Dealing with Small Group Parasites

A couple days ago on my blog, I introduced “Little Jerry,” a pet name for my little parasite friend I had living in my body several years ago. Read the post here. I talked about how parasites can also come into your church or group and the unhealthy effects they can have on the Body.

To get healthy again, you must take this parasite seriously! Don’t fool around, thinking the issue will get better over time. Parasites can and do suck the life out of a body, leaving it malnourished and dysfunctional (that is, unable to function properly), and, if left untreated, the results can be fatal.

As a spiritual leader, your job is not necessarily to eliminate (although there may need to come a time for that) and definitely not to kill the “parasite.” Even those who are selfishly feeding off the Body of Christ can be transformed. That happens in community, by being united with Christ and fellow believers. As people grow spiritually, the goal is to become more like Christ, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8).

Yes, that’s the awesome power of the gospel. People can be transformed. Even “parasites” can develop into humble servants!
Here are a 7 steps for dealing with group members who act as parasites (consumers): 

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Mike Mack
Michael C. Mack founded in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.

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