1. Small group leaders are important.- We might work on staff, but our small group leaders are the ones who are their “pastors. They are incredibly important to our ministry and we do our best to let them know they are vital.
2. Small group leaders set the tone. – They need to know that they are setting the tone for the atmosphere. If they want it to be serious, they need to take it serious. If they are just going to mess around and just have fun, that is all the group is going to be. They set the tone.
3. Small groups are not about small group leaders.- The group is about getting students to know Jesus better. It is not about the leader doing whatever they are wanting to do and to talk about. The goal is to have students experience who Jesus is to then express him in their lives. At the same time, the group is not about the group either. They need to know that they are there to learn.
4. Small group leaders aren’t supposed to live on an island.- They need to know they are supported. Whether the group meets on the church campus or in homes, they have to know they are supported and are a part of the bigger picture fo the ministry. It is ultimately a team effort.
5. Small group leaders must be invitational.- Seems like it would be a given you would be surprised. I get the fact that you want to keep a small group small. It it needs to be an inviting place because from what I have seen is a ton of new students getting plugged into our ministry because they are coming and wanting to be a part of the small group community it provides.
6. Small group leaders aren’t perfect.- Exactly. they are humans and have their own struggles and life situations happen. It’s okay to let us know they can ask the staff for help if they need support. Also, showing they are a “real” person and being transparent is one of the most effective ways to minister to students.
7. Being a small group leader isn’t always easy.- They are in the trenches. They are dealing with, talking through, walking with students with issues and messy lives. It’s not always going to be easy but it’s always going to be worth it.
8. Seek advice and wisdom from trusted advisers.- We have a coaching system lined up. I am a coach to 13 other guys small group leaders. If they need anything or have any questions about small groups, they know they can come to me for help and advice. It’s my job to care for and guide my team.
9. Lean into the small group leader community.- It’s important to know they know they are not on an island by themselves. But it can be the exact opposite when they can lean into other leaders and get ideas on how to teach a lesson to their students or even get advice on how to handle a certain situation that another leader may have already gone through. Ministering to each other is huge.
10. Be patient and be passionate! – Because it is not always going to be easy, patience is key. If students are not “getting it” or if they are driving you crazy, be patient. God is working in their hearts. Nothing is better than the “light bulb” moment when they finally get it. AND BE PASSIONATE! If you are all in, your students in your group will be all in.