I’ve had the privilege of helping 6 senior pastors champion small groups and make the small group ask. (That doesn’t include the hundreds of other senior pastors I’ve helped as a consultant and coach.)
They’ve all been different. No two have been completely alike. And yet … they have shared certain characteristics and all of them have appreciated help with making the small group ask.
Here are 6 ways you can help your senior pastor make the small group ask:
1. Get to know their sermon preparation rhythm. How does their message come together? How early do they begin to put it together? When do they need input from you?
2. Meet with your senior pastor well before the ask to explain how important their role is. Most pastors will need more than one conversation about making the host ask or inspiring and challenging people to join a group. An early meeting (two to three months ahead) will go a long way toward helping them prepare.
3. Provide as much detail as they need. Most of my senior pastors have asked for the bullet points I want them to hit. Several have asked me to script what I’d like them to say.
4. Ask about the possibility of seeing where in their message they’re planning to include the ask. Not every senior pastor manuscripts their message. Most at least develop an outline. Very few go into the weekend with clarity on where they will make the ask. If you can see it in advance, you can sometimes help them improve the location.
5. Check in with your senior pastor just prior to the weekend for any final encouragement or questions. Their schedules are often very predictable, and a last minute check-in can sometimes head off a misunderstanding or lack of clarity.
6. Listen to their sermon and meet with them immediately afterward for review and possible tweaks. You need to have the right attitude, but most senior pastors are open to feedback because they want to be as clear and compelling as possible.
Bonus: This is a wash, rinse and repeat cycle. In other words, just because you help your senior pastor this year doesn’t mean you won’t need to next year.