I’m not a great small group leader. I like small group leading, it’s just that I have the makeup for a quality small group leader. I’m a better speaker and on one one type of guy. And, even though I’m not great, I have one. To improve in my small group leading skills I make sure I surround myself with top shelf leaders. They’ve helped and guided me in this aspect of ministry.
While everyone is meant to be in a small group, not everyone has the makeup to be a small group leader. It’s something that you can grow into and it takes a lot of work. Small group leading is a commitment. It can also be emotionally, and spiritually challenging. If the conversation is awkward and one sided it can be a roadblock to your ministry. As a youth leader is find men and women with the following attributes:
- Facilitates The Conversation: While small group leaders are responsible for sharing information, they need to focus more on the flow of conversation. To help teens find accountability and go deeper as a group they need to know how to interact with one another. A small group leader needs to know how to make sure one teen isn’t dominating over the others. They need to understand that silence is okay. The more they master the art of conversation the stronger the group.
- Understands Boundaries: The makeup of a small group leader is someone who understands when to be firm, and loving. It’s not about replacing parents or competing with friends. It’s about when and how to interact. Knowing your boundaries not only helps the relationship you have with the teens, but their parents, friends and God.
- Embraces Patience: It’s easy to be disappointed if you set the wrong expectations. A leader could be disappointed by the shallowness or the lack of commitment that can come with leading. A great small group leader has the makeup of someone who is patient with growth. They understand that people need to hear things over and over again before it sinks in. Affective small group leaders understand the it’s not all within their control, but they still need to work towards an end goal.
- Committed To The Mission And Vision: You need to make sure your small group leaders are committed to the mission and vision of your ministry and the church. If they are not aligned it could cause unnecessary tension that could tear your ministry apart. Make sure leaders know your vision and mission statements. Revisit it frequently so that you can make sure everyone is on the same page.
The makeup of a great small group leader is not always the easiest thing to find; however, they are out there. Make sure your values and expectations are known. Set up systems that will help you recruit, train and retain them in your ministry. The more you can pour into these teens in a small group setting the deeper they can go.
What other qualities would you add to the makeup of a small group leader?