“This is the course I wish I would have had 35 years ago when I started small group ministry.” – Steve Gladen
Presenting our new online training course – “Align!” Align will help you learn the small group ministry essentials. It features…
- 8 HD video session taught by Steve Gladen
- A downloadable workbook
- Lesson discussion questions
- An official Small Group Network completion certificate
- A special gift to help further your Small Group Ministry
Learn more by watching the free course introduction & enroll here!
With the coronavirus lingering and political and racial divide widening it is easy to get discouraged and weary as we attempt to navigate in this world. It can even become more challenging when trying to lead a small group through this time in history. We can get tired, feel inadequate and feel like quitting.
Leading a small group takes up time in our schedules. It requires sacrifice and vulnerability. Leading a small group opens you up to hurt and can be emotionally draining at times. A leader can wonder if their group members are growing and if they are “getting it”! The easy path is to just quit. But you cannot escape your calling to lead a group. Steve Gladen says in his book Planning Small Groups with Purpose “Don’t get so caught up in the tasks that you forget your calling”. You have a heart to disciple others, and truth be told you are growing in the process also! There are certainly times to take a short break when needed. But let me encourage you not to quit and give you 4 ways how to keep going!
1. Fix your eyes on Jesus – DEPENDENCE
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The word “looking” here in Hebrews can be translated to fix our eyes on. Instead of focusing on Jesus at times we can start to focus on the situations and difficulties around us in our small group. This can cause us to feel like quitting. Fixing our eyes on Jesus indicates that we can’t take our eyes off of Him because we are transfixed with His greatness and our NEED of Him. This speaks of dependence on God because He is the “the source and perfecter” of our faith as the CSB translates it. He is the One who will be our Strength when we feel like giving up. When you feel like quitting, re-focus on the person of Jesus Christ and His grace and love toward you. He enables us to do what we cannot do in our own strength! Depend on Him!
3. Fix your mind on Jesus – REMEMBER
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
The word “consider” here means to think over or ponder. When we feel like giving up on our small group or throwing in the towel, remember Jesus. Think about what He experienced as He came into this world to save mankind and faced opposition and then crucifixion. We can find strength and courage to keep going knowing what Jesus faced. Don’t be weary and discouraged; some in your small group will grow and flourish and others will be a challenge for you. Fix your mind on Jesus during those difficult times and find strength not to quit! Remember what He endured and know that He not only understands what we are going through because He has experienced it, but His Spirit is also within us to give you the same power to endure. We need to intentionally fill our minds with God’s Word and remember what Jesus has endured for us.
3. KNOW you are making a difference – TRUST
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
The work that you are doing in small groups matters! The time you invest, the sacrifices you make and the difficulties that arise are not in vain in the Lord! God is working behind the scenes even when you don’t see it! God’s Word doesn’t come back void but works according to His will and purpose.
Through small groups we have the opportunity to make disciples that will make disciples. In small groups we get to know people at a deeper level, and in turn speak the truth in love one to another. Small group leaders create an environment where others can grow in spiritual maturity. We are being obedient to the call to make disciples and teach them to do the same (Matthew 28:18-20)!
Small group ministry can be challenging, and we can sometime wonder if it is worth the struggle. KNOW that you are making a difference regardless of what you see with your eyes or the results you may not see. Your service to God is not useless. Trust His Work and Will and Word.
4. Believe that God is FAITHFUL – REST
1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
If God has led you and called you to lead a small group, then He has your back! God doesn’t call us without equipping and empowering us in the process. He not only calls us to it, but He will also do it. God is right there waiting to strengthen and encourage us. He is the beginning and end, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He never fails and is always there to guide us and gives us wisdom if we will ask (James 1:5). To say God is faithful means that He is trustworthy and will execute what He says He will do.
God has never let me down. Whenever I have felt like quitting, God has been faithful to sustain me and breathe life back into me and into my ministry when I turn to Him. He is so faithful even when we are not! Trust His faithfulness and rest in Him. Don’t quit, instead commit to obey what God has called you to do.