Silhouette Andrew Pano

Jesus – the Ultimate Youth Small Group Leader

Jesus’ Youth Small Group
Jesus, took 12 young men (His youth small group) and developed them into nation changers. He led the way for youth work. In Jesus’ time, disciples (Talmudic) were generally teenagers. Peter was asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” Jesus sent him to find a four-drachma coin (Matthew 17:27). The two drachma tax was paid by everyone over 20, indicating that of the 12, only Peter was not a teenager.

Jesus shared His life.
A rabbi, like Jesus, had disciples, who wanted to be like him. Jesus saw who they would become and, in the same way, Paul said to Timothy, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).  Jesus intimately shared His life with these teenagers, so when His mission on earth was over they continued to reflect Him as He had reflected His Father.
Jesus modeled the power of lifestyle discipleship.

Jesus looked for the unlikely. 
In Jesus’ day, a 12-year-old would find a rabbi and ask him, “Can I be like you?” If the rabbi decided they were not suitable, they would probably join the family business; but if he saw potential to reproduce himself in them, they would be invited to be his disciple. Jesus reversed that, approaching teenagers Himself. Peter and Andrew were in their family fishing business, presumably already established as “failures,” but Jesus said, “Come, follow Me!” (Matthew 4:19).  He saw young men who would replicate His work and character.

We must see our teens through the eyes and vision of Jesus, who took young, uneducated “failures” and turned them into nation changers - most of whom would, like their rabbi, give their lives to cruel death (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Jesus was Servant-Hearted 
Jesus modeled servanthood by bringing aspirations of greatness contrary to the world: first was last, life was death. 7% of communication is we receive is from the spoken word, 93% from the life that we see. Jesus gave a 100% message as he modeled Kingdom greatness to His teenagers, serving them as a small group, as individuals, and discipling them to do the same.

Jesus spent quality time with His Father 
Jesus did not let ministry distract, even if it meant giving up sleep. Relationship with the Father, devotion to hearing, and doing what the Father said was at the core of who He was and the DNA of discipling teenagers who would know His Father intimately.

Doing ministry can never be more important than relationship. A Youth Small Group leader is a person the Father is preparing for His bride. Pleasing the Father and receiving the passionate love of our Bridegroom King must be our DNA as we reach a generation who has the potential to complete the great commission by making their own disciples for Jesus.

Jesus led the way in giving up His life. Most of His “youth small group” emulated Him by giving up theirs!