Refreshing Words of Encouragement from God's Holy Bible | Scripture Jewels  | Probing the Many Facets of God's Love Toward Us

Falls, Sunset, Tetons, Kailua

Receiving and
Expressing Value
Bible Verses on Photos
Ph./Fax (808) 247-6443

Various authors share about experiencing God's wonderful presence by knowing Jesus Christ personally through the power of the Holy Spirit.


BY: Brian E. Trenhaile, December 10, 2007

Table of Contents


I.       Anointed Old Testament Examples 

         Joseph and Pharaoh

         Jethro and Moses

         Jehoshaphat at the Wilderness of Tekoa

II.      Anointed New Testament Examples

         Jesus the Divine Pattern

         John and Paul

         Unusual Characteristics of this Anointing

III.    Anointed Modern Day Examples

         Amazingly Small Group Leaders have this Anointing

IV.    Implementing this Anointing

         Setting Goals and Planing for Growth

         Small Groups need to Birth other Small Groups

         Small Groups need to Birth new Leaders



Discovering the Leader in Others


Training up new leaders through small groups is an extremely potent way of fulfilling the Great Commission.   There are many names for this fruitful process.  Among other things this process can be called enabling, mentoring, discipleship, tutoring, apprenticeship, delegating, interning or leadership training.  Because the Great Commission is so grand in scope, even Christendom’s most diligent person simply cannot fulfill it alone.  

“Apprentice development utilizes the principle of multiplication.  For example an effective evangelist who reaches 1,000 people a day for Christ will win the world to Christ in 13,515 years.  But a very effective discipler who teaches or trains two people a year to reach others for Christ has the potential to win the world to Christ in 33 years (Donahue 67).”

This comment explains why this method is so very effective, because it wonderfully multiplies the efforts of many and it can and has endured through many thousands of years.

In this text, the term “anointing” is often utilized.  Here it specifically refers to a special type of anointing that recognizes, develops and encourages the leadership potential in others.  Examples will be provided to demonstrate the grand scope of this type of anointing.  This anointing can be the result of special giftings.   But the wonderful thing about it is that its techniques can be utilized by any committed Christian regardless of gifting, gender or educational level.  This makes perfect sense; because every committed believer has the Holy Spirit actively working within them.  It also fits with the goal of Christian growth, which is to grow up into the full stature of Christ.

I. Anointed Old Testament Examples

When a gargantuan task is at hand, God will often instruct His leaders to involve others.  Some Old Testament examples are provided here to demonstrate this concept.

Joseph and Pharaoh

What were the first words out of Joseph’s mouth to solve Pharaoh’s impending colossal crisis?  Joseph said "Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.  Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land … (Genesis 41:33-34, NASB).”   So delegation was paramount in the mind of this wise man that God blessed regardless of his status (favored son, hated brother, slave, prisoner or prime minister) or location (father’s tent, pit, prison, or palace).

Jethro and Moses

Exodus 18:13-23 contains a classic example.  Basically Moses was burning himself out. He was also exasperating the people who were waiting for him in line.  Fortunately his father in law gave him sound advice to share the load with others (Christian Family Church, 10).

Jehoshaphat at the Wilderness of Tekoa

In this precious example God worked through Jehoshaphat’s delegating to defeat Judah’s vast and overwhelming enemies.

“He appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."  When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed (II Chronicles 20:21-22).”

In this incident group members were given a role to play.  Some would use the terminology that they were given ownership in the activity.  Whatever you call it, Jehoshaphat’s delegation allowed his people to get excited and joyful.  They never forget that they took a part in a miraculous mighty move of God.

II. Anointed New testament examples

 This anointing is also mentioned throughout the New Testament.  Some poignant examples are brought out here.

Jesus the Divine Pattern

Jesus started training his apostles right at the start of His public ministry.   It must be important because Jesus was involved with training throughout His earthly ministry.   Jesus used concentric circles of relationships in His discipleship process; first it was the inner circle with Him and John, then the inner three, then the twelve, then the forty and so forth.  So Jesus devoted more of His focus to the inner circles than in the outer circles.  Jesus did one on one mentoring with John, but he also trained people simultaneously in groups.  Also noteworthy is Jesus pattern of carefully picking disciples.  He prayed all night prior to selecting the twelve apostles.

John and Paul

Christian tradition has it that John the Beloved started six of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation.  John had this anointing and so did Paul.  Among other places Paul helped start churches in Antioch-Psidia, Iconimum, Lystra, Derbe, Ephesus, Thessalonica, Philipi, Berea, Athens and Corinth.

Unusual Characteristics of this Anointing

People with this anointing promote rather than stifle the ministry activity of others.  Jesus told His disciples not to hinder the man doing miracles in His name.  He said this even though the man was not a part of their group (cf. Luke 9: 49, 50).   Paul said “Christ is preached, so I’m happy even though some of those preaching are doing it to spite me (cf. Philippians 1: 15-18).”  People with this anointing are focused on establishing the rule of God and not winning a personality contest.  John the Baptist said “He must increase and I must decrease.”

III. Anointed Modern Day examples

This anointing certainly does not end with the book of Acts.  There are many modern day examples that operate in this anointing.  David Yonggi Cho (formerly Paul Yonggi Cho) has it; he has the world’s largest church (Comiskey 11).  Theo Wolmarans of Christian Family Church  has it; he can go away for months at a time and his churches remain intact.  Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church in Chicago and Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California have it.  Two prominent Hawaii examples are Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope and James Morocco of King’s Cathedral.  But there are many other powerful modern day examples in Hawaii and throughout the world.

Amazingly Small Group Leaders have this Anointing

The exciting thing about all this is that small group leaders can normally have this powerful anointing!  Research into small groups has yielded the following results:  1) Factors that don’t affect group multiplication: The leader’s gender, social class, age, marital status, education, personality type or spiritual gifting.  2) Factors that do affect group multiplication:  The cell leaders devotion time, intercession for cell members, preparing heart before lessons, setting goals, knowing cell multiplication date, training, how often new people are contacted, exhortation to group members to invite friends, the number of visitors to the cell meeting, group members fellowshipping outside formal meeting time and care of group members by the cell leader.  Prayer by the cell leader was found to be one of the most important characteristics of a successful cell group leader (cf. Comiskey 27-44).  “A small group leader has a role of strategic importance … the opportunity to influence people for eternity (Long 13).”

IV. Implementing this Anointing

The research shows that this anointing can be fired up by taking a proactive approach.  Setting goals and planning for growth are two powerful means of accomplishing this. 

Setting Goals and Planing for Growth

Leading the lost to Christ[1] and training up leaders should be two primary goals for small groups.  In other words “Two pillars for successful small groups are evangelism[2] and edification (cf. Christian Family Church 11).” 

Small Groups Need to Birth New Small Groups

Small groups should be set up and encouraged to birth other small groups.  Similar to a midwife who assist births, small groups should assist birthing of other small groups (cf. Christian Family Church 21, 22).  A strategy for growth through group multiplication must be in place right from the start.  The fastest growing cell churches require that their small groups to divide within a specified time frame.  Pastor Cho will send a cell leader to Prayer Mountain to fast and pray if his/her cell group does not divide within the allotted time (cf. Comiskey 24).

The neat thing about small groups is that they can be mobilized like a net to bring in the lost.  Whereas one on one witnessing involves a less effective hook and line method.  Both methods should be used, but the first is far more effective.  Also small groups are much more effective in keeping a new believer from slipping out the back door, because they provide a place where new believers can have community (cf. Comiskey 11, 12, 21, 23).

Evangelism is also an important goal because new leaders will come out of the fruit of this effort.  So small groups should have a vision for evangelism built right into the core of their operation (cf. Mark 16:15, 20 and Christian Family Church 52). 

Small Groups Need to Birth New Leaders

Equipping leaders should be one of the primary goals of small groups.  In the Great Commission we have a mandate to make disciples, who will eventually become leaders (cf. Long 19, 20).  Utilizing small groups for equipping leaders is God’s pattern (cf. Christian Family Church 15, 53).  Paul said that the whole purpose of the five-fold ministry is to equip the saints in order to bring them into the maturity of Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:11-13).  Since Christ is a leader, it can be deduced that mature saints will also be leaders. 

To accomplish divinely mandated growth, small group leaders need to train up new leaders who then in turn also train up new leaders (cf. Donahue 67).  Paul told Timothy “These things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (II Timothy 2:2 NASB).”   Pastor Cesar Castellanos heads the International Charismatic Mission.  The IMC[3] is one of the world’s largest and most successful cell churches.  Their goal is to make a cell leader out of every person who enters the church and for cell groups to be “leader breeders (cf. Comiskey 56).”

“Pastor Castellanos tells his leaders not to “recruit” cell members but to “train” leaders.  The success of the cell church depends on transforming lay people into lay leaders.  That is the force behind the home cell group explosion.  The goal of every cell leader, therefore, is to raise up new leadership.  Many cell leaders fail precisely at this point, because the primary focus of leadership development becomes blurred with the burdens of attracting new people, perfecting the lesson content, or honing the worship (Comiskey 57).”

Ideally church growth comes through new cell groups constantly forming.  Therefore, new leaders are constantly required for these new groups.  Small group leaders are not developed by chance; deliberate training of leaders needs to be designed right into the primary functioning of small groups (cf. Donahue 15 and Christian Family Church 52, 55, 61). 


Leadership training is one of the most important functions of small groups.  In fact it is God’s pattern for small groups to be self replicating leader making machines.  Unfortunately this aspect of small group dynamics is often overlooked. 

Small group leadership training activities should be prayerfully and carefully setup.  Activities should be at the direction and timing of the Holy Spirit.  Success comes when senior church leadership are the ones spearheading these activities.  John Maxwell states the following: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership (Maxwell 179).” 


Christian Family Church. Small Group Leader’s Course Seminar Notes. Kapolei, Hawaii.  Pacific Christian University, 2007.

Comiskey, Joel. Home Cell Group Explosion.  Houston, Texas:  Touch Publications, 1998.

Warren, Rick. Better Together – What on earth are we here for?  Lake Forest, California:  Purpose Driven, 2004.

Donahue, Bill. The Willow Creek Guide to Leading Life Changing Small Groups.  Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.

Barker, Steve, and Judy Johnson, et al.  Small Group Leaders’ Handbook.  Downers Grove, Illinois:  InterVarsity Press, 1982.

Long, Jimmy, and Ann Beyerlein, et al.  Small Group Leaders’ Handbook – The NEXT Generation.  Downers Grove, Illinois:  InterVarsity Press, 1995.

Maxwell, John. Developing the Leader Within You.  Nashville, Tennessee:  Thomas Nelson, 1993.

Van Der Puy, Abe. The High Calling of God, You Can Serve God Successfully.  Lincoln, Nebraska:  Back to the Bible, 1982.

Zodiates, Spiros.  The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible.  Chattanooga, Tennessee:  AMG Publishers, Revised Edition 1991.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture references marked NASB are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (

Scripture references marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®.  Copyright © 1973,1978,1984 by the International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.  All rights reserved.

End Notes

[1] An accomplished church growth researcher states “If you want to know how churches grow, study growing churches! … Small group evangelism and dynamic church growth are two sides of the same coin.  They are one (Comiskey 15).”

[2] “Small-group ministry constantly faces a dilemma: maintaining the intimacy of a small group while fulfilling Christ’s command to evangelize.  Cell multiplication is the only proven way to remain small while faithfully reaching out.  Wesley practiced this principle and laid the foundation for the modern cell-church explosion (Comiskey 24).

[3] IMC is located in Bogota, Columbia.  One webpage,, says this church now has more than 300,000 members.  In 1998 this mega church had more than 10,000 cell groups and it was penetrating every corner of Bogota (cf. Comiskey 25).