Do you have a desire for leadership? And there is nothing wrong with such an honorable desire.
If your answer is yes, then my next question is why? What is the lure of leadership for you?
It is the prestige? The power? The privilege?
For some people, it is all of the above.
But an honorable ambition for leadership has an underlying motive of leading like Jesus and moving others to a sincere desire to do the same.
In this series of blog posts, I have identified 10 benefits of serving as a small group Bible study leader. Today we will discuss the first benefit! Probably the biggest benefit of being a small group Bible study leader, in my appraisal, is the privilege of imitating Jesus. Jesus was a small group leader! Though many times he was surrounded by large masses of people, in the most intimate settings, he could be found doing life with his twelve disciples. So what did Jesus do, as he led his small group, that was so amazing and imitable? There are several things that make leading a small group of women so that we all look more like Jesus exceptionally beneficial. Here are a few lessons from the Savior:
1. Jesus’ agenda was the same as his Father’s agenda. Jesus was free to teach his disciples and lead them without questionable motives because his desire was to do the will of his Father (John 5:30). Jesus did not have to worry about what he would say or do, for his will was in essence the will of his Father. He waited for instructions from his Father always before proceeding.
In similar fashion, small group leaders with the same godly aspiration as Jesus can lead others according to the Word of God with the same confidence. With no hidden agendas or selfish desires, small group leaders enjoy the same freedom to communicate and facilitate the precepts of God without giving in to the temptation to introduce subjective standards that rise and fall pursuant to circumstances. The Word is objective. Inerrant. Infallible. Final.
2. Jesus loved those whom he served in this manner. Jesus loved them when he chose them by his grace and instructed them to follow him (Matt. 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-34; Luke 5:1-11). He loved them when daily he taught them how to live like him, to respond like him, to love like Him—and they failed. He loved them when they were ignorant and did not understand his purpose for coming and where he was going. Jesus loved them despite their shortcomings and weaknesses—when they bickered among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom (Matt. 20:21) and when they were concerned about each other’s purpose more so than their own (John 21:20-22). He loved them when they deserted him, when Peter denied him, and when Judas betrayed him. He simply loved them.
Small group leaders are called to love those whom they serve, just like Jesus loved his own (John 13:1). This may not be easy for leaders. When we look at those who Jesus prayed for and selected (Luke 6:12-13), not every one of them had his best interest at heart, and therefore, they did not have a heart for the Father either. Small group leaders have the paradoxical and sometimes arduous task of leading those who may not really have a heart bent towards God, the leader, or other group members directly to the heart of God—in love. And as much as it is a benefit for the member(s), it’s of great benefit to the leader as well.
These are simply two ways in which small group leaders imitate Jesus as they commit to leading others as Jesus led his disciples. Stay tuned for the continuation of this post and more ways to imitate Christ in leadership, particularly as a small group leader.