Today Is the Last Day!

I just sent a quick email to our list of Small Group Leadership email subscribers, letting them know our special discounts on purchases of World’s Greatest Small Group end today, August 31, 2017, and immediately, a small group ministry director at a church emailed me:

“Boy, the summer has flown by. Thank you for reminding everyone to take advantage of your special purchase. I’d like a price on 25 books please.”

I wrote back and provided the discount code and simple directions.

I know how it is. Perhaps like this leader, the summer has flown by. Maybe, like her, you intended to purchase copies of World’s Greatest Small Group for your leaders.

Now is the time! Here’s the information you need:

2 Special OffersWorld's Greatest Small Group cover

  • Between now and August 31, you can take advantage of discount prices when you purchase World’s Greatest Small Group for yourself or your group leaders.

    25% off when you buy 1-19 copies.
    40% off when you buy 20+ copies.

    Click here for more details.

A Great Small Group Is … (It may not be what you think)

Today I want to show you a way of small group life that is best of all.

A great small group is patient and kind with one another.

The members of a great small group are not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

In a great small group, people do not demand their own way.They seek God’s way. They look not to their own interests but the interests of others.

People in a great small group are not irritable with one another, and they keeps no records of being wronged.They confess their sins to each other, pray for each other, and forgive one another.

A great small group does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

A great small group ... rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Click To Tweet

A great small group never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

A great small group is known more by how they love one another and the world around them than what they study, who leads the group, where and when they meet, how many people are in the group, or even what the group has accomplished.

A good small group is the body of Christ where each person is an important part of it, where each person uses the spiritual gifts they have to carry out God’s mission.

But a great small group is not about the group members or even their gifts. A great group overflows what God has poured into them.

And God is love.

A great small group overflows what God has poured into them. And God is love. Click To Tweet

If a small group is known for the depth of their discussions but don’t love other people, they are just making a lot of noise.

If they are known for their superior knowledge of the Scriptures, their pure and sound doctrine, and a mountain-moving faith, but don’t love others, they might as well not even meet.

If a small group is known for their sacrificial giving, serving of others in need, and their evangelistic zeal, but they do all this without truly loving others, they miss the point.

If a SG is known for deep discussions but don't love others, they're just making noise. Click To Tweet

A good small group is faithful, has hope, and loves.

And the GREATEST of these is love.

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Thanks to the apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit for inspiration! 1 Corinthians 13.

On a scale of 1-100, how is your group doing at love? Why? Scroll down and comment!

How Can My Group(s) Do What Jesus’ Group Did? (Is That Even Possible?)

World's Greatest Small Group CoverThe back cover of World’s Greatest Small Group features this audacious claim:

Your small group can do what Jesus’ did: Change the World!

I wouldn’t make such a claim if I didn’t believe it’s possible. But I believe not only that it’s possible, but that it’s exactly what Jesus wants to happen. It’s what he said will happen. It’s what he is still waiting to happen.

Some people may believe it could never happen today—that attaining to being the “World’s Greatest Small Group” is an unattainable dream, or, worse, presumptuous. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Why I wrote World’s Greatest Small Group

I can think of three key reasons why I wrote this book:

God has given me a passion for ordinary people who sense a call to lead.

To be more precise, I’m passionate about these leaders’ hearts, which has overflowed into much of the things I’ve written over the years: books like Leading from the Heart, Small Group Vital Signs, and The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership. Chapter 2 of Small Group Vital Signs was titled, “A Healthy Group Has a Healthy, Overflowing Leader.” In World’s Greatest Small Group, I expand on that chapter, discussing the 7 powerful traits of Jesus as he led his group, the same traits in which leaders today can develop.

I truly believe that ordinary people can courageously lead extraordinary small groups.

This is the mission of my ministry, Small Group Leadership, and I believe my call is to help equip ordinary people to do that. This book came out of that core value. Of course, the value comes from the disciples (followers) Jesus chose to be his apostles (those who were sent; that is, leaders). The religious rulers considered them “unschooled, ordinary men” (Acts 4:13). A closer translation is that they were unlearned or unlettered idiots (idiōtēs in Greek). In other words, these trained religious elite believed that these ordinary folks who worked in ordinary jobs were unqualified, that they didn’t know enough or hadn’t studied under the right Rabbi.

I’m glad these “ordinary” men boldly, courageously ignored the commands and threats of the self-righteous establishment. God does extraordinary things through ordinary people who have “been with Jesus,” who abide in him and then overflow into the lives of others. Ordinary Christ followers are a kingdom of priests. We are his ambassadors. We are all ministers of reconciliation. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness! I want “ordinary,” called Christ followers to understand their identities and mission.

I believe that Jesus’ words in John 14:12 are literal and true.

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus said to his followers, “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

This is not just some unattainable dream of Jesus. It’s much more than a motivational speech to move his disciples into action. It’s not a visionary, pie-in-the-sky picture of a preferred future for the Church. It is Jesus’ plan. It points to his method for carrying out his plan: us. Who is Jesus talking about when he says, “whoever believes in me”? Us! Ordinary followers of Jesus! They (we) can do, will do, even greater things than Jesus did. That’s remarkable, but Jesus meant this literally and it is true—because while he is now at the right hand of the Father, through his Spirit, he has not left us. He is with us to help us carry out the mission he has given us to the very end of the age!

I believe that Jesus' words in John 14:12 are literal and true. Click To Tweet

Jesus’ group often looked like a dysfunctional mess. I talk about that in Chapter 7. Yet those ordinary, unschooled, imperfect, weak people went out with God’s power and changed the world! In some ways, because they took the message from Jerusalem and Judea to the ends of the known world, they did even greater works than Jesus, but the fact is, Jesus was working through them the whole time. And he can do the same with us today. He can and will do “even greater things” if we allow him to work in and through us. That’s what these 7 powerful traits of a life-changing leader are all about.

Each chapter of World’s Greatest Small Group focuses on one leadership attribute we see in Jesus and that each of us can develop as well. I show how Jesus lived out that leadership trait as he led his group and I then show leaders today how they can grow in that trait themselves. I demonstrate how it lives itself out as ordinary people boldly lead their small groups to do the extraordinary things that God wants them to do.

By the way, I am speaking on these topics as I help equip leaders in churches through leader retreats, seminars, and workshops. Please let me know if you’re interested in discussing the possibility of helping equip your leaders!

Get your copy or copies now! Here are two special offers.

To find out more about the book, and to get a COUPON CODE worth 20% off the retail price, click here!

Small Group Leader TOOLBOX coverPurchase your book before March 15 and get a FREE COPY of my eBook, Small Group Leader TOOLBOX, a $12.95 value.

Here’s how:

  1. Purchase World’s Greatest Small Groups from one of these online retailers: CreateSpace (use coupon code TKBFSKKR to get your 20% discount) or Amazon (print or Kindle versions, no additional discount) by March 15.
  2. Email (or forward) your receipt to mike[AT]smallgroupleadership.com (replace [AT] with @) no later than March 15.

I will then send you login instructions and a special 100% off coupon code for Small Group Leader TOOLBOX.

If you lead the small group ministry in your church . . .

Help get this book into the hands of ordinary small group hosts, facilitators, leaders, teachers, etc.!

If you would like to purchase 20 or more copies for your leaders, please contact me directly, before you make your purchase, and I will do two things for you:

  1. To help you save money, I will provide you with a special 30% off coupon code.
  2. I will give you a FREE one-hour block of coaching or consulting.

CONTACT ME HERE before you make your purchase, and let me know you are planning to purchase 20 or more copies.

Questions or other thoughts on this post or on the book? Scroll down and comment!

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Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 3, 2017

This week’s TIPS come from Michael’s newest book, World’s Greatest Small Group, on sale now for 20% off with coupon code. Click HERE to get it!

 

Question: What TIP for being a GREAT group would YOU give to another leader? Scroll down and Click to Comment below!  

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

What a GREAT Leader Is (and Isn’t)

To understand what a great small group leader is, perhaps it will help to start by looking at some potential small group leaders to show what a small group leader is not.

 Hannah Hostess: A true small group leader is (or is becoming) more than a host or hostess who opens up his or her home to the group. While this is a very worthy role in the group, the leader has a different assignment.

Ferdinand Facilitator: Hannah and Ferdinand are related. A small group leader is more than just a discussion facilitator. This may be part of the role of a leader, but only a small part.

NOTE: It’s possible you have started as a host or facilitator, and those are great places to begin! Our definition of a true leader moves beyond these initial roles.

 Billy Bible Scholar: Billy might be a good small group leader, but his leadership is not based on his superior knowledge of the Bible or ability to quote large portions of Scripture. Remember, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). (This verse provides an indication of at least one attribute you do need as a small group leader!)

 Lisa Leader: Believe it or not, leadership may not be the most essential spiritual gift you need as a small group leader. You can use different spiritual gifts to lead a life-changing group, depending on the type, personality, and purpose of your group. God provides each person in the group with spiritual gifts to help the group function. Your job is to facilitate the use of the various spiritual gifts of group members.

 Teasley Teacher: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16, emphasis added). In a great small group, everyone is involved in teaching one another! As a small group leader, Teasley needs to be more of a shepherd than a teacher. You do not have to be the group’s “Bible answer man.”

 Eddie Educated: While a good education does not preclude Eddie from small group leadership, it also is not a prerequisite. Eddie’s heart is much more vital than Eddie’s education.

 Chris “Super-Stud” Christian: In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were the super studs of the religious world. Jesus’ followers, on the other hand, were simple, run-of-the-mill, average Joes. Jesus spent time with some everyday people and made them extraordinary. Chris does not have to be the perfect Christian (whatever that means) to lead well.

What Is a Great Small Group Leader’s Role?

Perhaps the best job description for a small group leader comes straight off the pages of the Bible, from 1 Peter 5:2-4. The writer, the apostle Peter, knew what he was talking about, too. Peter followed the World’s Greatest Small Group Leader for several years. Look closely at this passage, and underline the words or phrases that you think describe a small group leader.

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:2-4).

This passage was written to elders in the first-century church. These church leaders were called to shepherd the churches in a particular city (i.e., the church in Ephesus) or churches that met in specific homes (i.e., the church that meets in her house). This passage also applies to what a small group leader is called to do in today’s church.

The passage reveals the roles and responsibilities God gives to small group leaders. I refer back to it throughout World’s Greatest Small Group Leader. In each of the chapters of the book I discuss one of the 7 powerful traits of a life-changing leader. The World’s Greatest Small Group Leader, Jesus, modeled these traits, and we can develop them as well. When we do, Jesus has promised that we can do the same kinds of works he did, and even greater works (John 14:12)! Yes, it may sound crazy, but even ordinary people like you and me can lead extraordinary groups—the World’s Greatest Small Groups!

Do You Have What It Takes?

Do you have what it takes to be a small group leader? Depending on your perspective, you can answer this question two different ways:

  • NO: You do not have what it takes … on your own, under your own power, with your own intellect. That’s why it’s so vital to remember that Jesus is the real leader of “your” group. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).
  • YES: Never forget that Jesus calls unschooled, ordinary men and women to follow him and then turns them into world changers. If you follow Christ, the World’s Greatest Small Group Leader, he will use you to do extraordinary things. Don’t sell yourself short. Say, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, New Living Translation).

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World's Greatest Small Group CoverExcerpted from Michael C. Mack’s newest book, World’s Greatest Small Group.

Get more information about the book or order yours now!

Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Jan. 16-20, 2017

This week’s TIPS come from my new book, World’s Greatest Small Group. Get your copy(ies) now for 20% OFF. Go HERE to get the discount code! 

Question: How would you define a GREAT small group leader? Scroll down and comment below! 

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

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Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Jan. 9-13, 2017

This week’s TIPS come from my new book, World’s Greatest Small Group. Get your copy(ies) now for 20% off. Go HERE to get the discount code! 

Question: How would you define a GREAT small group leader? Scroll down and comment below! 

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Jan. 2-6, 2017

This week’s TIPS come from my new book, World’s Greatest Small Group. Get your copy(ies) now for 20% off. Go HERE to get the discount code! 

Question: How would you define a GREAT small group leader? Scroll down and comment below! 

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

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