The Strategic Genius of the Small Group
This got me wondering.
Jesus, when He was still on Earth, had the mission to take the gospel to the world. In doing His ministry, he attracted huge crowds (a following) to Himself. To me, this mass consists of potential fishers-of-men. Jesus utilized this people for the advancement of the Gospel, didn’t he?
No, he didn’t. Instead, He gave Himself to a few men. He discipled twelve ordinary men, coming from a diverse background, and with different personalities. So what was He thinking? What are twelve disciples compared to a huge crowd? What can the twelve do in the advancement of the Gospel?
But “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [God’s] ways higher than [our] ways and [His] thoughts than [our] thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). In His infinite wisdom, Jesus gave Himself to a few men and discipled them. And if you will read the book of Acts, these disciples will be the leaders of the early church, boldly proclaiming the Gospel message, making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus focused His time and energy with only twelve men. But these twelve soon made even more disciples. I find it amazing. It is genius!
My Personal Experience
My church, Christ’s Commission Fellowship, has the mission “To make Christ-committed followers who will make Christ-committed followers.” This is primarily achieved through small group discipleship, with the Lord Jesus Christ serving as the Model. In line to my church’s mission and the Great Commission, I started handling my own small group back in 2008. The group consists of male college students, and by God’s grace I’m still discipling these young men.
Just recently, I realized that the model of our Lord Jesus is effective. I attest that giving my life to a few men is way better than focusing on a large crowd. Practically speaking, it saves me a lot of time, energy, and resources. With a focus on a smaller crowd, I can pursue a high-quality of disciple-making. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m not devaluing ministries that involve huge crowds, such as pulpit ministries. I simply believe that the small group has long-term effects, which I will elaborate later).
Some of my disciples, after quite some time of quality disciple-making, have also begun making disciples. And it’s also done through the small group.
Reflecting on my experience, I can say that the small group is strategic in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I say strategic because it has long-term effects. By giving myself to a large crowd, I may be able to make disciples but may not be able to push them to make disciples. But focusing my time, energy, and resources to a small group, I can commit to a high quality of disciple-making, pushing them to make disciples. As my disciples make disciples through small groups, they can also commit to a high quality of disciple-making, also pushing their disciples to make disciples (and again, through the small group). And so on and so forth. This is the strategic genius of the small group.
Sure, there are many other ways the Great Commission can be fulfilled. But the model of Jesus gives us enough reason why the small group is effective. So I challenge you to prayerfully and wisely consider starting your own small group. It is strategic in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.