A Disciple Method for Leading a Men’s Small Group
A Simple Approach For Leading Your Men’s Group
I have found that there are hundreds of principles for small group leader that equip men for the challenging task of leading a small group. But who can remember all these tips and tricks, seriously there are thousands?! From my 25-years of leading small groups for men, I have found one failsafe philosophy that will empower you for leading men more than any other. Philosophy, that if embraced, will turn you into a great leader and help you with any group you lead. And all you have to remember is three letters – KMS.
I guide our leaders toward keeping the KMS leadership process at the top of their mind. It helps them keep their group focused on discipleship and guided them toward a holistic approach to discipleship and leadership development. KMS stands for “knowledge, modeling, and skills.” Together these form a complete picture of a discipleship process, which Jesus modeled for his men. When these three elements are intentionally carried out by leaders, group members will experience transformation and will be equipped for ongoing growth in their relationship with God. And all this happen right in your small group community. Here’s how I break them down.
Knowledge: The essence of what we need to know.
Knowledge is how we gain new insights and perspectives, or it reminds us of them, through teaching, discussion, and observation. By far our greatest tool for knowledge is the Bible. Leading men and equipping them to discover God’s Word and hear from Him through the Bible is our most important role. In Resolute, we read scripture every time out loud every time we meet. Also, we guide men through additional concepts to broaden their understanding of the topic at hand. And to increase the sticky factor of this knowledge, we also end each session by leading men in discussion questions to help them reflect on how they will apply the knowledge they are learning to their everyday lives. Without application and integration into one’s life, education is worthless, or as Jesus says, knowledge without application just leads to arrogance.
Modeling: It’s not just the group content it’s the leader.
In modeling, the men learn by observing the leader or mentor. This may be something a leader shares about their own private life, how they interacted with someone recently, or how they respond to challenging situations. This is especially at play when something unexpected happens in a group meeting. This unexpected moment is your finest moment to model for the men, for what you do here is the tell-tale sign of who you are. Show men how to respond, by caring, praying, deliberating, or confronting.
Modeling is useful for picking up small but significant things that can benefit someone else’s life I cannot tell you how many times a man in one of my groups has commented on how I handled a situation that forever changed their perspective on leadership and even who I am. The key aspect of modeling is recognizing that you are not just extending knowledge, as important as that is, you are also extending your life. The men in our groups learn from who we are as people, as followers of Christ, and as we lead and interact with them. Purposeful modeling is essential. As leaders, we need to think about main features we want to model as we prepare to lead each week. Particularly important are characteristics that may be newer for some men. Here are some examples:
- Humility: Humbly sharing struggles we have encountered with the theme of the week’s lesson model’s humility, vulnerability, and security in God’s love for us. It also encourages men that they are not alone in their struggles and that they are normal.
- Honesty: Owning our sins which we have committed and sharing honestly about them is compelling. We are human, and eventually, the men you lead will find out. Why not share a little bit at a time and build a report with them along the way?
- Peace & Forgiveness: It is important to share about times we have pursued peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the middle of a conflict. These are major areas of need for many men and modeling this can be overwhelming.
- Service: Sharing successes or failures as we serve our wife, children, colleagues, have been some of the greatest teachable moments in my groups. And more often than not I share my failures, but men love to see me not always at my best, but my worst.
- Biblical Wisdom: Intentionally sharing about decisions that are guided by God and his wisdom rather than our culture in areas such as money, materialism, busyness, rest, sexual purity, and numerous other areas.
- God’s Love: Sharing our sincere belief in the Father’s love for us as his son, which many men find difficult to believe. And maybe how we saw God’s love displayed to us over the last week.
The primary means of modeling will happen through intentional sharing as a part of one’s leadership. Modeling also happens as a leader responds to others in the group, during 1-on-1 meetings, or other gatherings outside of the group time.
Skills: How to implement the knowledge and modeling.
Skills are areas that need hands-on training and the opportunity to ask questions to ensure that the individual can utilize the skill proficiently. Skill training is essential in spiritual practices such as planning a regular time with God, prayer, and Bible reading and study. We invite men in Resolute to pursue these practices in directed ways during the week and report back at the beginning of the next group meeting. We have found it best to train in one spiritual practice over many weeks. Learning to utilize life skills from a Biblical perspective such as making important decisions, working through conflict, and the like are also key. Exercises, role playing, case studies, and other methods are very effective to help men gain these skills. Remember In some cases one-on-one meetings can be helpful in working through a skill with a group member.
If you are looking for material for your men’s group or are looking for help with your small group leadership, reach out to us a www.beresolute.org or send us an email.
Vince Miller is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to speak to men’s audiences and has a deep passion for mentorship and God’s Word. He has authored ten books and small group content for men. He is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Reach out to him today if you need a men’s speaker or content for your men’s small groups.