I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I recently finished reading Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups by Nelson Searcy & Kerrick Thomas. I read this in conjunction with a Fusion group sponsored by the Virginia Evangelism Group. Our Fusion group got together and discussed our reading. I have to say that this book was really eye opening. Some books over-sell themselves in the title, but not this one. Yes, it is about a much talked about topic - "small groups" (aka. LIFE, Community, Cell, Gel, Home, In Reach, ABF, etc.). However, this book challenges a lot of the commonly accepted ideas about such groups and is far from the predictable rehashing of the same old stuff. If you are doing this type of ministry Activate will be worth your time. Many books share concepts and ideas, but Activate goes further and is very practical. You will not be able to say this book doesn't give any "How to" stuff. It is jammed full of specifics and application. Here are some of my favorite insights & quotes...

"You need to minimize your weirdo factor"

"Think Friends...Not Initmacy"

"Think Short-Term...Not Long Term"

"Think Church of Small Groups...Not with Small Groups"

"People will know what is important by what you do, not what you say"

"You can structure for control or you can structur for growth, but you cannot structure for both"

"Think Leader Multiplication...Not Group Multiplication"

There are many, many more. I'm confident you'll find Activate to be worth $10 and a few hours of your time.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like one I need to check out. Probably has some application to what we're doing.

aperrydcc said...

Dave: I've used ideas from the book. Since Feb. we've seen adult group participation more than double. This stuff works.

David H. Willis said...


Wow! Thanks for the real world evidence. I hope all is well with you.