Almost every church I know has some form of small group ministry. It might be in a “Sunday School” format or a “Home Group” format, but most churches have versions of small groups. You might have a small group in your church, but is it the right kind of small group?
All small groups are not created equal. I’ve seen some small groups that are merely fellowship groups. I know of some small groups that are more like support groups. Some groups are more Bible study focused. Some small groups are more prayer focused. Small groups can be as varied as you can imagine.
If your goal is to make disciples like Jesus did, then you will want to figure out how to build disciple making small groups. Let’s take a look at what made Jesus’ group different.
Designed to lead untrained to fully trained
The purpose for the discipleship group Jesus started was to help unschooled, ordinary men become fully trained disciples. Jesus accomplished this transformation by creating a small group that provided information, association, application, and correction. Those four components helped to create a small group that developed disciples who were equipped to fulfill the mission of Jesus.
The goal of Jesus’ small group was not just a deep Bible study to create theologians. The goal of Jesus’ small group was not only relationships so they might have deep fellowship. One of the main goals of Jesus’ small group with His original disciples was to develop His character and conduct in them so that they could be on mission for Him.
Designed to multiply more groups
The goal of the group Jesus started was not to stay a group forever and ever. The goal of Jesus’ group was to develop the disciples to the point where they could go out and start more groups. Jesus made disciples in a small group so they would go out and start more groups that made disciples. Jesus led unschooled, ordinary men to become disciples so that He could appoint them to be leaders. The disciples became the leaders of the New Testament Church and most likely they led some of the home groups that met in Jerusalem. At the very least, the apostles made more disciples and they became leaders of leaders. No doubt, being in a small group with Jesus helped the Apostles know how to lead the church to start more disciple making groups.
Designed to change the world
Imagine this. Jesus entrusted His entire mission into the hands of a small group of men. Jesus changed the life of a small group of men and in turn, they started a movement that changed the world. If Jesus’ small group had missed the mission of Jesus the whole Christian movement would have come to a screeching halt when they all passed away.
The good news is that Christianity did not come to a screeching halt. In fact, it did the exact opposite. Following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, His Church exploded. That tells me that Jesus’ small group got it. They understood that disciples are made in small groups, so therefore, more small groups needed to be started to reach the world.
The movement of Christianity was intended to be a movement of disciple making small groups. Yes, a lot of positive things come out of meeting together in large groups, but life change happens in small groups.
Impact Discipleship Ministries specializes in helping peoples and churches start and develop disciple making small groups. The curriculum linked throughout this blog was designed to help you navigate various aspects of developing disciples and disciple making small groups. If we can help you identify a curriculum for your group or help you in any other way, please contact us for more information.