Calvary Leader

Jesus, LifeGroups, and Leadership Development

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As we lead our LifeGroups, often we forget that Jesus modeled everything we need to know about leading them. Jesus gathered a group of men around Him as He began to do the work of ministry. The entire purpose of this group would be to prepare these disciples to be sent out to spread the Gospel into the world.

Our mandate is similar today. Our groups do not just exist to teach people information about God, but to allow the Word of God to transform them into people who live out the Gospel and lead in ministry in New Orleans.

Let’s take a look at some basic principles that Jesus taught us about a small group and how He prepared His disciples to take on leadership.

1) Jesus selected them. Luke 5:1-11

Jesus had an intentional approach for recruitment. He knew what He was looking for in their characteristics, skill sets, and backgrounds. Now, although He knew 

Three things to look for in recruitment:
Character
Commitment
Courage


2) Jesus ministered before them. Luke 7-9

The best way to prepare someone to lead a group is to do it before them. Jesus was consistently showing them HOW to do ministry. 

What are you modeling in your LifeGroup? 
Share the Load
Active group in life and needs
Mission moments


3) Jesus clarified teachings for them. Luke 8:9-15

Jesus would teach them masses and then allow the disciples to get a clearer picture on what was really going on behind the scenes. This would allow the disciples to clarify the goals of what sometimes might have seem vague or unclear.

Are you taking time with future leaders to clarify?
Explaining curriculum on a deeper level
Clarifying why we do things


4) Jesus prayed with them. Luke 11:1-13

Jesus modeled prayer for His disciples and He also prayed with them. The closest disciples even observed Him in the Garden going off to pray.

Are you praying with future leaders and co-leaders?
A special time before LifeGroup
Lunches or dinners with families
Intentional moments over leading


5) Jesus equipped them. Luke 24:46-49

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world after He left to equip the disciples to do the work of ministry. The good news for you and I as we prepare leaders is that the same Holy Spirit resides in us! But along with the Holy Spirit, leaders need to understand clearly the objectives of LifeGroup ministry in order to eventually be sent out?

Are you equipping your future leaders or co-leaders?
Leading a lesson with you observing
Preparation meetings and feedback meetings
Attending training sessions


6) Jesus sent them out. Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-12, Luke 24

Finally, Jesus knew when it was time to leave and allow the disciples to carry on the mission. Could you imagine? Jesus, the Son of God, left it in the hands of flawed people. And yet, the mission succeeded!

Are you sending your leaders out?
Another group starting this Fall
Taking over an existing group needing a leader
Multiplication

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The Presence of the Lord leads

 

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Joshua 3: “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried out by the Levitical priests, THEN you shall set out from your place and follow it.”

As LifeGroup leaders, many times we can think of our gatherings with our Groups as Bible study or as fellowship time with other believers. But, what if we began to think of ourselves as this passage in Joshua 3? 

In this passage, Joshua is leading the people of Israel towards the Promise Land and they encounter the Jordan river. Instead of going around the river, Joshua commanded the people to wait on the ark of the covenant to go before them and then follow it. And what happened? The Jordan river parted, similar to the Red Sea, and the people crossed on dry ground! Did you know there are two stories of parted waters in the Old Testament?

What would happen if we led our LifeGroup members toward waiting on the Presence of the Lord and then followed it? 

Dynamic small group meetings are more than Bible study and fellowship. They are encounters with a living Lord who has the power to do wonders among us.

Joshua 3:5 “Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do WONDERS among you.'”

As our first study of Connected reminded us, many times in our lives within the church we forget that we have access to this Presence. 

Are you leading your LifeGroup toward a experience with God? 

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Some practical steps toward leading into the presence of the Lord:

1) Take time out of the routine for dynamic prayer. Instead of doing the same thing each week, maybe take some time out just to be silent and pray together. Even if this means the lesson gets abbreviated, it would be worth it to spend time before God.

2) Find room for musical worship in your group meetings. Does someone in your group have the gift of music? Maybe they could lead your group in a time of musical worship. Or perhaps you, as best as you can, can open by leading in a hymn of faith. Throughout Scripture, music has shown to have the power to lead us into the Presence of the Lord.

3) Share stories of God’s working through your week. Prep someone in your group to share about how God has worked in their life. Don’t just ask this in the middle of group time and wait on silence. Instead, approach someone and ask them to consider doing this. It’s amazing how they might look at their life differently that week in preparation to share. They might see God moving more than they would if they were not asked.

4) Plan group retreats for spiritual renewal. Maybe your group could find the time to get away and just focus on spiritual renewal. Maybe it’s a camping trip or someone has a house out of town that everyone could visit. Maybe it’s a night outside of LifeGroup time that could be spent focused on the Lord. If you can find the time, I would be more than happy to help plan it or even show up to lead the group in this time. 

 

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The Ask

So you’ve got an idea of who you’d like to help you SHARE THE LOAD? Apprentice, communication, socials. Yet, you don’t know how to approach the individual about serving the LifeGroup. 

Here are some helpful instructions for approaching someone:

1) PRAY.

James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

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Prayer is our chief concern as leaders. Through prayer, God will begin to prepare your heart and the individual’s heart for leadership and for your conversation. Without prayer, you are powerless. Through prayer, we have life, vitality, and care share the vision God has for the individual’s life.

 

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The Goal

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As adults, we know many things about goals. We have seen goals failed to reach and goals exceeded. We remember the joy of goals reached and the pain of goals failed. We can look back upon our lives and see many moments where goals moved us forward.

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Why Groups?

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As a leader, there are some days where I’m sure you ask “Why am I doing this?” Let’s be real honest- it’s challenging to lead a LifeGroup. People have issues and challenges. There’s a weekly pressure of preparing for a group study, communication to group members, and planning events. Leading can be challenging and sometimes we may reach the end of a LifeGroup season wondering what all the effort is for.

During this season walking through Hebrews with Pastor Michael, we have encountered Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Apparently for the writer of Hebrews, the gathering of the local church was of primary importance.  And, although our large worship gatherings are very encouraging and beneficial, these gatherings alone cannot accomplish everything in this short passage concerning encouraging one another.

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