Christian Leadership Training in Small Groups
Small groups provide the perfect environment for Christian leadership training.
There are four stages of development in the Christian life. These are listed and defined as follows:
1) A Believer. A believer is a person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
2) A Disciple. A disciple is a person who is learning to build his or her life on the teachings of Jesus. So often the church makes the mistake of wanting to get people to serve as soon as they are born again. God doesn’t want them to do anything, but to become
established in His grace and truth.
3) A Servant. A servant is a person who uses his or her gifts and resources for the kingdom of God. When people are made whole they will want to serve. If they do not want to serve it’s usually because they have not been made whole. When people do not give, serve, minister, help, etc. they fail to grow.
4) A Leader. A leader is a person who accepts responsibility for influencing the lives of others according to the will of God. Remember, a true leader is not just someone who is followed, but someone who is motivated to make disciples of those who follow. Whilst not everyone is called to leadership in small groups, God has designed for each of us to become responsible for
mentoring or helping to disciple others.
Each stage is reached as a result of a specific process, as follows:
Process: Evangelism (Mk.16:15) Produces: Believer
Process: Establishing (Col.2:6&7) Produces: Disciple
Process: Equipping (Eph.4:12) Produces: Servant
Process: Example (Phil.4:9) Produces: Leader
There is not one program for disciples, another for servants and another for leaders. Each of these processes can take place in small groups. In fact, they probably work best in that kind of environment (see 2 Tim.2:2).
*Evangelism can take place in small groups as invited non-Christians are given the perfect opportunity to witness the love of God in action in the midst of His people.
*Disciples are made through the continuous process of hearing and applying the Word of God as it is taught in small groups.
*In small groups individuals have opportunities to identify their ministry gifts and use these to edify others in their group. Also, as needs arise within the group each one is challenged to use their God-given resources to serve others and to advance the kingdom of God.
*Not everyone is called to leadership in small groups, but those who are gifted in this way will be easy to identify in a small group. The group leader can then give more and more leadership responsibilities to them, as they are able to bear, and in this way they can be trained.
Small groups provide the perfect environment for
Christian leadership training.
Christian leadership training is a dimension of small group ministry that is often overlooked. Yet, it happens almost without planning for it.
Think about it for a moment; what is the most natural environment for Christian leadership training? Is it to send a person away to some institution, detached from local church life, where they can sit at a desk and write notes? Or is it better to learn from the Word of God week by week in a small group situation, and at the same time become skilled in interaction with others and in ministering to others?
Don’t get me wrong, small group leadership can be taught in bible schools, as we do at
New Beginnings Ministry Training Institute.
But in small groups believers can be made into disciples, disciples can learn to serve, and servants can eventually become leaders.