The Role of the Small Group Pastor

All successful discipleship and leadership development flows from healthy relationships.

I was the Small Group Pastor at New Life Church in Gahanna, Ohio, for five years. I am currently the Discipleship Pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. I have been a church planter, Christian Education Pastor, Membership Pastor, and an Elder in a local church. Currently, I also oversee the Master's of Religious Education at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

The reason I tell you this is to let you know that I have a good deal of ministry experience, and I want to talk about one common ministry principle in all of the ministry positions that I have held. It is this: All successful discipleship and leadership development flows from healthy relationships. Jesus modeled this ministry principle for us in his relationship with His disciples. He walked with them. He ate meals with them. He prayed with them. He taught them. He grew tired and weary in ministry with them, and when he laid his head down to sleep at night they were there. Suffice it to say that Jesus was very close to his disciples. So close, that by the end of his ministry he told them specifically, "no longer do I call you servants, but I call you friends."

In the upper room discourse, Jesus gave his disciples a new directive when he said, "A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another." As we look throughout the New Testament we find the "one another" phrase repeated over fifty times with thirty different usages. The reason for this, in my opinion, is simple: If you practice the one another's in the New Testament, you will accomplish the Great Commandment. If we accomplish the Great Commandment, then the world will know that we are Christians ...

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