Simple Small Groups

A User-Friendly Guide for Small Group Leaders

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Over the past two decades, small groups have gone from spontaneous gatherings among friends to a major and elaborate phenomenon in the church. Many evangelical churches have some form of small groups ministry in place. But there's just one problem, says Bill Search--what started as a simple get-together has become a complicated process, especially for small group leaders. They are often not sure what is expected of them or what to expect from their groups as a result of their efforts.

In Simple Small Groups, Search lays out the three C's of small groups--connecting, changing, and cultivating. This paradigm helps to simplify leading small groups in a way that is helpful, rewarding, and life changing. Unlike many other books geared toward small group leaders, Simple Small Groups does not require a church-wide adoption of an intricately designed system of assimilation, making it useful to any small group leader looking for guidance.


"Too often we complicate what God designed to be very simple. Fortunately, Bill Search has peeled back much of the complexity that often gets built into ministry, as he explains small groups as an essential but simple concept. Simple Small Groups is liberally sprinkled with the stories and quips of a small groups pastor who is first and foremost a clear and insightful communicator."--Steve Gladen, Pastor of Small Groups Community, Saddleback Church

"In Simple Small Groups, Bill Search has come up with a clear model for what small groups can do to connect, oftentimes change, and cultivate relationship as well as growth. This simple, user-friendly book with a truly modern approach can help your church and small groups achieve harmony and balance, while helping to overcome obstacles that create dysfunction. Transform your ministry! For both church leaders and small group leaders."--Dave Stone, senior minister, Southeast Christian Church

"What I like most about Simple Small Groups is its smart fusion between philosophy and practice. This is neither a dense theological treatment, nor a simplistic how-to manual. Rather, it's the best of both."--Jason Malec, director of Starting Point, North Point Community Church

"If you've ever led a small group then you know it is anything but simple. That is why a book like Simple Small Groups is so refreshing. Through stories that we all can relate to and principles learned through years of group life experience, Bill shares a mind-set that is easily understandable, and easily applied and customized to groups of all types."--Mike Hurt, former small groups pastor at McClean Bible Church, Washington, DC, and current senior pastor, Parkway Church, Victoria, TX

"Bill does a great job addressing the practical struggles with small group life. It's a great book for real 'rubber meets the road' evaluation of ministry. I can relate to and appreciate his perspectives, as I struggled with the same issues as a small groups pastor."--Brandon Guindon, executive pastor, Real Life Ministries

"Bill Search takes all the complexity out of small groups. His book provides practical help for any person who wants to start a small group ministry. It will be helpful to volunteers as well as church staff. Bill's heart and work is from a person who is participating and practicing each of the principles found in this book. I personally believe in the three C's and recommend this as a must-read for all church leaders."--Brett De Young, Connecting Groups Vision Team Leader, Southeast Christian Church

"Simple Small Groups is a refreshing read that gives clarity and purpose for those overwhelmed by the complexity of small group life. Bill Search brings simplicity to creating healthy small groups and spiritually satisfying lives. I hope that people everywhere will be moved by this practical and encouraging book."--Sharina Husted, outreach director, Trinity Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"If I had it to do all over again I would probably put a greater emphasis on small groups as an integral part of the church. Fortunately it's never too late to focus on a good thing. Bill takes some of the complicated ideas that have bogged down small groups and simplifies them. In so doing, he opens the door for more people to experience New Testament community."--Bob Russell, former senior minister, Southeast Christian Church

"This book is not about a small group model or philosophy; it's about the fundamental practices and principles that make any small group successful. It's raw, honest, and direct. Bill does not try to sell us a fail-safe system with over-promised and under-delivered results. Instead, he encourages us to foster 3 patterns--Connecting (the relational pattern), Changing (the growth pattern), and Cultivating (the missional pattern). This is the book I'm recommending to all of my leaders!"--Heather Zempel, pastor of discipleship, National Community Church

The Author

  1. Bill Search

    Bill Search

    Bill Search is small groups minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, which has a regular Sunday morning attendance of 18,000.

    Continue reading about Bill Search