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Small groups have had a major influence on the growth of the church in recent years. They are an important place for ministry, community and discipleship. Yet all too often small group programming has taken place apart from consideration of its biblical underpinnings.
Gareth Icenogle thoroughly examines both Old and New Testaments for the basis of small group ministry. He considers the texts in new ways, providing heightened understanding of their implications for ministry in the context of small groups. Then he turns to the early church to study tradition and practice. In addition, he brings an integration of theological, sociological and educational principles to the biblical text.
All through the book, practical applications of these principles offer guidance for setting up and running a biblically based small group ministry program. Those who are working or who hope to work with small groups will find this one-of-a-kind book invaluable.
Offering a much-needed foundation for small group ministry, Icenogle examines both Old and New Testament passages, discusses the early church's tradition and practice, integrates theological, sociological, and educational principles, and offers case studies and guidelines for training leaders.
Introduction - Why Do We Need Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry? Part One: Old Testament Foundations for Small Group Ministry
1. Small Group Origins
2. Small Group Paradox
3. Small Group Covenants
4. The Ten Commandments for Small Groups
5. Small Group Relationships
6. Small Group Leadership
7. Small Group Structures
8. Small Group MinistryPart Two: Jesus' Small Groups: Gospel Foundations for Small Group Ministry
9.The Small Group of Twelve
10. Gathering the Small Group
11. Modeling Group Life
12. Leading the Small Group
13. Observing Small Group Dynamics
14. Training Small Group Leaders
15. Empowering Small Group Members
16. Mobilizing the Small Group for MinistryPart Three: The Church as Multiple Groups: Apostolic Foundations for Small Group Ministry
17. The Ecclesia as an Extension of the Twelve
18. Small Group Direction and Disciplines
19. Small Group as Formational and Transformational Community
20. Mutual Ministry in the Small Group
21. Small Group Images and Metaphors
22. The Small Group Ministry in Ministry and Mission
23. Small Group Integrity and Destiny
24. The Church as Small Group Network
Conclusion - A Theological Summary of Biblical and Theological Foundations for Small Group Ministry