Earlier this week, I had the privilege of leading a number of new small group leaders through an evening of training. I love that!
We spent a few hours revisiting the Biblical foundations for small groups, unpacking the vision our church has for community life, examining the different developmental stages of an individual small group, and we worked through the nuts and bolts of structuring a healthy meeting.
Those things were great.
But there was one portion of our evening that I enjoyed working through more than any other—presenting small group leaders with the weighty challenge of their call to be ministers of reconciliation.
In their classic book on small groups, Making Small Groups Work, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend explain clearly the role of a small group leader—what it is and what it is not.
“God has not called you to be moral police who set people straight. He has called you to help restore life unto Himself in the way it was created to be. The Bible’s word for this is reconciliation. God’s purpose is to reconcile things back to Himself and to use you in that process.”
This is something that should both energize and intimidate each of us who lead a small group of God’s people. Energize, because you have been given the gift of walking alongside His children and pointing them to the Reconciler. Intimidate, because God has given you this significant responsibility. You are not the one who does the work of reconciliation, but you will be used in the process. That’s powerful!
Often times, the leadership of a small group can be draining, unrewarding, even discouraging. Yet, if we take time to re-evaluate the calling—as a facilitator of reconciliation—it just might inspire us anew.