The other day someone asked me what I think makes some of the best leaders. Here is what I wrote down and I won’t lie, I forget some of these things and this is a great reminder for myself.

The best leaders:

Are students, not know-it-alls. They are in groups to learn themselves, not to try to convince students they know everything. When they are leading a Bible study they are open to learning and are on a journey with students. Groups that grow together, stay together.

Spark conversations, not dominate them. The sole job of a leader in a small group is to get students talking about their faith. The best leaders are the ones who know how to ask good questions to get students talking. Jesus was the best at asking questions and leaders need to follow that example. Poor leaders think this is the time for them to shine and let the students know how “theological” they are. If they just want to talk, they shouldn’t be leaders.

Don’t have a “perfect” Instagram life. What I mean by this is for most people, they post the “highlights” of their life making it all good and no bad. The best leaders let students in on their dirt too. They are real, open and authentic with their life and faith. When leaders are, students will start to be real, open and authentic with their lives too.

Listen well. We always think that we need to say the right thing when in reality, students want someone who will just and listen and be present with them. Does this mean we don’t say anything at all? No. It just means we are a place where students know they will be heard. The best leaders are the ones who listen intentionally.

Want to multiply. The best leaders want their group to grow. They want to create a culture of inviting friends. The best leaders want to take on new leaders to train them up on how to create a learning, authentic, inviting culture that they would then go out and start their own group…multiplying themselves.

Not all your leaders will be these but even if you get a few of them to start, you will see your culture begin to shift over time. Find them, love them and multiply them because the best leaders create more “best” leaders.