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Sticky Church

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  484 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The greatest challenge facing most churches today isn't getting people through the front door---it's keeping them from leaving through the back door. In his new book, Larry Osborne reveals what it takes to cultivate a "sticky" church and reveals the strategy of sermon-based small groups to retain members while leading your church into even deeper levels of discipleship.
ebook, 208 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Zondervan (first published October 1st 2008)
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Joey Roper
Jun 09, 2015 Joey Roper rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joey by: Mike Neglia
We are in the process of preparing for small groups in our church. A friend of mine suggested this book to me. I really liked it and I thought it was a very practical book. It is now time to take some of the things shared in this book and prepare for our coming small groups. Excited to see what the Lord will do through them!
His premise is that you grow a church by having all your small groups be sermon based, and by "closing" them - you enroll at the beginning of each semester and then you basically lock people in with a covenant and no opportunity to switch groups, thus "closing the back door" of the church. meh. it's some good thoughts but i'm not sure i jive with it completely. i don't like the idea of trying to get people to stay in "our church" - the church is God's and not every body is right for every person ...more
Peter Voorhees
I like this book very much. Mostly because of the accessibility Larry Osborne gives by his "coffee talk" style of writing. It is very practical and a very down to earth approach. The book is very much about "sermon-based" small group ministry. One of the appealing points about doing small groups is the connectivity people have in participating in them. As we live life together as Christians in community, we stick to a local church, serving, loving, growing, and reaching out to those around us wi ...more
I love this book. Sticky Church talks about how North Coast Church gets people to stick in their church by developing lasting close relationships through sermon-based small groups. They work hard to close the "back door" by attracting 80% of their church attenders to small groups. I also went to the conference...loved it!
Philip Meinel
We recently launched small groups at our church based on this book, and it is going very well. I will be a facilitator for this next session, so I was given this book for reference. It is a very good read. There is no pressure to fit your small group program to a specific mold, just facts and experience to lead you to form an excellent program. I am excited to be a part of it. This is exactly what we have been craving at other churches (5 others) where we were members. The churches were all doct ...more
Another oh um church leadership book. Basically argues for sermon based groups anecdotally. It has a some good tips and helpful simple questions to help you think through a small group ministry. However, as always it is context dependent. Best parts of the book is his assessment of Cho's church growth model towards the end and in the beginning the argument to close the "back door" of a church. Not a bad book but not a great one either. Overrated I would say and worthy of an afternoon skim but no ...more
I met Larry Osborne many years ago when I was looking for a pastorate in California. He and his church had purchased a strip mall and were slowly taking it over as their church grew. I thought it was a great idea at the time. I'm pretty sure that they are not still located in that mall, but was good to see that Pastor Osborne was thinking outside the box way back then.

Sticky Church is about small groups that are meant to facilitate deep and lasting friendships among the individual church members
This book promotes a multi-year small group system, based around sermons – very different from how we operate at EastLake. Below is a quick summary of the application points, but I after reading, I am even more convicted that to enable our mission, “To help people find and follow Jesus Christ aka Dispense Hope”, we are running the right type of small group program.


• The North Coast Church mission: “Everything we do is aimed at helping the Christians we already know grow stronger in Ch
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Larry Osborne neemt de tientallen jaren ervaring van North Coast Church met gemeentegroei en celgroepen als vertrekpunt voor Sticky Church. Kernboodschap in het eerste deel van het boek is om niet alleen de voordeur van de kerk op te zetten (evangelisatie-acties, diensten voor zoekers, etc.), maar ook om de achterdeur dicht te houden. Netto groei van de gemeente is anders niet mogelijk. Om die achterdeur dicht te houden en dus een sticky church te zijn, is het belangrijk binding tussen mensen to ...more
Joe Cassada
Quick read. Osbourne writes with humor and a conversational tone. This is not a biblically-centered work. Scripture was rarely cited and was not the basis for the work. Basically, Osborne pastors a big, California mega-church that used to not be very big. This book is his reasoning as to how they were able to sustain growth, namely through sermon-based small groups.

Osborne's book has some helpful tips and ideas, but it wasn't worth the $18.99 sticker price. It was fun to read this book in juxtap
This is a great book for pastors and church leaders seriously considering small groups in their church. While Larry Osbourne presents how he has done it in his church, he often points out why it's important to figure out what fits your church culture, and your mission and vision for the small groups.

The appendix with examples and the study guide at the end of the book are especially helpful.
Shawn Willson
I don't think I like the title of the book. It isn't necessarily about various ways to make your church "sticky." This is simply an argument for sermon based small groups. After finishing the book, the concept of sermon based small groups intrigues me. I hope to try it some day in the right church environment, but I would do so to enable my church to better apply the sermons and not to primarily grow the church our deepen relationships. Larry Osborne one again writes an easy and enjoyable read. ...more
Greg Moffatt
A thought provoking read, though it does come across as an aggressive sales pitch for sermon based small groups; and it rings of critical cynicism which is popular in Christian writing, though some is well founded and aimed.
My take aways were:
The value of sermon based small groups, and well written appendices with templates or models to be kindling for the fire of a strong small group ministry.
Why a small group model may not be “working” in your church, whether it be the Willow Creek model , th
The basic premise of this book is that sermon-based, short-term sessions for small groups are THE most effective way to retain people in your church. There is a lot of truth to this. Activate by Nelson Searcy addresses many of the same things that Larry Osborne writes about. This book spends a lot more time discussing the philosophy and vision of groups as opposed the practical implementation than Searcy's book does. Chapter 18, "Why Cho's Model Didn't Work in Your Church" may be worth the price ...more
Eric Chappell
A quick read that offers some seasoned, practical advice on small group ministry. I never agree with everything Pastor Larry writes, but I always appreciate the experience he brings. A helpful resource for thinking through life together.
Steve Miller
I read Sticky Teams just after reading this, so the two books are blurring together for me. As I recall, these comments are relevant to this book.

I have heard proponents of small groups in churches before, but this book helped me understand how critically important they are. More importantly, this book was the first that showed me how churches must focus on what they are about and be willing to shed things, even good things, that do not fall in line with their focus.

Making the groups "sermon-bas
Craig Burns
Well done...

author put things in words that were artfully done. beginning to appendix I read every word. Thank you.

Very nice
Steve Watson
Some pretty helpful ideas on small groups, for a church that's been successful with them. Kind of a church-version of "practice good customer service."
John Dobbs
Excellent! Great ideas about small groups and how they can function within the life of the church rather than as an appendage. Even though Osborne leads a mega church these are simple principles that any church can benefit from.
Tom Bazan
It is a book about implementing sermon-based small groups.

People are like legos.
Brandon Cannon
Great book on the power and importance of relevant, connected LifeGroups.
As far as church growth books go, this one is worth a read.
This book solved one of my many problems about small group in the church. Great book to inspire churches to think about their own church strategies in light of the culture they are in. A sticky read!
Patrick Hamblin
Easy read on how North Coast Church in San Diego County implemented its sermon-based small group ministry. I'm not all the way convinced the small groups need to be sermon-based but I agree with many of Osborne's ideas on establishing small groups, developing leaders through apprenticeship (as opposed to one-on-one mentoriing or classroom setting) and that the "one anothers" of the Bible can be best practiced in a small group.

I would recommend this book if you are in a small group, want to know
Osborne does a great job sharing the principles that he has gleaned, but many church leaders will struggle finding the contexts in which they will be able to use many of his principles, especially those leaders in more established and traditional churches.
Another way to do small groups.
Brilliant book
Well-written book on closing the back door for church growth/health... which isn't really about closing the back door nearly as much as it is creating a sermon-based small group system. While the book does a great job of showing how this would work, I feel like I got the bait & switch.

Some quick thoughts:
- I'd really like to hear Larry Osborne speak... the book feels like it was run through an editorial filter.
- The chapter on why Cho's model doesn't work at your church is BRILLIANT.
Evghenii Sologubenco
Very good guide and perspective on small group ministry in the church. The author presents a case for sermon based small groups and give some evaluation of the other small group models as less effective. The book is written in a positive tone and from personal expereince. I highly recommend this book for any pastor considering or currently applying a small group model. This book will provide some answers and will file the vision for balanced discipleship in church of any size.
Loved it! Some favorite quotes:
"serve our people so well that they'll want to bring their friends, without needing to be asked to do so"

The sticky church paradigm is not primarily about church growth. It's about church health. It's not about hoarding people or refusing to release them to ministry and mission. It's simply about keeping them connected to the church long enough to fulfill the second half of the Great Commission: "Teaching them to obey all things I have commanded you."
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