After finishing the book, Small Groups for the Rest of Us, in 2015, I wasn’t sure that I would ever desire to write another full-length book. Writing a book is a grueling experience, and unless you have a topic you’re super passionate about, not a lot of fun.
Fast forward four years, and now my next book, Leading Small Groups: How to Gather, Launch, Lead, and Multiply Your Small Group, is releasing today. The content in Leading Small Groups is something that I had to write. There are so many potential small group leaders and disciple makers who have no idea where to start.
The thought of leading a small group can be extremely daunting. There are a myriad of details to think through, and most of us do not believe that we are even qualified to lead people. I wanted to write something that a potential group leader could use a step-by-step manual for gathering, launching, leading and eventually, multiplying their small group.
This book is written for the individual small group leader, but it also as a training tool for the small groups point person at a church. They can purchase one for every leader, and if they desire, develop training to go along with each section of the book. There are also questions at the end of each chapter that can serve as homework for the leader as they prepare for their small group.
We can see the first example of discipling through a small group from Jesus. He gathered 12 men who would first be discipled by the master and then sent out to disciple others. It is then further modeled for us by the early church in Acts 42. They gathered in the temple courts for worship and teaching but then met house-to-house in small groups. This method of discipleship is now carried on by small groups meeting in homes, clubhouses, coffeehouses and classrooms around the world.
The overarching goal of every small group should be to make disciples. After all, that is what Jesus commanded us to do in the Great Commission in Matthew 25. If the group is built on anything else, it will eventually fail. Friendships and community are important, but they cannot sustain the life of a group on their own.
A group that is focused on carrying out the Great Commission will also produce future leaders and missionaries for the local church. I don’t know a better leadership development process than discipling people in a small group environment. Groups provide a natural pathway of spiritual and leadership growth.
It is my hope and prayer that leaders and potential leaders are encouraged and better equipped to create disciples after reading the book. Leading a small group can feel intimidating and lonely at times, and it’s always helpful to know all of us have had those same feelings of doubt. God has prepared you for this moment of leadership. If you put your trust in his power and don’t give up too soon, your small group will change the world!