Over the past few week I have been meeting with some of our small group leaders at Starbucks. The agenda was just to see how they were doing, how their small groups were doing, and how HSM can help them finish their year strong. As the conversations have been going I have come to the conclusion that small group leaders have two main roles when it comes to leading their small group.

Walking in front of- There are times in which things come up in which we as small group leaders need to be walking in front of our students and leading them in the ways of Jesus. It is like Paul’s “follow me as I follow Jesus”. This is intimidating. But as a leader we try to do this the best as we can. We lead them through study. We lead out of our experience. We lead because we have more time to study the Bible, we have had more time to pray, we have had the same doubts and maybe even the same struggles. In this we can walk in front of and lead them through some major and important areas in their faith and life.

Coming along-side- There are other times where we need to step out from the front of the pack and come along-side our students. there are times where our students don’t need a leader, they need a shoulder. It’s really hard to be a shoulder when your are standing out in front. There are times where we need to stop and come along-side our students and just be there, next to them. We are not giving up our leadership, but we are leading them in a different manner. We are showing them what true friendship and community is. We are showing them what God does with us when we are hurting, that He is hurting with us.

As leaders we wear many hats, but walking in front of and coming along side of are two huge and important things to remember when leading students in small groups. They need both. Both need to be modeled from their leaders.