Yesterday I walked past a kitchenware shop and saw a gadget called a ‘herb grinder’. The advertising announced that this was something I needed and that it would revolutionise my life, (no longer would I need to chop herbs with a knife…… I could simply place the herbs in the empty cavity, push the button and let the gadget do its thing!) Really! Is this something I really need?
We live in a world where we are bombarded with information about material things or experiences we need to make our lives better. However, so many times it is just not true. There are many things I need but a ‘herb grinder’ is not on the list!
As small group ministry leaders we can at times get caught up in having a long list of things or experiences we believe that small group leaders need to lead their small group well. I wonder what is on your list? Here are four needs worth considering.
Your Genuine Interest
Take a moment to reflect on your connection with your small group leaders. Would you say that you know them, their families, their struggles and joys? Does your conversation always focus on their ministry as a small group leader and on imparting information they need for small group ministry? If so, my guess would be that those leaders perceive your major interest is getting ministry done (through them) rather than real interest in who they are. What they need is your genuine interest in them as a person. Ask God to show you how you can begin to do this throughout 2018.
A Faith Journey ‘Challenge’
We are all at different stages in our faith journey and if you are anything like me, sometimes it feels like I am stuck in one spot, hardly moving at all!
As I look over my life I recognise times when I have been challenged by another Christian leader to ‘move’; to take the next step in my journey with God. The step always takes me out of my comfort zone, (like organising a Steve Gladen Conference in Australia!) but with the support of others it is these challenges which grow my faith.
One thing your leaders may need this year is to encourage them to ‘move’ forward with God. How can you help them to consider what ‘next step’ God may be asking them to take?
Connection with other Leaders
We would all probably agree that one of the greatest challenges we face is gathering our leaders together. However, it can also be one of the greatest strengths. Leaders need to hear from other leaders, they need to connect, to share stories about what is happening in their group, to hear that they are not alone in the challenges they face.
When this happens, everyone benefits. So, can I encourage you to persevere with this on your list of needs in 2018. How about gathering 3 or 4 key leaders to participate in a brainstorm session. Together I am sure you will come up with a list of creative ways to connect your leaders with other leaders.
A Reminder about Mission
Outward focus is central to balancing group life and your leaders might need a reminder of that as we journey through this year. How can the group serve together? What mission projects will the group commit to? Who can they invite to the group? What goals have individual group members set around sharing their faith story with others? What does mission look like for the group in 2018?
So, when you reflect on the ‘needs’ of your small group leaders, what makes the list? What do you think they might really need? I am fairly confident it is not a herb grinder!
Tracey Ware is the SGN Country Leader – Australia.
In 2018 she is coordinating a SGN Event in Australia. The Small Groups with Purpose Conference – Presented by Pastor Steve Gladen.
Melbourne (15-16 June)
Sydney (22-23 June)
For more details – firstname.lastname@example.org