Life Together in Christ provides a model for studying and experiencing community in a small group setting. Using the story of the Emmaus road as her format, author Ruth Barton leads her readers through 9 topics designed to further spiritual transformation. They are:
- Choosing to walk together
- Welcoming the stranger
- Choosing to listen
- Gathering on the basis of shared desire
- Men and Women in community
- The Spiritual journey
- Finding our story in His story
- Discerning the presence of Christ
- Being a witness
Sprinkled throughout are questions for personal reflection (good for journaling!) and at the end of each chapter are more questions and a prayer for group sharing. There are two appendices at the end which delve further into spiritual growth, community and the practice of stability. The author often relies on quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s well-known work, Life Together, to illustrate her points, so if you’re interested in Christian community, this is another well-respected book to read on that topic.
If you’re in a small group, or starting a small group, this would be an interesting choice to use. I agreed with most of what the author had to say, with the exception of her objection to single sex groups. There are certainly times and instances (in my opinion) when same sex groups are appropriate.
VERDICT: 4 STARS
For other books that could be used in your small group see:
Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren–Book Review
When Words Matter Most by Cheryl Marshall & Caroline Newheiser–Book Review