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- Author: Michael C. Mack
- Paperback: 140 pages
- Publisher (paperback): CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Publisher (eBook): Kindle
- Date of Publication: December 27, 2016
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1539752259
- ISBN-13: 978-1539752257
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
Long form for blog posts, email campaigns, newsletters, etc.:
World’s Greatest Small Group: Small groups today can do what Jesus’ did: Change the World!
From more than 25-years of involvement in small group ministry as a church leader, writer, and trainer, Michael C. Mack has discovered what makes small groups great. This book makes the bold claim that ordinary people can courageously lead extraordinary groups. They simply need to develop 7 powerful traits—the same traits that the World’s Greatest Small Group Leader had.
“Michael helps you discover, develop and deploy the internal God-given gifts, talents, and abilities that are in you to bless your small group. Until you get the vertical connection aligned with God, the horizontal connections in your small group won’t make sense. This book will help you and your small group.”
– Steve Gladen, Pastor of Small Groups, Saddleback Church; Author, Leading Small Groups with Purpose; Founder of Small Group Network (www.smallgroupnetwork.com)
“Every year small group pastors ask me, ‘Rick, what book would be the best book for training my small group leaders?’ You’re holding it in your hand right now!”
– Rick Howerton, Regional Consultant, South Central Region, Kentucky Baptist Convention
Each chapter of World’s Greatest Small Group examines one of the 7 powerful traits of Jesus and his small group and shows leaders today how they can develop those traits as they lead their groups to greatness. The traits are simple, yet profound in their power:
- Seek – Jesus’ leadership began with his personal relationship with his heavenly Father. So should ours.
- Surrender – Jesus yielded his heart and ministry to God. So should we.
- Shepherd – Jesus was known as the Good Shepherd, and he is our Chief Shepherd. We, too, are called to shepherd, as his subordinates.
- Serve – Jesus came as a servant—to his group and to the world. That’s our calling as leaders, as well.
- Share – Jesus shared the load and built a team, a team that could continue after he “moved on.” What can we learn from him about sharing leadership?
- Steward – Jesus looked at his ministry as a matter of stewardship. We can learn a lot from his viewpoint of leadership.
- Stand – Jesus and other biblical leaders, including Jesus’ followers after his ascension, were able to stand against opposition, attacks, trials, and all kinds of difficult circumstances. Don’t give up when ministry is tough!
Michael C. Mack wrote this book to provide the reader—whether they serve as a small group host, facilitator, leader, core team member, Sunday school teacher, small group coach, ministry point leader, or whatever role they currently play—with these 7 powerful traits that will help them become a life-changing leader. And there is even greater news than that: The author boldly contends that the World’s Greatest Small Group Leader is readily available to help the leader lead their group today!
Short form for blurbs:
World’s Greatest Small Group: 7 Powerful Traits of a Life-Changing Leader
Small groups today can do what Jesus’ did: Change the World! Michael C. Mack believes that ordinary people can lead extraordinary small groups … IF they develop the same traits as Jesus had as he led his group. It all starts on the inside. The author guides the reader to learn from and thus become more like the leader of the World’s Greatest Small Group: Jesus. He discusses seven vital actions Jesus took as he led his small group for three years, and he applies what he has learned to help the reader lead a great small group.
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Michael C. Mack has been involved in small group ministry in nearly every capacity over the last 25 years. At heart, he is a small group shepherd, which is one of the reasons he is so passionate for fellow small group leaders. As a church staff minister, he has helped launch new small group ministries in two churches and has re-envisioned groups ministries in two others. He has served in small, medium-sized, and large churches implementing and developing small group strategies and investing into leaders.
In 1995, he founded SmallGroups.com, now owned and operated by Christianity Today. Over the years, he has trained leaders in churches and at events in the US, Brazil, and Canada. He has also coached new small group point leaders, consulted with churches, and teaches a SmallGroup Ministry & Discipling Class as an adjunct professor at Cincinnati Christian University. He is also the Twitter manager for Small Group Network (@SmallGrpNetwork).
Michael is now editor of Christian Standard magazine.
He continues to operate Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com). The mission of this ministry is “to equip ordinary people to courageously lead extraordinary small groups.” He believes God works in and through the lives of ordinary people who abide in him. When they do, they naturally overflow, bearing fruit in extraordinary ways as Jesus’ disciples.
Michael is the author of eight books about small groups and discipleship and more than 25 study guides for groups. He has written countless newspaper, magazine, and online articles and blog posts over the years and regularly writes for Christian and business organizations around the world.
Michael lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They attend and are involved in ministry at Northeast Christian Church. Their family small group includes their four young-adult children: Jordan, Dru, Sarah, and Anna. Michael enjoys mountain biking and road cycling with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides.
Michael received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati in 1983 with a major in Finance and a certification in Economics. He received his Master of Arts in Practical Ministries from Cincinnati Christian University in 1993 with a major in Practical Ministries—Christian Education and a concentration in Journalism.
Michael C. Mack has been involved in discipleship and small group ministry for more than 25 years, most recently at Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1996 and has led small group training seminars across the US as well as in Canada and Brazil. He teaches a Small Group Ministry & Discipling Class in the seminary at Cincinnati Christian University as an adjunct professor. He consults with churches to help them develop strategies for building healthy small groups that grow and multiply. He is the author of eight books about small groups and discipleship and more than 25 study guides for groups. Today he leads the ministry, Small Group Leadership. Find out more and connect with him through his web site at www.smallgroupleadership.com.
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Possible Interview Topics
Small groups today can do what Jesus’ did: Change the World! Michael really believes this is true—it’s not just some visionary dream. It can become reality if leaders believe that the words of the Bible are true. The men who had been in Jesus’ small group were considered “unschooled, ordinary men” by the religious elite (Acts 4:13). Yet, these ordinary men stepped out courageously and the world was changed. Groups today are also filled with ordinary people like those in Jesus’ group. If we can learn from their leader, Jesus, and the men of bold faith in his group, we can do what they did. It’s not out of reach!
The World’s Greatest Small Group. While the title of the book does sound presumptuous, it’s based on two things. First, we can look at Jesus’ group as the original “World’s Greatest Small Group,” because they had the World’s Greatest Small Group Leader! But there’s more to it than that. Jesus promised that whoever believes in him (that’s us) “will do even greater things” than he did, because, as he said, “I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). We can do “even greater things”! We can do all this through Jesus, who gives us the strength we need (Phil. 4:13). God can do “immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).
What a Great Small Group Leader Is (& Isn’t). Some ordinary people start as a host or facilitator, but a great leader develops into a leader like Jesus. Small group leaders take on a number of different identities, but the great leader takes on the same identity as Jesus modeled: a shepherd leader.
The great small group leader’s main roles. One of Jesus’ apprentices, in fact, the one Jesus was grooming to lead upon his departure, was Peter. Many years later, Peter wrote about the qualifications of a Christian leader. These qualifications are vital for small group or any kind of spiritual leadership, and they are discussed throughout the book.
Great leadership is overflow leadership. Like Jesus, great leaders know the real source of their leadership. They understand that they must put their life into the best position for receiving God’s power, wisdom, love, grace, truth, etc. each day so that they are able to simply overflow those things into those who God puts closest to them. Great leaders see themselves as simple vessels that God flows through to change lives.
7-S Leadership. The seven powerful traits of a life-changing leader all begin with the letter S. Each one is an attribute of Jesus and each one points to an area of development for any Christian leader today. It must begin by being a Seeker after God and a growing relationship with him. That will take Surrender of one’s own plans and ideas. The greatest leaders are Shepherd leaders at heart who seek to Serve others and aren’t afraid to Share leadership with others. They look at leadership as a Steward, wisely investing into what (and whom) God has entrusted to them. And, finally, they must continue to Stand when the going gets tough, because it will.
Great groups break the huddle to run the play. Small groups have been defined by some as safe places where people can come and find healing and comfort. Others describe groups in military terms; they are neither comfortable nor safe. Rather they enter the real battle that’s being waged in the world. They are messy, smelly, and dangerous. Which is accurate? It’s more of a both-and than an either-or. Great groups are like football teams that huddle together to plan, discuss, encourage, etc., but then they break the huddle to run the play to carry out the mission of the team. A great group knows its mission and courageously carries it out.
Great small groups are one of the best places to breed new leaders. In great groups, ordinary people are growing in their faith, sharing ownership in the group, sharing leadership roles, and developing in the 7-S leadership traits. In great groups, leadership development happens naturally, organically.
A great leader must learn how to Stand when facing trials. Michael learned many valuable lessons during his own painful journey, and he has been able to share his story with others, especially fellow Christian leaders, who need to stand in faith, stand up against the devil, and stand on the truth of God’s Word and by the power of his Spirit.
Sample Interview Questions
What makes a small group the “World’s Greatest Small Group”?
Are you serious when you assert that small groups today can do what Jesus’ did: change the world?
Where did the idea for this book come from?
Who would benefit most from reading this book?
World’s Greatest Small Group was written primarily for group leaders. How can small group ministry leaders (point leaders) utilize this book?
What’s your vision for this book? What do you hope it will accomplish?
Your title, World’s Greatest Small Group, and some of your content reminds me of Jim Collins’s book, Good to Great. In fact one of your ideas, the GSP, or God-Sized Plan, was inspired by Collins’s BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Are you a Collins fan?
What is a God-Sized Plan, and how would a group make and use one?
Small groups are “led” today by people who act primarily as hosts, facilitators, teachers, and a number of other roles. What do you think is the primary role of a great small group leader and why?
What are the 7 powerful traits of a life-changing leader?
How did you come up with the 7 powerful traits of a life-changing leader?
This book discusses Jesus and his group, the “World’s Greatest Small Group.” How can a group today be even greater than that group?
Why is it important for a great leader to start with “Seek”?
What do you mean by “overflow leadership”?
You say that there is only one true shepherd in the church, and that the leader’s role is really that of a “subordinate shepherd.” Why is that important?
Small groups have been called “holy huddles” by some. Why is it important for great groups to break the huddle?
Why are small groups one of the best places to breed new leaders?
In what ways can leaders “steward” the people in their groups?
In the final chapter, a chapter you added when you revised the original book, you tell your story of a tough trial you went through in your marriage. What lessons did you learn during that time?
You use quite a few sports analogies in the book. How have sports inspired your writing about leadership and groups?
How many “great” small groups, as you define them, do you come across as you work with churches?
Why do you think that “great” small groups are not the norm in many places today?
If there were just one attribute of groups or the leader that would move those groups to be be “great,” what would that attribute be?
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