by Alan Raughton
Leaders have been described as those who challenge, inspire, enable, model, and encourage. Others call leaders risk-takers, visionaries, and people who see the future and make it happen.
Jesus called twelve men to become leaders. Look at whom Jesus called—fishermen, tax collectors, common people who displayed little unusual potential. But Jesus took them and shaped them as He carried out the ministry God placed in His hands. Jesus inspired them, taught them, challenged them, and then set them free with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. These leaders then became visionaries, world-changers.
As a group leader you should feel that God has called you and placed you specifically in your position of service and leadership. You are much like Peter, James, and others who became servant leaders and accepted the responsibilities Jesus placed in their hands.
Leaders are essential for a life-changing Bible study group. Every class or group should be a place where people are grounded in God’s Word and engage in reaching, teaching, ministry, and fellowship.
Consider multiplying your ministry through mentoring others. The mark of an effective group leader is not in how big your group becomes, but how many people leave the group to serve in another area of the Sunday School or groups ministry. So, our key metric should be how many people are we maturing in their faith so they leave our group and lead somewhere else in our church or start another Bible study group.
Jesus spent three years investing Himself in the lives of twelve men. Although one fell away from Him, Jesus sent the disciples to carry on His ministry. Jesus adopted these men, spent time teaching them, and then guided them through on-the-job training. If Jesus had called out the twelve only to keep them in seclusion and enjoy their fellowship, He would not have accomplished what God intended. Leaders are people who challenge others to “go and do likewise.”
Churches that effectively use groups in a strategic way multiply leaders and Bible study groups. This just doesn’t happen on it’s own! These churches have an intentional, ongoing plan to multiply their leadership base and increase the number of ongoing and discipleship groups.
These churches keep a clear focus on the purpose for their Bible study groups: To make disciples.
Bible study groups are central in training other persons to be strong in grace and to teach them to teach others (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Think about ways your personal ministry could be multiplied. Is there someone for whom you could be a mentor? When you multiply yourself in others, you help other believers exercise their spiritual gifts, take intentional actions that are in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus, and lead people to faith in Him. When seen from this perspective, your relationship with others becomes an exciting adventure!