Small-group leaders are some of my favorite people. In any small-group system, they are the ones who are in the middle of at least 12 lives and, in most instances, are influencing how life is lived in about five households. They are in the middle of the fracas giving their time and talents without any remuneration. They deserve to be encouraged and need encouragement ongoing.
For those small group pastors lacking the gift of encouragement, maybe some of these phrases are phrases you could speak to a small-group leader.
1. Thank you for being on the small-group team with me. I am really grateful I have the opportunity to do this with you.
2. You are a very special leader, someone I truly admire.
3. There are a lot of people who could’ve done what you’re doing. Personally, I’m really glad you agreed to lead a group because it makes it possible for me to get to hang out with you some.
4. I’m hearing great things about you from your group members. You must be doing a super job.
5. When I asked you to be a group leader, I knew you’d be super, but I didn’t realize you’d exceed my expectations this much.
6. Would you pray for me? I’ve come to admire your walk with God so much… I’d be honored if you would.
7. If you have some time, I’d love to take you to lunch and pick your brain. I’m hearing things from your group members that are really exciting. I’d love to hear what you’re doing and learn from you.
Obviously, you want to use any one of these phrases when they are sincere and appropriate.
I can assure you of this: A word of encouragement that is personal, genuine and spoken while looking into the eyes of a small-group leader will build relational equity and will motivate a small group leader in ways few other actions will.