Lead pastors who lead a small group create a win-win dynamic. The pastors and the churches they lead both become healthier and grow as a result. Jim Egli, who has served as a senior pastor, associate pastor, missions pastor, and missionary says that regardless of his role, he has always led a group. He offers these four reasons:
- Small groups are at the heart of church health. Egli says a healthy church lives in authentic, Christ-centered, missional community, and a church that uses healthy groups – the focus being on the word healthy – will increase its health, effectiveness, growth, and multiplication.
- Pastors’ involvement in small groups greatly multiplies the leadership base of the church. A strategic pastor will lead a purposeful small group of potential leaders who will become new group leaders, new elders, and new leaders in a variety of other vital leadership functions in the church. The strategic pastor will model the discovery, development, and deployment of new leaders so that those he disciples will go and do the same.
- Jesus led a small group. Jesus was more interested in starting a movement than preaching a weekly sermon, so he gathered some ordinary, unschooled men and patiently shaped them into bold leaders who would change the world. What would happen if every pastor walked in the ways of Jesus as a group leader?
- For your spiritual health you need to be in a small group. “A lot of leaders say it’s lonely at the top,” said Tyler McKenzie, lead pastor of Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. “But it doesn’t have to be. I’m not lonely. I have the community of my small group.”
Every church leader needs that kind of authentic, Christ-centered, life-changing, mission-focused community. Every pastor needs a community in which to live out the “one another” passages of the New Testament.
Humbly admit your need and then boldly lead. You and your church won’t regret it.
Below are 10 books I recommend to lead pastors (and other staff pastors) for developing disciple making community. I could easily add another 10 or 20, but these are a good start. (Full disclosure: I edited Ralph Neighbour’s Christ’s Basic Bodies.)
Originally posted on ChristianStandard.com, Sept. 22, 2016.