How Jesus Would Lead Your Small Group

What’s your dream for your small group? If you could ignore reality, what would you imagine? If everything went right and nothing ever—ever!—went wrong, what would your small group look like?

Maybe you dream of a small group where students share deeply and vulnerably from the depths of their soul.

Maybe you dream of a small group where students wrestle honestly and wisely with the deep questions of life.

Maybe you dream of a small group that is doubling in size every month because your students are so passionate about evangelism.

Maybe you wish they’d just sit still.


But I wonder if there is more. I wonder if even the best of those dreams aren’t enough. I wonder if there is something greater still. Something that will be worthy of the time and energy and heart that we pour into our students. Something that will demand everything that we have to give and be worth more than we could ever offer.

Big hopes for a small group, huh?

But you and I are here because of a small group. We’re here because 12 guys hung out with 1 guy for 3 years. And from those 12 guys (and a few others) came you and I. Wouldn’t it be crazy if you and I could lead a small group like that?!!

So, how would Jesus lead your small group, anyway?

  • Jesus wouldn’t only focus on the 12 in His care. He would dream about the ripple effect of making disciples who make disciples. Too often, we forget that our ultimate job description is making disciples who make disciples (who make disciples, who … ). Never underestimate the power of a small group of people full of white-hot faith. Your students don’t need one more group where they can sit around and talk.  They need someone to invest Jesus into them.  That’s far broader and deeper and more noble than merely leading a small group–it’s making disciples.  And it’s your calling.  How can you turn your small group into a disciple-making movement?
  • Jesus wouldn’t just lead a small group. He would live life with His small group. If your goal is to do more than just lead a small group … if your goal is to spread the gospel in viral ways … if your goal is to make disciples, not just teach students … then it’s essential that they see Jesus in you in real life. Jesus walked the road with His disciples. He sat around the camp fire. He confronted their sin—in the moment. How can your small group become more like real life?
  • Jesus wouldn’t try to lead a small group. He would plan to change the world. What if we thought the same way? What if we had God-sized dreams for the young men and women in our care? Many of the apostles were probably teenagers. You and I are here today because of them. Jesus used a handful of broken, common men and women to launch His church. What would he like to do with the young people in your care? What dreams does God have for your students?

Do you feel the perspective shift, here? Too often, I got lost in the ‘smallness’ of my small group. I think about the students I’m leading—their needs, cares, hopes, and dreams. And I forget that I’m called to make disciples … to multiply God-lovers … to equip the saints (yes, they’re saints!) for ministry.

And then I remember: Jesus used 12 guys to change the world. Twelve nobodies. Twelve youngsters. Twelve unschooled, unimpressive, normal people.

He spent three years with them. He cast vision for them. He gave jobs to them. He confronted their sin. He challenged their pride. He equipped them for ministry. And He believed—He knew—that through them God would change the world.

Maybe He’d like to do the same through your small group . . .

How would your small group change if you viewed it that way?

(PS–This is the last post in a 10-part series on Leading Small Groups Like Jesus. To see the rest of the series, click here.)

  • Szabados Ádám

    Great posts, Rob! Thank you.

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