A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small-Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth

by James Bryan Smith, Lynda Graybeal. HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.

Responding to the growing small-group movement within congregations, 'A Spiritual Formation Workbook' provides an important planning and implementation tool for facilitators. Small group experiences allow congregations to enhance feelings of community, nurturing, intentionality, and accountability. The components of spiritual growth, according to James Smith and Lynda Graybeal, are balance, knowledge, and mutual encouragement. To experience these three essential components, the authors provide a sample of eight weekly sessions. Each session includes readings, exercises, discussion questions, and prayers—all based upon the spiritual dimensions of Jesus’ life and work. A beginning small group within a congregation might benefit greatly from working through these sessions. While an existing small group may find the comprehensive nature of the eight sessions too overwhelming, they are likely to find some extremely useful strategies for mutual nurturing and encouragement to integrate into their gatherings. This book will be an especially useful resource for congregations beginning to develop spiritual formation groups. It also would prove an excellent aid for new or continuing small group leaders looking for fresh ways of engaging adults in their own spiritual development.