Crisis…it always shows up when we least expect it and I promise if you are a small group leader you will have surprise visits from it when you are not really prepared. When crisis shows up in your small group how you respond as a leader will set the tone for how the group deal with crisis. Your small group is watching you even if they never bring it up in group. I know it may be hard to see now but God can use crisis to grow your group in ways you can never imagine. None of us like pain but when groups face it together they have a better shot of learning lessons rather than running from God. You as the small group leader have to guide your group through that process. Here are some principles that you should remember when crisis strikes next in your small group.
- Be present and available // when crisis strikes the best thing you can do is make contact with your group. Show up, be there, and be available and by your phone!
- Protect information // make sure your get the right story and correct response in a crisis situation. It is ok that you do not know all the details so do not try to spread information.
- Frame the situation for your group // you have the chance to help your group see God at work in crisis. They need you to frame the situation so they can understand what is going on.
- Support the family // make sure and check with parents to see how you can help. Parents need support as much as your small group members in hard times. Stay close to parents to see how you can help!
- Don’t try to fix it or have all the answers // please remember it is ok to not have the answers. Sometimes you just need to be present and be quiet.
- Get help and keep others informed // make sure you always keep your leadership informed and seek guidance from them. They can help make sure you are staying on track as you help your group move forward.
- Stay positive // make sure you are pointing your group in a positive direction during crisis. Never use your group as a time to vent your personal feelings. Leave that time for other adults!
- Stay connected // make sure you keep connecting with the kids in your group during times of crisis. Follow up with your kids even after the situation is over and help them process.