When it comes to small groups, there are 3 major gifts leaders and give their students. Not all gifts cost money. There are some meaningful things we can give to our students we lead:
Time: Time is the ultimate gift you can give to your students. You can’t return it, you can’t have more or less time than anyone else can have with them. When we take the time out of our week, outside of our normal time with them, is where some of the best ministry happens. Students cherish and take huge notes on when we take them to coffee, to dinner, or show up at their events. We as leaders need to be smart with our time as well. I understand this. We have families at home and we cannot be out every night, but when we are intentional with our time with students outside group, the benefits are exponential. When you go through time with your group, growth will happen.
Grace: Small groups is where we push our students to know and express Jesus in their lives. One of the best gifts we can show to our students is grace. We know they are going to mess up. we know they are going to say something hurtful towards you or another person in the group. As the leader, what better gift than to give them is the gift of grace? What better way to show them Jesus than to show grace to students. Small group should be a place where they walk in the door, there is a sigh of relief because they know they walked into a grace filled home where they will not be judged and experienced God’s grace through their leader. As a small group leader we are responsible to show our students what grace can truly feel like.
Truth: An important gift we can give our students is truth. Even though grace is a wonderful and needed thing in small groups, truth must accompany it. We need to have our groups be a place of truth in a grace-giving way. As the leader we have the opportunities to speak into our students lives. What an honor! We are to speak truth into their lives, meaning we cannot avoid saying the “hard thing” to them if it’s in truth. Give truth with a sound and stance of grace, favor, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance. We need to go hard on the issue and not the person. Speaking in truth is key to life change in small groups.