Jesus' Leadership Model

Free Bible Study Materials for
Christian Discipleship
June 2011

Dear fellow disciple-makers,

Jesus' leadership model = Service

Good leaders are rare and we are constantly looking for better leadership models. The traditional view of a leader is someone who has a charismatic personality that can attract and influence others. This is one reason most people do not see themselves as leaders. Jesus gave us an example that anyone can imitate. His approach to greatness was one of humble service. Basically, his earthly ministry was done in obscurity. He began investing in others without fanfare or publicity.

If you were asked to lead a small group from scratch, where would you begin? My suggestion is that you follow the leadership model of Jesus. Here are some of our Lord's principles:


When Jesus called his disciples, he told them his goal: to make them fishers of men. This simply meant that they would be trained to train others. As trainers in training, they knew that Jesus' goal was to equip them to pass on what they had learned.

Clearly define and communicate the purpose of your group to the members. It is not too much to ask that the people in the group tell at least one person what they have learned.


Luke 6:12-16 reveals that Jesus spent an entire night praying before he selected the twelve apostles.

We should not assume that we know who God wants us to train. Spend time asking God for guidance.

Personal Invitation

Jesus personally chose twelve. He called them by name.

There is power in a personal invitation. People want to join a group when they are personally invited.

photo courtesy of khrawlings
men studying bible


Jesus expected his disciples to spend time with him and learn from him. He expected them to follow him anywhere and eventually go where he would send them. This is a great challenge for many disciple-makers.

The single element that distinguishes a fellowship group from a discipleship group is expectations. People must understand what we expect. A disciple of Jesus is a trainer in training. We must teach people to see themselves that way. We must expect them to read the Bible for themselves and share what they are learning with others.

Time Frame

Jesus finished training the Twelve in less than three years.

Most discipleship groups should plan on a two year time frame. Groups that stay together longer than two years often become settled and do not want to multiply. Remember, success is succession. Narrow your focus and train the trainers God brings into your life.

What will you study in your small group?

Many people are ready to read and study the Bible. Consider the format I just described.

We offer small group resources for people at all stages of faith

Bible Basics (English and Spanish)
- a short introduction to Christianity for seekers and new believers

What's Missing Inside You?
- Leads people to examine and apply basics Christian beliefs - for people at all stages of faith

Kingdom-Driven Discipleship
- A discipleship Bible study for seasoned believers

Author: Paul Schlieker

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