Small Group Leaders; 5 Essential Steps to Lead Your Team to THRIVE

As you work with your team – whether it be in the workplace, school, church, sports, business or family – lead like Jesus to find greater levels of effectiveness, deeper trust-rich relationships, rewarding results and team success.

Jesus is the greatest small group leader the world has ever known. As servant-leadership expert, Marcel Schwantes explains in “Want to Be a Great leader? The Smartest Ones Start by Doing These Four Rare Things” Jesus showed us that a good team leader is genuinely dedicated to serving others so that they will flourish.

He said,  “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”  (John 10:10-15)  Today, take advantage of the incredible opportunity to learn from the best and take these five bold Jesus-like steps to help your team to thrive:

  1. See the Vision – Imagine everyone in your group overcoming their challenges to prosper, taking hold of God’s vision and power to THRIVE – what does it look like, feel like? Write down the names of each person in your group. Pray for them. Envision them flourishing:
  2. Lead the Way – Pray and put together a personal plan to prosper that includes fully engaging in the THRIVE Conference – before, during and after.  What’s your personal THRIVE plan? Share it with your team.
  3. Genuinely Care – Now reach out to each person in your group to help them put together their personal plan to prosper that includes fully engaging in the THRIVE Conference – before, during and after. How will you know them, encourage them and help them, like Jesus?
  4. Work as a Team – Healthy teams actively and creatively help each person on the team to overcome challenges to thrive (Mark 2:1-12). Imagine your whole group at the conference experiencing the enjoyment, inspiration and instruction together. How will you shepherd and lead your group to make that dream a reality? How will your team help one another (ex. finances, rides, logistics, child-care, housing, sharing resources and responsibilities) to make that dream a reality? Brainstorm, discuss and write down your ideas, goals, roles and plans:
  5. Thrive Together – Jesus saw his “small group leader” job as helping others to live life to the fullest. He taught that real love relationships with God and people bring health and vitality to life. Let’s work together – love one another like Jesus – to thrive together!

When I was a young man living in Tokyo Japan, struggling to survive and training to become an effective minister and Bible Talk leader, I learned (through much trial and error) that Jesus’ way of team-servant leadership actually works in any culture. When I tried to lead in my natural style, I came across to the Japanese as very “American” and often overly directive, insecure and self-centered.

When I practiced Jesus’ way of vision, genuine care, service, team collaboration and creativity I felt more connected in heart to those I was trying to lead, and became much more effective and influential. I built long lasting relationships and had much better results. So small group leaders – let’s lead like Jesus and thrive!

Go to to check out the whole THRIVE Experience – register yourself and your team for the conference today!


Steve Shoff is an evangelist in the Boston Church of Christ. He has an MBA and has worked extensively in church-building, leadership development and corporate management. He also lived and worked alongside the Japanese disciples in the Tokyo Church of Christ for four years. Steve and his wife Sue live in Hanover, Massachusetts serving the South Coast Region and enjoying long walks together and good coffee.

Comment List

  • Nancy Manning 25 / 04 / 2018 Reply

    Miss you ‘Stue’ (Steve and Sue) ❤️Nancy Manning (Sorrells)… UC Berkeley days:)

    • Steve Shoff 25 / 04 / 2018 Reply

      Thanks Nancy – Miss you too! Love those UC Berkeley Days!

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  • Craig Reynolds 17 / 07 / 2018 Reply

    Sounds quite inspiring. I’m looking forward to this conference. I hope to learn more .

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