What curriculum did Jesus use as He led His small group?

That question seems absurd, at least to me. Jesus’ curriculum was life. He asked great questions and told great stories as He did life with His group. And so they learned how to live life as they observed Him and did life with Him.

One of my favorite quotes outside of Scripture is from Leroy Eims:

Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a “program” and see disciples emerge at the end of a production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual, personal attention. It takes hours of prayer for them. It takes patience and understanding to teach them how to get into the Word of God for themselves, how to feed and nourish their souls, and by the power of the Holy Spirit how to apply the Word to their lives. And it takes being an example to them of all of the above.

What Eims describes here is shepherding. The Best Small Group Leader Ever was a shepherd: the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Chief Shepherd. He had compassion on people who were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

I think Jesus is our best model for being a small group leader.

Which is why I believe small group leaders should be much more than just facilitators or hosts or disc-jockeys who put in a DVD and press the PLAY button. Small group leaders are called primarily, in my opinion, to be shepherds. When we take a minimal view of small group leadership, the members of our groups are still “like sheep without a shepherd.”

What do you think?

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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