EXCERPTED & EDITED FROM RICK HOWERTON’S POST at http://www.rickhowerton.wordpress.com .
Small group pastors talk often about the need for creating community in every small group. But there are few books that unearth the leadership style necessary to or the expectations of someone who leads a small group with the goal of creating a faith driven Christian community.
Moses is an excellent example of a leader that created a God fearing community from scratch. There are five things Moses did that every small group leader would be wise to consider.
- Listen to God – When God speaks to Moses through the burning bush, Moses leans into the conversation. In fact, when God calls his name, Moses responds by saying, “Here I am.”(Exodus 3:4) Moses realized he was in the presence of God and, because the God of the universe was speaking to him, Moses listened intently. Today we will most likely hear from God through His Word or as the Holy Spirit whispers to us. Either way, when God speaks, leaders that long to create God-centered community listen intently as God will often give guidance to leaders as it relates to the community of believers they lead.
- Respond when God speaks – Those who long to create Christian community do more than just listen. When God speaks they respond accordingly. Moses had left Egypt fully aware that he might be viewed as a murderer if he returned. But, when God directed Him to go back to lead a people to freedom (which should be one of the goals of every small group leader) Scripture says Moses, “returned to the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 4:20) Leaders that create biblical community model a life of action. When God directs them they do what God has directed them to do. When a small group leader does this other group members follow suit and soon the group is no longer just a Bible study, it’s a faith driven family making a difference in the world.
- Trust God – On multiple occasions Moses went before Pharaoh, not requesting that Pharoah release the Israelites, demanding that Pharaoh set God’s people free. God directed Moses to speak boldly for God and declare to Pharaoh on behalf of God, “Set my people free.” Each time Moses went before Pharaoh he trusted that God went before him. Every small group leader that creates Christian community speaks the truth in love boldly on behalf of God to the group they lead. Without doing so they will never create a community that is truly God fearing.
- Walk with God – Moses spent time with God. On multiple occasions Moses and God were together privately. And in many of those instances Moses was either gaining information from God that would give guidance to the community Moses was leading or Moses was crying out to God on behalf of the community he was leading. This is a marker that every small group leader needs to evaluate themselves with. If a small group leader is going before God gaining direction from Him for the group they lead and crying out to God on behalf of the group they lead, that group leader houses a mindset of creating a God-honoring, Christ-centered Christian community.
- Delegate Responsibilities – When Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, comes to visit and Moses explains to him that he is overwhelmed by all the work that he is doing, Jethro directs Moses to delegate some of the responsibilities. (Exodus 18) When a small group leader delegates some of the responsibilities that are necessary for a group to accomplish all it needs to accomplish, the group members who take on those roles are much more passionate about the community they are in and take pride in being part of the community they call their small group. By delegating responsibilities to other group members the small group leader relieves themselves of work while at the same time creating an even greater bond between group members which ultimately creates a strong Christian community.