Being a dad of three boys under the age of twelve, cartoons are usually one of our major sources of entertainment. Currently our two (almost three) year old’s favorite cartoon is the Trolls Holiday special (THS for short) and let’s be honest real quick, any one who is the parent of a threenager knows they basically run the house.
The main plot of THS is that Princess Poppy and her troll friends try to encourage the Bergens, (who used to eat the trolls, but are now friends) to celebrate more through various different holidays.
(Side note; if you haven’t seen Trolls the movie or THS do it! Justin Timberlake is a creative beast and does an awesome job with the whole Trolls deal!)
Hopefully your small group leaders have never tired to eat you, and believe me I know they may try to at times, haha…the awesome thing for any small group point person is that you get to be an encourager all day everyday.
As we all step into 2018 many of you are in the midst of kicking off your winter group season and now is the perfect opportunity to encourage the nonsense out of your leaders over the next few weeks. Here are three ways you can encourage your leaders and help them have an awesome kick off for their groups in 2018!
- Pray For Your Leaders…
I have mentioned this point in a previous blog I wrote, know your leaders, know their struggles, know their needs and take every opportunity to pray for and with them. If our leaders know that we are praying for them on a regular basis, they feel valued, known and loved. Prayer is encouragement for the soul, and the best protection from burnout.
A word of encouragement spoken to a small group leader that is personal, genuine and heartfelt, will build strong relational capital and will motivate a small group leader in ways few other actions will.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 [NIV]
- Celebrate The Wins…
As a new group season starts it easy for group leaders to get lost in the “we could have” type of mindset.
- We could have grown more…
- We could have met more…
- We could have been more missional…
- We could have…whatever!
The list can go on and on…
It’s easy to get lost in the “we could haves” we all have the tendency to at times, but we have the awesome opportunity as small group point people to help people break free from what could have been and help our group leaders celebrate what did happen!
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If you know that a group has grown (spiritually and numerically), baptized someone, done an outreach, or even finished a study, celebrate that leader and that group. Not all wins have to be “mountain top” type wins in order to be celebrated. It’s the “in the depths of the valley” type wins that need to be celebrated. Acknowledging these wins give leaders the hope to lead through burnout and help them see that God is at work in the valley as much as he is on the mountaintop.
- Dream With Your Leaders…
It can be so easy for leaders to be sooo focused on the task that they forget to dream. I love how Bill Donahue makes this point, he say’s:
“It’s easy to get bogged down in the logistics and demands of leadership that coaches and leaders alike can lose the big picture. Dreaming together allows you to keep your head and your eyes focused on the kingdom work God is doing.”
Every leader had a dream on what they wanted their group to be like before their group even started. The problem is, the logistics of leadership can drown out that dream. As you build strong relationships of trust with your leaders you will earn the opportunity to help your leaders dream again.
The concluding scene of Trolls Holiday is everyone dancing together and singing Madonna’s classic hit Holiday and if you’re a child of the 80’s you know this song by heart…you can thank me at The Lobby Conference this March for getting that song stuck in your head today…I loved this scene and I love to watch my youngest son dance around the house almost everyday singing this song, “Holiday…Celebrate”.
Now you may not dance around the hallways of your church with your leaders singing, “Holiday…Celebrate”, that would be kind of strange, but super cool…you do have the opportunity though, as this next group season at your church kicks-off to absolutely celebrate and encourage the nonsense out of your leaders!
My prayer is that all of you reading this look back on 2017 and remember the amazing stuff God did in each and every group and celebrate…but also look forward to 2018 and know that the best is yet to come!
“That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 [The Message]