What–or, more precisely, who–is missing from many small groups? In my last post, I wrote about the model of small groups many of us have taught for years. But we were wrong. We were leaving out what was most important.

The power for small group health, growth, and multiplication comes not from a model, program, or even one’s leadership abilities. It is vital to remember that God owns everything.We are simply managers. You are not the real leader or shepherd of the small group under your care. You are not the center of the group. If everyone in your small group sat in a circle, closed their eyes, and then simultaneously pointed to the group leader, they should all point upward!

“The Best Small Group Leader Ever” prayed to the Father about his group:

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place;Then you gave them to me, And they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you. (John 17:6, 7,TheMessage)

Jesus modeled steward-leadership well for his followers. He knew they really belonged to the Father, but that the Father had given them to him to lead as an act of stewardship.He modeled for them, and us, that everything God gives us is firsthand from him: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing.Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” ( John 5:19, NLT).

In other words, Jesus always pointed up!
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This post is adapted from Chapter 1 of The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership (Touch Publications.)

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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