All small group leaders sign up to lead with one goal and that is to help their group become more like Christ. We sign up and have dreams of our kids or teens sitting around listening to us talk about the great truths of the Bible, asking deep questions, and walking out every week telling their parents how incredible their group leader is. That lasts until that first week we meet as a group and we wonder where these creatures came from. Why don’t they listen? Why don’t they pay attention? Why don’t they remember what we talked about last week…or five minutes ago? Take heart, we all face this struggle. Here is something to remember every week when we sit down in our circle to lead our group. Relationships that are built lead to opportunities to communicate truth. In order to be able to give our group the information (Biblical Truth) that just might change the rest of their life we have to build significant relationships. As group leaders we love our content but the groups we lead want to know we care before they embrace our message. Effective group leaders have to embrace the tension that information and relationship bring us and understand that we need to find ways to fight for both in our group times. Our mission to communicate the greatest message in the history of mankind and the relationships we have with our group open hearts and minds to the message! The next several months you will build relational credibility if you do these three things….
Show Up / Make being at group a priority. Showing up each week for your group is the foundation of building consistent relationships. Your group needs to know they are important. They can tell if you make them a priority. If you do they might just make you a priority in their life.
Connect outside of group / Write a note, send an email, go to a game, host a group event, go on a retreat, and send plenty of texts. All of these things lead to connecting outside of group.
Listen more / As group leaders we have to become the master of asking questions and allowing our group to be heard. Kids and teens want to share their story…listen as much as possible. Questions lead to discussion and discussion leads to teachable moments.
Great post, Michael. It’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t see immediate response to what we are trying to convey. Earning the right to speak into their lives takes time, but is well worth the investment!