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This is a very good book indeed. I will use this book myself as a regular refresher, and recommend it to students as essential reading.
Andy Gemmill, Co–director, Cornhill Scotland
Here is a wise, encouraging call to take in God’s Word with others. Karen Soole not only convinces us that small–group Bible study must be done; she clearly explains how.
Kathleen B. Nielson, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition
This timely short book will refresh and help Bible study leaders, encourage others into the task and envision church leaders.
Greg Strain, Senior Pastor, Spicer Street Church, St. Albans
Karen is the first person I would go to for advice about small groups. It’s wonderful that her wealth of experience is now written down for us all to share.
Maurice McCracken, Minister, Christ Church Liverpool
Karen’s approach to small group Bible studies seriously enriches them; I’m so glad that in this book her wisdom is being more widely shared.
Peter Dray, UCCF Team Leader in Yorkshire and the North East
A really helpful resource for any Bible study leader committed to handling the Word of God correctly in order to engage the mind, the heart and the will.
Carrie Sandom, Associate Minister for Women and Pastoral Care, St John’s Church, Tunbridge Wells
This book is absolutely outstanding! Karen explains so clearly and simply why we do Bible studies, how to handle group dynamics and how to write a simple study. One of my colleagues has described the chapter on application as ‘pure gold’ and I couldn’t agree more. I can’t wait to get it into the hands of as many of our small group leaders as possible.
Full of practical wisdom
A great book to equip anybody who is new to leading Bible studies, or who is prone to feeling inadequate and ill–equipped for the task. Karen reminds us that leaders are not there to be fountains of knowledge, and gives plenty of helpful advice on how to ensure we get the most out of group Bible study. It would have been good to see a stronger reminder of the role of the Spirit, to encourage the anxious or reluctant Bible study leader, but that shouldn’t take away from the great practical wisdom found throughout this book
Small Group Dynamite
This book is a potent mixture of exhortation, insight, diagnosis, instruction and guidance. Karen has produced an invaluable resource that is accessible and incredibly winsome.
As a church pastor small groups are the area of church life where one sees so much potential, experiences much anxiety and is regularly disappointed with the result. However, into this treacherous sphere of church life comes Unleash the Word which is essentially 85 pages of Why, How and How Not to lead a small group Bible Study.
It is both disarming in evaporating the myths of being a small group leader but also inspiring in painting a picture of the blessing and benefit that comes from preparing and leading a small group well. It is a book that everyone involved in small group ministry should read as it emphasises the absolute basics before building on that strong foundation best practice, things to watch out for and the final nuts and bolts chapter which is gold dust.
I particularly enjoyed Karen walking people through ‘The Big Question’ model which seems to walk the delicate line between sterile comprehension and free form experiential jazz. This championed model empowers the group to wrestle with the text together, helping each other along and come to some firm if not concrete conclusions. It honours the text and its authority, whilst directing and giving room for honest discussion and appropriate application.
I also found the encouragement to prepare seriously and prayerfully a timely reminder about the responsibility and privilege it is to lead people in small group Bible Study.
If you are leading a church or are part of a church that has a stuttering and often underwhelming small group ministry then as an investment in your leaders invest in multiple copies of this book, it is small group dynamite.