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The Naked Truth about small groups (7/13/2010)
In his book, The Naked Truth about Small Group Ministry, Randall Neighbour sets forth ministry concepts that are relational and biblical. With the Great Commandment and the Great Commission at the heart of Neighbour’s approach, a scripturally holistic ministry pattern flows out from this wellhead. Beginning with the leader’s own relationship with Christ and realizing that we reproduce who we are; Randall holds the bar high for a method that goes beyond programs and off-the-shelf strategies. For all of us who are concerned about a long-term sustainable small group ministry model, Neighbour presents ideas that are both practical for today and reflective of Christ’s own method.
The ideas that Neighbor advocates will take time, patience and not least of all—prayer. Neighbor calls each of us as leaders to first examine our own lives and ask, “Who are we directly in a one-one fashion, impacting for Christ’s Kingdom?” Randall proposes a method that is about life-on-life discipleship and the sacrificial investment of one’s self in another—beginning with the pastoral leadership. Neighbor proposes that this approach is not optional. Flowing from prototype modeling, the leader reproduces individuals and small groups that are relational at heart and that can reproduce others like themselves.
Randall Neighbor’s book reads like a how-to small group ministry manual, chocked full of practical ideas and concrete principles learned from an individual who has “been there and done that.” If you are concerned about developing a “one another” small group ministry through “transformational friendships” then read this book. Neighbor maintains that, while transferring relational values are not difficult, it does require a paradigm shift. The rewards of biblical community, however, are worth the effort.


Phil - Belmont, NC
An Editor's (& SG Minister's) Review (5/28/2010)
I had one big problem as I edited this book. I kept forgetting to do my editing job because Randall kept drawing me into the great content. I'm a small groups minister who deeply desires to develop healthy, growing, life-changing groups. Even more though, I have a passion to see God's Kingdom grow through authentic, Biblically functioning community.

Which is why "The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry" is such an important book, and one I believe every church leader should read.

Randall shakes things up, that's for sure, but he does it in a very helpful, practical manner. He doesn't hold back his punches, and I think the church will be better if we listen to what the Spirit has said through him in this book.

Randall had the opportunity to grow up in the home and church of a holistic-small-group pioneer, Ralph Neighbour. He's seen firsthand churches that work well and those that don't. Randall is not just a philosopher about Christian community. He a practitioner, leading and coaching holistic groups in his church, training and coaching church leaders around the world, dialoging constantly with people all over the world who are living community life in and for the kingdom of God. Randall's a guy I can listen to.

I kept nodding my head in agreement and even shouting "Amen" as I read this book, especially Chapter 5: "The Naked Truth about Small Group Leadership: It's time to break with tradition." I was writing "The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership: How to gather a core team and lead from the second chair" while Randall was writing his. Then we edited each others' books. "The Naked Truth" speaks mostly from the 30,000-foot level (although Randall does drill down to application in every chapter in his "What to do about it" sections. "Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership," on the other hand, flies mostly at a couple hundred feet and below. My suggestion ... read 'em both!

My prayer is that many people will read "The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry" and that God will use it to steer his church back to how he designed it to work.

Mike - Kentucky, USA
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