Jesus and Small Groups

April 11, 2013 — 4 Comments

As a Christian we are to be Christ like. We are to mirror the image of Jesus and the ideas of how he did ministry. Jesus was a fan of small groups because with his small group of 12, it was the back bone of His ministry when he was not physically there anymore. Jesus loved the huge crowds, he hung out in them, preached to them, did miracles in them.

But he spent a majority of the time with his disciples  A group of 12 men. And even within the group, their was an inner group in which he would focus on. It’s just something that I noticed when reading. I’m not saying that every small group is like this but I look at mine, and I can see a very similar structure.

The Crowd: Jesus preached to the crowd. Spent some time with them as a whole. This is our youth groups. What ever night you meet would be your crowd. You love them, hang out with them and know them by name. As the leader you need to spend time with them. Large group is important. Jesus would spend time on a midweek or weekend main service. We need to do the same and go all out to reach non-believers.

The group: This is your group or your leaders small group of students that they spend their time with outside the crowd. This is the Bible study, the group of people they will “do life” with on a weekly basis. It’s not so general but its more specific on their lives and their lives with you in it. Jesus spent a majority of His ministry with his disciples. He knew them. He hung out with them. He had parties with them, laughed with them, ministered to them far beyond what we did with the crowd.

The 3: Jesus had 3 men within the group he spent more time with than the others. Peter, James and John. These are the 3 he took with him on the mountain with Moses and would take to pray off to the side. This doesn’t mean that he loved them more or was playing favorites, he he invested more in these men because they later became huge pillars in starting the Church.

We can do the same with our groups. There are students within the small group that come on a regular basis but miss here and there because of business or sports. But there are always a few that do not miss at all, who are there every single week, who ask you to hang out outside of group and you do. Those students you invest into because you simply get more time with them and you get to dig deeper into their lives.

The One: John was the Beloved Disciple. He seemed to have this special relationship with Jesus that just clicked. He was the one that God revealed to him about Revelation and whom Jesus loved. There is that one student who you see that if you were to specifically and intentionally hang out with, they would be your one because you see the potential that they have in Christ. They tend to be your helper, the one who you might ask to help you out in ministry more outside of group. It’s the one that maybe take in your own footsteps.

This is just something I thought was interesting as I was looking at small groups and how Jesus ran his. Does your small group fit this model?


4 responses to Jesus and Small Groups


    Good stuff. I totally have a similar discipleship philosophy for our small groups that I’ve called the 12-3-1 model: loving connections with the 12 disciples (small group), then loving relationships with the 3 within the 12, and a loving mentorship with the 1. I’m still fleshing out what the philosophy looks like, but it sounds pretty similar to what you’ve posted here!


      Thanks for reading my friend! It sounds legit. It’s just something I noticed when reading one day. PLease let me know what the details look like when you do get it all fleshed out!


    Along these lines, we need to simply remind our leaders not to feel guilty about spending more time with certain students. In fact, we need to encourage it. You are right about Jesus’ ministry model here to this effect.

    It may be worth adding that a generation ago (so far as I can tell- I’m only 29), people read Robert Coleman’s The Master Plan of Evangelism more often, in which Coleman fleshes this point out with real biblical thoughtfulness and ministry application. I just had a bunch of my volunteers read through it, and we all found it pretty helpful.


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