I got to read an advance copy of Group Shift: From the Couch to the Community by Austin Maxheimer and Zach Below and if you’re involved in small group ministry or want your church to be more missional, it’s definitely worth reading.
The authors help people to small groups not as a separate activity within the mission, but as an essential part of the mission itself. They point out that when we see Christians gathering in Acts, it’s followed by “and The Lord added to their number daily,” and that should help us form our view of small groups. They don’t just do discipleship or fellowship in a living room, they live out the mission of Jesus in their community and connect people to God. The definition they give for small groups: A group of people called out by God to impact another person or groups of people who are far from God, for the name and purpose of Jesus Christ.
They realize this is not the way most churches view small groups, and walk the reader through the paradigm shifts necessary to move small groups off the couch and into the community.