Leading Small Groups: Basic Skills for Church and Community Organizations

by Nathan W. Turner. Judson Press, 1997.

Turner provides a broad approach to the job of leadership of small groups in a variety of settings, including adult education and the accomplishment of specific tasks. He divides his pages almost equally between discussion of issues and approaches and description of specific techniques. The real focus is leadership for decision making, an ever-resurfacing task that inevitably entails change and challenges values, growth, and continuity. In that context, discussions of function, role, process, and skills, while compact, are thorough, including all-important coverage of ways to mess up. Chapter 7, about half the book, is packed with scripted techniques for decision making, group maintenance, exploring values conflicts, and planning for and managing resistance and conflict. Turner plausibly recommends that leaders should give new members of the group this book as required reading, training manual, and reference companion.