In my previous post, I proposed that God, as Father-Son-Spirit, leads in community, and therefore we are to lead our groups through community. This calls for team leadership as opposed to individualistic leadership. Let me introduce few ideas about the value of team leadership.
First, team leadership relieves the stress on one person to be good at all the things small group leaders do. When you work with a team, you can partner with people who have strengths and gifts that complement your own. You don’t have to be good at everything. You get to explore how to lead through your strengths and work with others who have different strengths. For instance, if you are very hospitable and pastoral, you might focus on the responsibilities of leadership that best suit those gifts while someone else facilitates meeting discussion and guides the group in prayer.
Second, team leadership keep you humble. As a part of a team, you are never the leader who makes it work. All successes are shared, as are all failures. But even more, when you work as a team you are required to talk things through and share your perspective with others before simply acting. Team leadership requires mutual submission to one another, and this always generates humility.
Third, team ministry protects leaders from burnout. When I was leading a group solo, I would feel guilty for taking a vacation. I rarely thought about what I needed to be healthy and well balanced because I felt responsibility for the welfare of the group. With a team, you get to be yourself. You don’t have to carry the pressure of constantly being “on” or being strong for the rest of the group. It’s much easier to lead in weakness when others are with you carrying the load.
Fourth, team leadership is a natural way to disciple others through trial and error. It shifts discipleship training from an information focus to one that is based in participation.
Finally, team leadership empowers the group to be creative about how it will engage people outside the group in mission. Solo-leader groups often struggle to survive. The leader spends a lot of energy just getting the group to show up and connect. But with a team, there is more ownership of the vision and therefore more space for the group to get involved with what God is doing outside the group.
—Adapted from Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus
This article originally appeared here.