by Jeremy Smith, The SmallGroupNut
Being a small group leader is one of the most fun and terrifying things in life. The fun comes when the relationships get bigger than the group and discipleship happens. Terrifying happens when relationships get messy and when questions get bigger.
Here’s a few helpful hints that can hopefully remove some of the ‘terrifying’ and emphasize the fun.
1. Pray, Pray, Pray – pray for the meeting (invite the Holy Spirit), pray for the group members, pray over prayer requests, pray over the discussion materials, etc. Just pray!!!
2. Ease into Transparency – the goal is to get the group to open up and begin to share life together. Transparency takes time. It would be a surprise to have someone come week 1 and pour out their lives (it has happened, but it’s not the norm). Slowly easy into transparency as you begin to build relationship.
3. Lead it, Don’t Read it – invest yourself in the discussion materials. Do additional research, craft the questions to your audience, and pray over the materials. As the leader, you are setting the tone for the meeting time, so be prepared. Don’t expect to have every answer, but be prepared and know the material.
4. See Ya Later – I always told my small group leaders that 75% of small group happens outside of the small group meeting. Be deliberate about building relationship. Go out to dinner together, invite them to birthday parties, call during the week (follow-up on prayer requests), write a personal note, etc. The relationships will grow and connect quicker as you are investing more time.
5. Don’t Take it Personal – sometimes groups fail to launch. It’s not your fault. Sometimes people don’t desire to go from simple community to disciple-forming relationship. It’s not your fault.
6. ASK – Don’t be afraid to ask your coach or small group pastor if you have questions. They are there for you.
I am excited that you have decided to step into small group leadership. Small groups are a crucial piece to growing people towards Christ and you are critical to that process.