Over the years our small group program has grown tremendously. Most of it has to do with the men and women who come in each week to love on teens and help them go deeper with Christ.
While our program has grown the journey it has taken was not always smooth. Early on their was turnover with our leaders and it was difficult to build momentum. Our problem?
WE DIDN’T SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS
To set up your leaders for success you need to make sure they have clarity on what they need to know and do. We believe that our leaders will be successful in leading small groups if they:
PRAY FOR THEIR GROUP
Small group leaders are not only discussion facilitators, but prayer warriors. The well being of their group should be important to them and that includes their spiritual health. Encourage and remind your leaders to pray for their group throughout the week.
PREPARE FOR THE DISCUSSION
To set up our leaders for success we provide our questions a few days before program. We want them to feel confident walking in and that means knowing the material.
If you can get your leaders the materials ahead of time it gives them time to seek clarity and ask questions. It also gives them the ability to go deeper and find complimentary resources.
REACH OUT MIDWEEK
Small groups grow inside and outside the program. The more a leader reaches out to his or her teens the more connected the group will feel.
Leaders are encouraged to send encouraging messages, attend games and events throughout the week. When a teenager knows his or her leader cares, they will see that the church cares about them.
CONNECT WITH PARENTS
On top of reaching out to the teenagers we encourage small group leaders to connect with parents. This can easily be done by providing contact information or host an event where leaders and parents can meet.
We want parents sharing with their leaders something they might not know about the teen. We want leaders to share with parents their expectations and ideas for the group. The more they get to know one another the more trust is grown in the group.
GROW IN THEIR OWN FAITH
Your leaders need to grow both spiritually and professionally. That means they need to attend conferences, read books or listen to podcasts that will help them go deeper. That means developing a prayer life and attending retreats.
If your leaders feel like they can’t grow then they will find their ministry stale and boring. You need to encourage and challenge them to be learners.
Your leaders will be successful if they know what’s expected of them. While knowing the content is important they need to have a path. Lay out your tips for them before they get started. Set them up for success so that they’ll stay around for the long haul.
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