Those who would be the disciples of Jesus must practice the disciplines of Jesus. If we want to live as Jesus lived we must do as Jesus did. One of the main things Jesus did was invite a handful of men to be gathered together with Him in an intensive ministry-focused small group.
Jesus was a small group leader. Notice carefully how Mark records the doings of Jesus: Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles — that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach (Mark 3:13-14).
Involvement in small group life and leadership was a primary spiritual discipline in the life of Jesus Christ. Following Jesus today means following Him into deep relationships with other believers. His pattern was gathering a few to transform the many. As has been observed, Jesus invested most of His time with twelve Jewish men so he could reach the rest of the world. The question we ask is, “If Jesus, the Son of God, chose to strategically minister to a small group, how much more should you and I?
Every follower of Jesus must take seriously the Great Commission.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Mt. 28:19-20).
The heart of the Great Commission is the call to make disciples. According to Bill Hull, “The small group is the most strategic training environment used by Christ to make the kind of disciples that glorify God.”‘ We ask, “If Jesus obeyed the Great Commission by leading a small group, shouldn’t we do the same?” We think of Jesus as Teacher and Healer. We learn from Him as Leader. We try to emulate Him as Example. Isn’t it about time we began to study and follow Him as Small Group Leader?
—The Pocket Guide to Leading a Small Group: 52 Ways to Help You and Your Small Group Grow by Dave Earley, Rod Dempsey
FREE 4 week Study Guide for Dave Earley’s book, click here.