A vital dimension of any organization is its leadership. Leadership is a critical piece of a missional Sunday School group too. It is a time proven principle that people eventually model their leaders. My experience has been that the intensity and impact of leadership increases with a smaller group of people. It looks like this:
Leader + Small Group + Time + Intensity = Impact
Jesus is the prime example of this leadership principle. Yes, He preached to thousands (John 6:2, 10) and He healed many people (Mark 6:56). Although these were significant ministries, Jesus’ plan for greater Kingdom impact was through a small group of 12 men. He focused even more effort on three of them (Peter, James, and John). These guys saw Jesus in action on a continual basis for three years. Leader + small group + time + intensity = impact. And the corollary: the smaller the group – the more intense and impactful the leader will be (Jesus, Peter, James, John).
You may be wondering now where the word “consecrate” fits into this process. It comes back to what we are trying to reproduce through our leadership. Since people model their leaders, then what kind of leader are we? I hope that we are all godly, consecrated leaders! In other words, the more consecrated the leader, the more consecrated the group will become.
Consecrate actually means to set oneself apart. It means to devote yourself to a person, purpose, or a mission. Consecration is a life choice. We rise every morning with choices before us that are impacting others in ways we are virtually unaware. A consecrated leader has made a choice to follow Jesus Christ with all of his or her life. Consecration is reflected in choices. Godly leaders make godly choices.
Like every church leader, I want to see our churches impact lostness in their communities and make disciples. Formulas, programs, and strategies are all nice, but nothing can replace the impact of the Holy Spirit’s work through consecrated followers of Christ.
Look at the first two C’s of a missional group; connect and content. We are trying to connect people to our group and ultimately connect them to Christ. Connecting people in our communities to consecrated followers of Christ is obviously more impactful than connecting them to an apathetic group of believers! Want deeper Bible study (content), who better to lead your group’s study than a leader who has made the godly choices of consecration throughout the previous week!
Consecration is not a ceremony, it is making godly choices as we walk through life every day. Pastors, if you want to have a Sunday School or small group ministry that is truly making disciples, start with consecrated leaders.
The secret to consecration is that it is a choice that you can make only for yourself. Group leader, you can not make your group be more godly. What you can do is choose to live a godly life and then let the leadership principle of consecration be caught and transferred to your group. It was the model of Jesus and it should be our model as well.