Books for discussion

Image credit: Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I’ve found a book discussion is almost a guarantee to have a great conversation. There’s something about the depth of the information we’re able to get from a book as an individual that primes us for a good conversation as a group.

The “how” of our book study looks something like this: we start with a list of books to choose from -- maybe a max of 10 -- and eventually whittle it down to a book that we can agree on. We then assign a chapter or two to be read before each weekly or biweekly meeting. When we're all together we have our books handy and find the parts that have really jumped out at us. Conversation ensues.

Here are a few guidelines that have helped our church group have some great conversations:

  • Choose from a list of non-fiction books (see below for some ideas).
  • Hold each other accountable for keeping up with the reading. Don’t be afraid to move at a slow pace to make keeping up easier.
  • Take notes as you read -- even just marking a particular page or section helps the conversation later.
  • Ask “how does it apply to our lives?”

I find it fascinating when we all gravitate toward a single passage or paragraph -- which happens more than I would expect. It’s intriguing to hear someone else’s perspective on it as we really dig in and unpack a particular point. This approach has lead to some of the best and most thought provoking conversations I’ve been a part of in a group. Books have a powerful capability to get us deep in conversation.

Small group book recommendations

  • Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Love Does - Bob Goff
  • A Reason for God - Tim Keller
  • Prayer - Tim Keller
  • Language of God - Francis Collins
  • Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
  • The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
  • Soul Keeping - John Ortberg
  • Faith and Doubt - John Ortberg
  • Crazy Love - Francis Chan