Tammy Helfrich

Life begins right where you are.

Empty Shelf Challenge Books #17-21

empty shelfThis year, I joined Jon Acuff and hundreds of others in filling an empty shelf on our bookshelves. You can read more about it here. I’ve had a combination of different pictures for my shelf, as sometimes I include kindle books, and now I’ve started a separate stack of books in my office.

This post is covering books #17-21, which as you can see, all relate to my position as the Connections & Growth Director at our church. Most of these are relating to small groups and community and volunteers.

17. Simply Strategic Volunteers – I really liked this book. It was filled with short, helpful chapters addressing many different ways to help your volunteers feel appreciated and ideas to think about as you lead. If you are involved at all with volunteers in an organization, I highly recommend this book.

18. Organic Community – I really liked this, as it talks about how you can’t force community and you have to find ways to foster organic growth and connections within your church community.

19. Activate – This also dealt with small groups and community, and how to help encourage people to get involved.

20. Creating Community – This book talked about ways to develop and encourage connections and community within your church. Andy Stanley and his team share how they have created a small group culture in their church.

21. Missional Small Groups – This book was a great look at how people are successfully implemented missional small groups. These types of group intentionally look outward and see how they can serve and meet the needs of those around them. I learned some great concepts through this book.

I’d love to hear of any books you’ve read relating to community and small groups and leading volunteers. Share in the comments below!


  1. I have read two of these (Activate and Creating Community). I would recommend looking at Building A Church of Small Groups by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson and The Connecting Church 2.0 by Randy Frazee.

  2. I am sure interesting in Creating Community.

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