DISCLAIMER: Kenny & Elle Campbell, Grow Curriculum, and Stuff You Can Use are in no way affiliated with Orange or XP3.

This week on the blog, we’ve been talking about some simple, practical ideas to better train, equip, and lead our Small Group Leaders.

We’ve already talked about our 11 favorite small group things at our Small Group Leader Supplies Station and how to make a Small Group Leader Library, but today we’re going to wrap up the conversation by introducing you to a book for Small Group Leaders that we’re really excited about. 

Like… really excited about.

It’s called Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know. It’s written by Reggie Joiner (the brain behind Orange), and Tom Shefchunas (the Middle School Ministry guy at Northpoint).


It’s written for Small Group Leaders. (But ministry leaders, you should read it too.)

It’s kind of a book… and kind of a journal, too.

It’s a quick read (2 hours, maybe) and it’s super practical. It’s colorful and engaging and interesting and it even has some cute little pictures.

Reggie and Tom have broken down the role of a Small Group Leader into 5 “big ideas”…

  1. BE PRESENT: Connect their faith to a community.
  2. CREATE A SAFE PLACE: Clarify their faith as they grow.
  3. PARTNER WITH PARENTS: Nurture an everyday faith.
  4. MAKE IT PERSONAL: Inspire their faith by your example.
  5. MOVE THEM OUT: Engage their faith in a bigger story.

For each of these big ideas, they unpack what they might look like in the context of a small group. Then, for each idea, they provide questions to help a Small Group Leader reflect and process how they’re going to let these ideas shape the way they approach their groups.

Essentially, Lead Small is a book about how to be a Small Group Leader. And I’m just going to get right to the point. I’ve been a Small Group Leader for almost nine years and this book is the most helpful, most practical, most inspiring thing I have ever come across. Seriously. I’ve read it twice and I keep it on my desk. My only complaint is that it didn’t exist until now.

As both a Small Group Leader and a leader of Small Group Leaders, I’m a gigantic fan of Lead Small. It brings clarity and simplicity to a role that can feel overwhelming and be a little difficult to explain and understand sometimes.

And you know what else is really cool? The Orange people have created the Lead Small Blog as a spin-off of the book. It’s a collection of brief stories, ideas, pieces of wisdom, and lessons learned – written for Small Group Leaders, by actual Small Group Leaders. It’s a resource we love recommending to our team.

So, yeah, we love Lead Small. And from the sound of things on Twitter and Facebook last week, a bunch of you do too! Some of you have called it a “game changer,” and we’ve heard that a few of you are now using it to train your teams. We’d love to hear more about that in the comments.

Have you read Lead Small? How has it changed the way you approach ministry or train your team? How are you using it? We’d LOVE to hear your ideas!