Good and Beautiful Community

Average Review (1)

Published by Inter Varsity Press

Description This book helps bring spiritual formation and community engagement together, offering spiritual practices that root new, true narratives about God and the world in our souls. Readers are led to live in authentic ways as a good and beautiful community of Christ-followers, shining the light of the Spirit into every relationship.

Length of the study in weeks

The Good and Beautiful Community more

The Good and Beautiful Community

Crissa Letson - Asbury UMC

Overall Review
In his three-book curriculum, The Apprentice Series, James Bryan Smith teaches on foundational aspects of Christian formation. His third book, The Good and Beautiful Community, takes readers on a journey through the second part of the Great Commandment. Each chapter is devoted to an aspect of loving our neighbor as ourselves. As with his books The Good and Beautiful God and The Good and Beautiful Life, Smith incorporates four components that are essential to transformation. Throughout the series, readers are challenged to examine false narratives they've believed about God and replace those narratives with the God Jesus reveals in scripture. This transformation process happens best in the context of community, all under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Good and Beautiful Community includes Soul Training Exercises at the conclusion of each chapter. Some of the exercises are classical spiritual disciplines, while others offer fresh ways to grow in discipleship. This book works well in small group settings. If used in Sunday school, time constraints may limit the amount of discussion, but is nonetheless very effective for adults who desire a deeper walk with Christ. The appendix includes a small group discussion guide that walks leaders step-by-step through the small group process. Scriptures are included that prompt deeper personal and group reflection. The discussion questions are insightful and engaging. The author even includes an estimated length of time with each activity to assist in planning. I found this to be a valuable resource personally and recommend it often to individuals and groups who are craving a growing, vibrant life of discipleship with Christ.

Review Date

Time Per Week
Approximately 30 minutes per week for reading; additional time varies depending on Soul Training exercise at end of each chapter.

Level of participation expected from participants
Group discussion is enhanced when individual members read and engage in Soul Training exercises.

Other Special Expectations

Discipleship Mission Oriented Multiple Topics Are Covered Small Group Spiritual Disciplines Sunday School


All or mostly New Testament

Invites personal sharing Theologically sound Transformational

Group engage in lively and interesting discussion


Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.