Know Yourself and Model Growth

Small group leaders are charged with knowing themselves and modeling their own growth. This is the example Christ set before us. When baptized, God the Father spoke from heaven, saying, “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Immediately following this, Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted. The tempter began each statement with, “If you are the Son of God….”

Jesus did not derive the authority or power for His earthly ministry from His divinity. Scripture says he came emptied Himself (Philippians 2:6-9). While theologians don’t come to a consensus as to what this exactly meant, they do agree that He did not, as Paul says, use His divinity to His advantage.

Instead, Christ lived out of the words His Father spoke to Him. You are my Son. The Father’s unwavering pleasure with the Son enabled Jesus to endure the opposition from His family, religious leaders, and others.

Jesus also modeled the relationship with the Father. John writes, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18).

We live in an age of self-help manuals and online tests that reveal who we are. They may tell us how we are different from others–our personality type, leadership style, or how we might relate to God. They are great supplements to hearing the voice of Jesus speak to us, telling that ultimately we are, as Brennan Manning put it, Abba’s children. He wrote,

God created us for union with Himself: This is the original purpose of our lives. And God is defined as love (1 John 4:16). Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us” (Abba’s Child, p. 50).

Small group leaders must take the time to know themselves and to model their relationship with God. We can only lead the people in our groups as far as we’ve gone with Jesus. The issue of identity–my identity in Christ–is the beginning and the end of leading others.

At the right are other blog posts and links to help you in this.

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