If Jesus was in charge of small groups at a church, what would they look like? What would he focus on? Why? What would be his priorities? It actually is really fun to think about and I think it’s relatively easy to figure it out because we just need to look how Jesus lead. I think if we are doing these things, we ought to be doing pretty good.
It’s all about relationships. Jesus had a small group. His disciples. He poured his heart and life out for this group of men. He spent time with them. Ate with them. Lounged with them. Prayed with them. Prayed for them. Yes he loved the crowds and did miracles but a majority of his time was with his small group and he poured into them.
His curriculum was story based with real life application. Jesus is the ultimate story-teller. Everything thing he taught he taught with an illustration and story. He brought up scripture, then a story, then application. “Go and do likewise. Go and sin no more. Truly I tell you…”. When it comes to high school small groups, we need to have Scripture and then stories of real life and then an application they can actually do that has to do with that lesson.
Invested in the core leaders. Jesus had the 3 close disciples. The one who we took on the mountain with him. They were his core. He knew what they were going to do later so he wanted to make sure they were properly poured into. Same with our small groups and leaders. There are some we see have major potential so we want to make sure we pour into the core so they in turn can pour into others.
Put his foot down. Small groups need to be fun and about relationships but they need to be structured. Jesus knew when to put his foot down. He knew when to speak into someone’s life, always with grace and truth, but he still had that conversation. When things got out of control in the temple, he made a whip! Imagine the phone calls we would get now if we whipped those who got out of hand in group last night. Small group is a great place to teach discipline in many factors of life and as leaders we need to help our students realize these things. Disciplines in: respect, reading daily, praying, knowing when to mess around, when to be serious, how to talk and interact with others.
Spent one-on-one time with God. Many times in the Bible Jesus went off to a quiet place to be with the Lord. I would like to think if a man who could predict his own death and resurrection we should be doing all of the things we was doing while on this planet. If Jesus went off to pray we need to be doing the same. As leaders of small groups, we should be praying for our hearts, the groups we are leading, the leaders and the students all year-long because I really do believe that life change happens in small groups!