Currently working with over 200 small groups in my church is, to say the least, a challenge. It’s a lot more than that, but everyday it is a challenge.
Regardless of how grandiose, thoughtful, faithful, or magnificent my plans are, what matters most is how well the groups themselves grow in faith, community, and service.
Group leaders are the key, and group leader follow-through is often a problem. When something doesn’t take hold as well as I’d like, I own the problem, and see myself as part of a team with the small group leader.
I’ve learned to ask “why”, and the following is helpful to me as I ask this question.
When group leaders don’t follow through, it’s usually for one or more of these reasons:
-They don’t KNOW how to do it. It’s a lack of knowledge or information. That means I may need to communicate better, more often, and more clearly, using any and all available means. There is no such thing as over-communication. Every massive change in our church has been preceded by teaching, sermons, in all media. It’s vital.
-They lack the SKILLS to do it. People are individuals, and come to small group leadership with unique skillsets. The great thing is, the qualities that make a great small group leader are not only already present in most of them, but other skills can be learned, practiced, and developed. I may need to provide better, more engaging group leader training. We learn to model ourselves after others, and leader training comes to the front in the skills area, starting with the basics.
-They lack the VALUE to do it. I may need to do a better job showing leaders how they can benefit from something, how it will enhance their faith journey, draw them closer to God and others, help them in some way.
-Something in the ENVIRONMENT keeps them from doing it. I may be trying to lift up group leaders in a church that has group ministry on a back burner. Perhaps the senior staff/pastor isn’t sold on the amazing value of groups. There may be issues in the environment that need your attention. I may be asking group leaders to do things that do not take into account the busy lives most of them lead.
Nothing goes well without follow-through. I hope this helps.