Back to the Basics


There comes a time when your small group ministry is flourishing, growing, and multiplying. Praise God! You see all the things you’ve been praying for and hoping to see. Then, the Lord might tap you on the shoulder and say, ” I want you to go back to the basics.” At least, that’s what he did for me in the new year. He didn’t want me to implement something new. He wanted me to do what I already knew how to do. He asked me to go back to the basics of meeting with every Small Group Point Person one at a time for coffee as a way to have a touch point and offer individual pastoral care.

When you have 100 leaders, it can be easy to focus on growth and sustainability. While these things are essential, they cannot be our only focal point. Or, maybe you don’t have 100 leaders, but you’ve hit your stride, and you keep taking the next hill to grow/expand your ministry. Over time, I’ve found that it’s easy to think of growth collectively as a whole and forget that growth happens one person at a time. I want my SGPP to know that I care not only about what is taking place in their groups, but I also care for them individually. 

When I sensed the Lord asking me to do this, I sensed he wanted my leaders to know the they belong and feel known. SGPP are so busy cultivating a place of knowing and belonging for others that I wonder how often they feel it in return? To be honest, I don’t know. Maybe they feel known and like they belong all the time, or maybe it comes in waves.

What I do know is that there are three things I keep coming back to that are helping me frame how I want to lead my SGPP for the rest of the year in order to help make sure they are known: names, commitment, and prayer.

Do you know everyone’s first and last name? If so, do you know recent stories that have happened in their lives? Do they know you are committed and want to connect with them even outside of just talking about small groups? How often are you praying for them? Are you going to the Lord and contending on their behalf and for the people in their group?

3 Tried and True Basics:

Names: Know their names and what’s taking place in their lives (the highs and lows)

Commitment: Have coffee or lunch with them to let them know you are taking time out of your day to connect with them.

Prayer: Pray for them on a regular basis. Pray for specific requests, not just general prayers.

Sometimes in the new year, we don’t need new goals. We just need to do what we already know how to do and be faithful with it.

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Kiersten Telzerow lives in the Washington, D.C area with her husband, Matt, and their goldendoodle named Luna! Kiersten serves as the Small Group Director at one of the campuses at National Community Church and is a Master of Divinity student at Wesley Seminary through Indiana Wesleyan University. She loves being in community with people and learning about their stories. When Kiersten is not studying, her favorite thing to do is spending time with family and friends, trying new coffees, attending leadership conferences, or reading a new book. She loves all things small groups and believes that we were never meant to exist alone - community is always better!


  1. Thanks for this reminder. It is important for us to focus on those basic things: listening and caring. Too often it is easy to get pulled into quick fixes and techniques to build the small groups ministry at our church. But those “basics” need to be part of our daily ministry. Thanks for this post!

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