It's kind of strange to think of him this way, but I believe that Jesus was the ultimate small-group leader. In part 1 of this article, I explored that claim in light of Jesus' fitness to teach spiritual truth, his audience, and his goals.
In part 2, below, I'll explore Jesus' focus as a group leader, his methods, and the results of his work. These six explorations are a combination of my own study and the influence of a book written by J. M. Price in 1946 called Jesus the Teacher.
Jesus' Focus as a Group Leader
- Jesus focused on the long haul. Jesus took a deep course when considering the life development of his followers. He looked at the future possibilities of his group members, not just their present status. Jesus knew that it took time to develop character by forming values, attitudes, and habits.
What about the members of your group. Where will they be spiritually when your group ends? How can you improve your teaching to show "long-term thinking" when it comes to leading your group spiritually?
- Jesus focused on personal needs. Jesus started where people were in the journey of becoming his follower. He started with personal interest and needs. Then, as those needs were met, he was able to lead his followers to the deeper places he wanted them to go.
What about you? Are you in touch with the emotional, physical, and social needs of your group members? How do your group's life experiences reflect that you are conscience of these needs?
- Jesus focused on spiritual needs. Jesus did not spent time on incidental matters. He did not focus on geography, history, or customs. He did not set up elaborate systems of doctrine. He did not even stress Scripture memory, as far as we know. Instead he focused on the heart of man's problems—our spiritual state.
What about you? What are the spiritual needs of those you lead? How can your leadership play a role in guiding them to the next steps in their spiritual quest?