The end and start of a church fiscal year is a great time to evaluate and plan for a new year. For me, that time is right now, which coincides with the launch of a new season of small groups. I have been spending time reflecting, thinking, and praying over what I have learned, but more importantly, the changes (whether small or large) I need to make in order to propel our small groups forward in this next fiscal year.
Here are 5 things I have learned and the changes I plan on making:
- Prayer—I know this is obvious, but too often I get caught up in the daily whirlwind of my job that I neglect probably the single most important part of my job (I don’t think I am alone in this). I need to block out time on my calendar to pray for my leaders. How can you more intentionally pray for your leaders?
- Not training is not an option—On Sunday mornings, kids and youth take priority, which means I need to find creative options for training my leaders. In talking with our Kids Pastor, I realized that there is one little class that can hold probably no more than 15 adults that sits empty most Sundays. While less than ideal, I can at least do something. What creative options do you need to explore for training and supporting your leaders?
- The one thing—Let’s be honest, the to-do list is longer and bigger than I will ever get through in my lifetime. Which means I need to prioritize. What is the one thing that will have the greatest impact on my ministry in the coming year? This doesn’t excuse me from neglecting the other aspects of my job (especially those I tend to dislike), but it does help give clarity to where I need to spent the bulk of my time. What is your one thing?
- Collecting stories—Getting my senior leader to fully buy-in to small groups has been and continues to be a struggle. (There is a great Group Talk where Steve Gladen addresses this very issue. Listen here.) Thankfully, my senior pastor is highly relational, and loves stories; therefore, I plan on doing a better job of collecting stories from our small groups to not only give to my senior pastor, but also to the whole church. What’s been your best way to collect stories?
- Personal flourishing—In all of this, I cannot neglect my own growth and flourishing. What are those activities that bring life and refreshment to my soul? More importantly, how can I build those into my schedule? Just as an example, I have recently started baking sourdough bread again, and because we have a kitchen at church, I am able to bake bread once or twice a week at church. What activities do you need to build into your schedule so that you continue to grow and flourish as a leader?
As I begin a new fiscal year and as we are about to launch our small groups in the next couple of weeks, I am really hoping that what I have learned from the past year, I can begin to work on in order to see God’s people grow.