Small group leaders are great people, but just like the best of us they can become distracted, discouraged, or disconnected. Below are five great ways for you to help leaders catch the vision and know that no one leads alone.
Send a book
A friend of mine is known for saying, “leaders are learners and learners are readers.” Take a moment to reflect on the few most inspiring books you have ever read and consider lending some out or purchasing a copy for some of your leaders. Two great options are Small Groups with Purpose by Steve Gladen or Simple Small Groups by Bill Search.
Get a coffee
Small group leaders put a high value on authentic relationship. Take them out for a coffee (or tea, or water, or whatever!) and hear their story. Ask some engaging questions, like “what is God doing in your life lately?” and answer for yourself, too. Iron sharpens iron works both ways. Growing and relating together with leaders is a great way to increase engagement and ownership.
Ask them their vision for their group
To cast the vision of an organization or group, Bill Hybels says to gather around and prayerfully ask, “Where does God want this group to go in the coming years?” Getting back to the spiritual roots of why someone chose to be a small group leader in the first place happens when we humbly ask God what He wants of us.
Invite them into ministry ownership
Good leaders know that giving group members ownership increases their level of engagement. Good small group point people know that the same is true of their small group leaders. When is the last time you pitched a new idea to a group of small group leaders? When did you last ask them to help you write curriculum or plan a training? How would they say the ministry as a whole is operating? Giving ownership is vulnerable, but a key part of discipleship and ministry.
Get them talking to other leaders
Something special happens when you get small group leaders in a room together. They swap war stories, share best practices, and tell each other which books to buy and which to avoid. There is a great anonymous quote that says, “collaboration divides the task and multiplies the success.” And if you are looking for the same type of engagement, but with other small group point people, consider attending the 2016 Lobby Conference. It’s designed to link small group ministry leaders up with one another.