Author(s): Colin Marshall
Despite appearances, this is not another book about small group ministry. Growth Groups is a 10 week practical, 'hands-on' training program to develop effective small group ('Growth Group') leaders. A training program useful for all Christian ministry, not just Growth Groups, because it deals with the fundamentals of gospel work.
"Having been leading bible study groups for 8 years and studied at a seminary for 3 years, I did not expect a lot from Growth Groups initially (thinking of the saying 'there is nothing new under the sun'!). But as it turns out, Growth Groups has been one of the most rewarding Christian learning experiences I have gone through. It sharpened my vision of gospel ministry and raised my awareness of how to diagnose dysfunctional groups. Most of all, it taught me how to teach the Bible and prepare for a bible study in a way that submits fully to the authority of the Word of God. Rather than using the Bible as a springboard for great discussion, the course focuses on how we are to dig deep into the Bible by studying the passage and finding out what God intends to say to us in those words. I thoroughly enjoy the fellowship and friendship that has been built and would recommend it to anyone who wants to teach and study the Bible seriously in any small group setting."—Diana (Homegroup leader) "I joined Growth Groups to equip myself better in leading bible studies. The course has been helpful especially in helping me to set the right direction in leading a homegroup: that we are to meet together for Gospel Growth (evangelism) and Spiritual Growth (becoming more Christ-like). It also corrected my old concept that being a bible study group leader is just a facilitator. Growth Groups teaches me that as leaders, we are first of all teachers and shepherds who are accountable for God's sheep. I will surely apply what I have learnt as I continue leading a homegroup. As a first step, I correct my mindset and re-position myself as a teacher. I would also like to try to challenge my group members to raise their level of commitment when we begin a new series of bible study. I would recommend Growth Groups to all current and future leaders because it is very helpful in setting a right mindset for gospel ministry."—Harmony (Homegroup leader)