Like many of you, I have struggled at times on how best to care and shepherd my leaders. Emails, phone calls and notes are great, but when push comes to shove, I yearn for the personal face to face contact with my leaders. And the best time to do this is when they are already at church, so that they do not have to give up another night of the week.
The struggles, however, with doing something on Sunday can be great, but not insurmountable, like finding a room that the kids and youth are not using (my biggest struggle), or finding a time if you are a church with multiple services on multiple days across multiple campuses (thankfully my church currently only offers two services on Sunday morning).
Last year, I let the room issue become my excuse to not shepherd my leaders. I was convicted of this, and I am working to remedy this by working with our kids pastor to find a solution (thankfully, he is a supporter of small groups).
In August, John Tyler Black had a great post on 7 Ways to Care for Your Leaders that Require Zero Talent. Today I want to share one practical idea that I am implanting, something I am calling Life Group Leader Huddle. Here is what I am doing:
- Like I mentioned earlier, I worked with my kids pastor to find a room that was not being utilized on a consistent basis. The room will only hold about 15 people, 20 if we get super cozy, but it’s better than nothing.
- I am being consistent and am over-communicating. I have scheduled the Life Group Leader Huddle for the first and third Sundays of the month during our second service. And I remind my leaders through a weekly email. On top of this I must remind myself that the number of people who show up is not what is most important; what is most important is that I am faithfully present for my leaders. This is a culture change for us, so I need to have realistic expectations.
- During the time, I am modelling what I want my leaders to do. This meeting is only about an hour, so I have to be wise, but here is what I am thinking: I have food; I might do an ice-breaker; I invite my leaders into a reflective reading on Scripture. The purpose of these huddles is not to teach them new information, but to allow us to support and encourage one another.
- I end on-time or even early. I want to respect my leaders’ time and energy.
None of this is rocket-science, but nor do I think my care of the leaders should be. This was my creative and intentional step to not let our limitations and struggles dictate how I care for my leaders. But my prayer is that through this small step, I am reminding the leaders God has put under my care that I am here for them.