I’ve got great news—you don’t have to know everything to be the best small group point person. Actually, it’s better for your small group leaders if you don’t. It isn’t helpful for them to be the only source for learning how to lead their small group. They need other voices speaking into how to lead a group and those voices are currently right within your ministry! Group leaders need one another as much as they need you.
QUESTION: What if you focused less on teaching skills (and the need to know everything) and more on brokering relationships?
There are many benefits of your group leaders being connected to one another. One is ministry ownership. If they are connected and helping one another navigate group life, they feel more like owners rather than renters. It also removes the burden of problem solving solely being yours to carry. They begin to rely on a network of peers to discover what has worked for them. Lastly, your leaders gain a network of support. Leading a group can be a lonely calling, as they are often giving more than receiving. When they are disappointed after the latest no-show to their group, they don’t need a know everything answer, they need a peer who can sympathize with them and encourage them!
So, are you sold on the benefits of building a community of support and learning among your small group leaders? I thought so! But while this all sounds great in theory, how do you make it happen? Here are three ways you can connect group leaders to one another for support, equipping, and encouragement.
Small Group Pastor: You Don’t Have to Know Everything
Host Group Leader Gatherings
While the days of rallying everyone together physically for all day training are waning, don’t neglect these gatherings all together. It is still important to have face-to-face interactions with your leaders. Consider hosting a gathering for small group leaders where they hear more from each other than you. Make them the hero of the ministry by giving them stage time, telling their stories, and celebrating them! This could be as formal as a large gathering with all the stops or a more intimate setting with a few leaders around a dinner table.
Place Group Leaders in Huddles
Small group point people love a good huddle! There is something refreshing about sitting with a group of peers whom you can talk shop with. Your small group leaders would benefit form this same type of environment! Even better, this is something you can pass off for them to own. Intentionally connect them and have them discuss common practices, experiences, and problems that they face in the life of their small group. Give a seasoned leader the responsibility of keeping this huddle together and scheduling one or two meetings throughout the year. Now you are developing leaders without adding anything to your plate!
Collaborate Serving Opportunities
Encouraging your small groups to serve together is a great idea. Not only do they get to make a kingdom impact by following their passions but they often bond as a group. This experience would be multiplied if you had small group leaders collaborating on opportunities to serve! Is there a project that is larger than one group can handle? Have two or three small group leaders take ownership of it. They’ll learn from each other as they navigate how to involve the members of their groups. It not only increases the capacity of serving but also becomes a learning experience for your small group leaders!
Your small group leaders need you in their corner, there is no doubt about that. But you can increase the success of your small group leaders not by being the person to know everything but by leveraging your influence to create an amazing network of support and equipping!
This article bu Ryan James about not needing to know everything originally appeared at the Small Group Network, and is used by permission