What Gets You Mad Enough to Punch Someone? Here’s Mine

Share via:

Luckily (or providentially, depending on your world view) he was on the other side of a board room table.  I did have the urge to punch him, though.  I was saved by the width of the table.

What got me mad enough to punch him?  Believe it or not, it was his assumption that small groups are good for connecting the unconnected but you still need something more to make disciples.

Remember the scene in A Few Good Men right after Jack Nicholson admits to ordering the code red and tries to break away from the two MPs and throttle Tom Cruise?  That’s how I felt.  I was close to lunging.

Why?  Because I don’t believe that.  The assumption that small groups are about icebreakers, potlucks, and the occasional game of Twister makes me mad.  The notion that making a disciple requires something more substantial than a small group makes me lunging mad!

I don’t know if you’re there or not.  If you’re not…consider this:

Jesus had no printed curriculum.  As far as we know, He wasn’t teaching a systematic theology course.  When His closest followers criticized a group that wasn’t using the same approach, Jesus rebuked the disciples.

I think we can be sure of certain things.  When He invited them to come and see…that’s what they did.  His closest followers became like Him by learning to do what He did.  They spent time with Him in a group.  They watched Him.  They asked Him questions.  They questioned His methods.  They tried what He told them to do (sometimes they walked on water and some times they sank).

They were not perfect.  They never had a real graduation ceremony.  They argued about who was the greatest.  They doubted Him.

But…when He knew they were ready, He said, “as you are going, make disciples.”

Can I remind you?  Never let anyone tell you that you can’t make disciples in a group.  They were with Jesus…and they changed the world.

What do you think?  What would you have said?  Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. In addition, LifeWay has retained my services and I am under contract with LifeWay. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Rick Howerton on September 20, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Wow Mark. Great stuff! I do understand the confusion. Let’s face it, if all a group does is gather and, 1) aren’t led by a spiritually mature small group leader who is purposeful and proactive in teaching, training, and admonishing, or 2) all the group does is meet once a week to have discussions about the Bible or the sermon and get together once in a while to hang out, discipleship leading to the making of spiritual parents (as opposed to other levels of spiritual maturity including spiritual infants, spiritual teens, and spiritual young adults) will most likely not occur.

    Discipleship that is “fellowship only” may make disciples but not mature disciples.

    You and I are very much in agreement. Discipleship happens best in a small group of about 12. I would go one step further and say that a great leader will does as Jesus did and will, at times, purposefully get with a few of those who are part of the twelve or just one, and call them to higher levels of commitment or stretch their present paradigm so that they know His will or His perspective and let loose of their own.


    P.S. Don’t punch the guy. We need you around calling us to higher levels of commitment, stretching our present paradigms, and reminding us of God’s perspectives so we will let go of our own.

  2. markchowell on September 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Yes! Thanks for jumping in here, Rick! It is absolutely possible with intentionality. And I detect a hint of “real life” in your lingo! Good stuff!


    P.S. and I did restrain myself!