God gives his people a vision of what he wants us to become. This vision has not changed for thousands of years:

You know how I brought you to myself and carried you on eagle’s wings. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be to me a kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ Give this message to the Israelites (Exodus 19:4-6, NLT).

God expects his people to grow up from being carried like an eaglet to being a kingdom of priests. God had carried his chosen people out of Egypt and sustained them in the wilderness. Now he wanted to turn them into leaders who would carry others and carry out God’s mission on earth. He wanted to change the way they thought about themselves.

How do the Christ-followers in your small group see themselves?

  • As baby birds, always being carried and cared for … or taking flight and leaving the nest?
  • As human babies, continually needing to be fed … or beginning to feed others? (see Hebrews 5:11-6:1)
  • As habitual followers … or as followers who step out of lead others?
  • As perpetual disciples … or as disciple-making disciples?
  • As churchgoers … or as God’s own special treasure, maturing into a kingdom of priests, his holy nation?

We are all works in process. Like the Israelites, God has a plan for us, and that plan is not for us to stay as we are, in the comfort of our nests!

God wants to use all of us! Later in their journey, Aaron and his sons would be consecrated as priests, but God’s purpose is for every one of his followers to be part of the priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). The purpose of being a holy, called out people is to point the rest of the world to God. The Israelites often failed at their main mission. How are we doing today?

Your mission as a small group leader, should you choose to accept it, is to help every person in your group to mature from baby birds who need to be fed in the nest …to momma and papa birds who do the same for others.

This week, how will you help them see what God wants them to be?


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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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