by Jim Egli
I’ve surveyed thousands of small group leaders to discover what makes small groups grow. I’ve looked at hundreds of different leadership characteristics and behaviors.
One of the most surprising things the research has revealed is that, if you are a small group leader, one of the most pivotal things you do is something no one sees. It’s whether or not you are regularly taking time with God for personal prayer and Bible study.
There is a very strong correlation between the leader’s prayer life and whether or not their group is healthy and growing.
The research reveals that it does not matter if you are young or old, educated or uneducated, outgoing or quiet. It doesn’t make a difference if you have the gift of teaching or not or even the gift of evangelism. Actually, nothing outside of your control makes a difference.
But it does matter if you are prioritizing your relationship with God and taking time to bring yourself, your members, and your group meeting to him.
Basically, I’ve done years of extensive research and analysis just to discover that Jesus’ promise is true:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NIV)
But, hey, it was all worth it if it’s going to encourage you as a leader to enjoy Jesus and get close to him.
It’s not that your group depends on your prayer life. Your group doesn’t depend on you. It depends on God. So it makes a big difference whether you are consistently depending on him.
Do you want a rich and fruitful life personally and as a leader? Do you want your life to make a difference and impact others? Then get and stay close to Jesus. Continue to learn to enjoy his presence and live in him.
Remember he declares: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Believe him. It’s true! I’ve got stats to prove it.