I just finished up Real Church in a Social Network World by Leonard Sweet. I chose it for a couple of reasons:
1) I'm writing my thesis on building effective intergenerational community within the church. I thought this might apply.
2) I'm beginning a small group for college students at our church, and I thought this might give me some good insights on connecting young adults to the larger church body.
3) My current paper (for my Old Testament Theology class) is focused on how Israel built community, and what practices they had might apply to churches today.
This book was a quick read (it's only about 60 pages long, although my ebook copy contained the first chapter of Sweet's latest book, Viral), I finished it in about 40 minutes (taking notes while I read). It's good for a quick read. It would be awesome as a conversation starter in a small group. It will definitely get you thinking about how to connect with people who are looking for relationship and how as the Church we've failed to make that connection.
It's been a theme lately with a lot of the books I've been reading. Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith takes up the same premise: people are looking for experience, not thoughts. Excerpts of Walter Bruggemann's Prophetic Imagination that I read in my Old Testament Theology class also played on this - Scripture captures our imagination and passion through the images it gives us. Sweet's book is a good "get your feet wet" starter on this topic, but I found it was too short to give any real depth to the topic.
I'd recommend this as a starting point, but it would be very beneficial to have something else to "beef it up."
Are you trying to build community in your church? What things have worked to connect believers (or unbelievers) into community? I'd love to hear about it!