Pastors were never intended to do all of the ministry.
Ephesians 4:12 Their [the pastors] responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
Pastors are called to equip. Then God’s people do the actual work of ministry. The result of this arrangement is that the church is built up. If pastors are to equip and release God’s people, small groups are needed as a vehicle for much of that healthy ministry to occur.
Small groups are a logistical necessity.
Exodus 18:14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
Exodus 18:17-18 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.
Exodus 18:21-22 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you.
Moses was burning himself out until he learned to delegate the work to many other leaders, who could lead in much smaller settings.
Small groups allow for healthy, unbounded growth.
People don’t have to look to some superstar pastor to meet all their needs. Pastoral care is available in small groups. This avoids a “Sunday-only” culture, where people just come to sit and listen, but never grow or apply God’s truth to their lives.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- In your opinion, how many people can one person really ministry to?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important are small groups to the health of a church, and why?
- Have you ever experienced pastoral care in a small group setting? How did it impact your everyday life?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.