First-timers (You're a pastor and want to learn about holistic small group ministry/cell groups or the cell church model)
There are dozens of good books in the Launching Groups area of our resource center, but there are three important resources you should read before you dig into the others:
If you have not read the cell church "bible" you should do so right away! Where Do We Go From Here? by Ralph Neighbour was first released in 1992, re-released in 2002, and remains the best introduction to a New Testament church model that meets in homes and celebrates together corporately. This book will give you the history of the movement, the theology and ecclesiology driving it, and more practical information about this model than any other resource available. After you read this book you'll be motivated to start groups right away. However, you should visit churches doing cells well and do more research and read at least one more book.
Just to make sure you start right and learn from the experiences of many who have gone before you, we recommend you read a second book. The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry by Randall Neighbour (Ralph's son and the current head of TOUCH Outreach). This book was released in the summer of 2009 and contains what you need to know so you do not fail before or after you start your first groups.
Now this is going to sound odd, but we've discovered that pastors neglect the area of basic group membership and launch groups without understanding what being a member of a healthy group requires. So, the last book you should read before you start groups is Community Life 101 by Randall Neighbour. It will be a little book that will have a big impact on you and every member of your new groups.
To buy all three first-timer books in a bundle offer and save some cash, click here.
Leader Training and Enrichment
If you peruse our Leader Training area, you might become confused as to which resource will work best for training leaders. For new leaders, we recommend our Cell Group Leader Training, which provides new leaders with all the fundamentals of facilitating a meeting, ministering to members, working as a team to reach friends for Christ, incorporating children into group life, and much more.
If you are looking for resources to encourage existing leaders, there are so many choices you might wonder which ones are best. Here's a brief rundown of what sells best and what it will do for your leaders:
8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders by Dave Earley — This is our best-seller in this category because the content is easy to grasp and apply. Every small group leader should be doing these 8 things.
How to Lead a Great Cell Group Meeting by Joel Comiskey — This is our second best-selling book in this category because it explains what should happen during a group meeting in very practical terms.
The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership by Michael Mack — This smallish book sells very well because it's not expensive, a fast read, and explains how to lead a small group in a completely different way (through a core team and not a leader-apprentice approach).
To buy all three leader enrichment books in a bundle offer and save money, click here.
If you peruse our Adult Discipleship section, you'll find lots of excellent resources to bring a new believer into spiritual maturity. They do have an order though and TOUCH's integrated equipping system is worth reading about in-depth before you buy. Read this article to see how our self-assessment tools, discipleship resources and retreats work together within the small group to equip every group member for the work of their ministry.
To buy a money-saving bundle of our discipleship resources plus a free printed booklet that explains how it all works, click here.
If you still need direction, call us at 800-735-5865 and we'll be happy to help you determine the best resource for your small group ministry!