting group boundaries, dealing with "problem" participants (overly needy, too talkative...) and other issues when you are guiding a support group.

However, I was looking more for info about leading small group Bible study groups - where the focus is more on learning, study, and spiritual growth. And not specifically "support". I guess I was looking more for ideas on how to create a interactive learning environment with adults. Although I got a handful of helpful ideas from this book, it did not give me the guidance and ideas I was hoping for in this regard.

I give it 4 stars because it is a great guide if you are leading a support group. I think the title of the book should be changed to "Making support groups work". To me, there is a difference between a traditional small group and a support group..... I mean, I know that in ANY type of small group you want to foster close relationships where people can share. But I wasn't looking for "support" as being the PRIMARY focus of my group. Rather a secondary focus as we study the Bible.

I am not sure I have expressed myself the most clearly, but those are my thoughts.
Making Small Groups Work  Sep 20, 2005
If you have to pick only one book about small groups this is it.
A great source for teaching small group leaders  Aug 27, 2005
As Director of Counseling at His Mansion Ministries (...), I have found this book to be a valuable tool. I have used it to teach my interns. These are young adults that serve for 1-year helping broken and hurting students find healing. The interns usually have no previous counseling experience and therefore I need to equip them fairly quick once on staff. Small groups and class work are used in our healing program and this book is a key teaching and training aid. I highly recommend it.
Worked for Me  Dec 12, 2004
My life has been greatly changed by a men's small group that I attended through church. I was able to break through many issues that held me back in life. This book perfectly described the process that I went though. This is essential reading for those involved in small group ministries. It goes beyond theory and into practical matters of managing small groups to keep them effective and on track. Excellant examples of how to get the group to set rules, manage the members that dominate discussion and draw out those that always hold back.
Highly recomended.

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