It is an essential part of a small group point person’s role to care for our small group leaders. It is even more critical during this period of people being isolated and “quarantined”. There may be less opportunities for spontaneously meeting up while around the church or around town, so we must be even more intentional. Here are 3 simple ways to intentionally care for our small group leaders.
- DAILY PRAY for them
The greatest thing we can do for those under our ministerial care is to pray for them. I think we all know this, but it is easy to get busy and forget the important things. Something that I started doing is intentionally planning out and putting in my calendar to pray for my leaders. Whether you use a paper calendar or put it into your google phone calendar, schedule out which leader(s) you will pray for each day. Depending on how many leaders you oversee, will determine how you schedule it out. If you rather not schedule the names beforehand, then you can be free to ask God each morning who He would have you pray for that day or how to schedule it out for the week, and let the Holy Spirit lead you. It is beneficial to plan it out though as it will keep you accountable and consistent, and then if God moves you to change it you can. Having it in your calendar as an alarm will also help to remind you to pray. Be INTENTIONAL about praying daily for your group leaders. It is our responsibility to pray for those under our care. I Samuel 12:23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you…”
- WEEKLY ENCOURAGE them
Schedule to encourage each leader, or multiple leaders, weekly. This encouragement could be a simple text, email, phone call or Facebook message. Just like prayer, at times God may lead you strongly to encourage a specific leader on a day, so listen to HIm and do it even if it foils your own planning. The idea here is to have your ‘encouragement plan’ laid out so you can have some kind of roadmap to go by. Don’t underestimate what a little encouragement can do for a leader’s heart and state of mind. Our leaders are dealing with the same issues, struggles and discouragements as everyone else, and an encouraging word can go a long way in refreshing and spurring your leaders to continue on. Be INTENTIONAL about encouraging your leaders, or several of your leaders, at least weekly. It is important to encourage our leaders and show that we truly do appreciate them! Many times the encouragement will be that we are praying for them. Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
- MONTHLY send RESOURCES to them
Honestly, I need to get better at intentionally and consistently doing this. I think if we at least shoot for once a month to send some sort of quality resource(s) to our group leaders it will be a great start. This resource or resources should be sent to your leaders in whatever way best that they will get it and actually read it or listen to it. I typically will use multiple ways to communicate to my leaders to make sure they get the message or resource. For instance, I will post it on our Facebook private group, then email it and then send a text to everyone telling them to check their email and/or facebook page. The idea here is to equip them with resources that will help them be strengthened as christians, make them better leaders and spark ideas and solutions for their small group. This could be an article, training resource, a short devotion or even a video message that will encourage, challenge or disciple your leaders.
The Small Group Network provides so many great resources, from the website with articles and videos to their Facebook group page with so many great ideas. Of course, there are many other resources that could be sent to our small group leaders found on the internet and from other small group gurus and websites. Also, small group platforms such as Lifeway, Ministry Grid, RightNow media and others have some resources as well that would be helpful in training or supporting our leaders, be it for training or encouragement. There is no shortage of resources, we just need to be intentional about sending them consistently to our leaders and sending resources that are relevant to our small group ministry dynamic and situation. Be INTENTIONAL about sending resources to our leaders at least monthly. It is important for us to invest in our leaders that they can continue to grow and learn.
These are 3 simple ways to intentionally care for our small group leaders. If we will implement these three ways, it will go a long way towards setting the foundation for good relationships, growth of our leaders and strong unity between you and your leaders.