Pastor Jeff Little

I’m a Small Group Leader, now what?

We’re in the middle of an awesome series called Transformed, and it’s a combination of weekend services, daily devotionals, and small groups. For all those small group leaders out there…THANK YOU! You guys are amazing, and we’re so thankful for the ways you’re creating community for people all over the metroplex. If you’re curious about what makes a small group successful, it always starts with the leader. Here are four characteristics we believe are the most important if you’re considering leading a small group this year.

1) Spend time with God every day.

Every Small Group Leader wants to be effective. They want a group where people encounter God and grow. But you can’t lead people on a journey you’re not on. If you want to see lasting fruit in your Small Group, you’ve got to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer every day.

2) Don’t take rejection personally.

Facing rejection and disappointment is part of life. Someone will express interest in your Small Group, then never respond when you send them an invitation. Someone will tell you they are joining your group but then never show up. You can’t take those rejections personally. First, people are busy and don’t always respond. Second, not every personality type fits with every group. If you feel dejected or discouraged any time someone doesn’t respond to you, then you’ll never make it. Instead, focus on the people who are coming to your Small Group every week.

3) Don’t quit . . . grow.

Growth is always a choice to press into what’s difficult. We found that there are two types of difficulties or obstacles we face as Small Group Leaders. The first obstacle is discouragement. When things in our group don’t go how we thought they would, the enemy hits us with discouragement and tempts us to quit. The second obstacle is life stress. When change happens in life, and things get stressful, we’re tempted to take the easy way out and stop leading our Small Group—even if it’s the thing God called us to do. But successful leaders don’t quit . . . they grow. They learn to press into God.

Discouragement and life stress doesn’t drive them out, it drives them to their knees in prayer, where they find strength in God to do what they thought was impossible.

4) Talk with a Coach.

“You can’t lead people on a journey you’re not on.”

The final trait of successful leaders is that they have learned to tap into the wisdom and help of seasoned mentors who are a few steps further down the road than they are. We call them “Coaches” in our Small Group model. And everyone needs one. A Coach can give you much needed advice, be a sounding board for your plans, or a listening ear when you’re feeling discouraged. Most of all a good Coach will pray for you every day and encourage you. Who wouldn’t want that? We’ve found the most successful leaders tap into their Coach.

So there you have it. Four key traits of successful leadership we’ve picked up along the way. Which trait stands out as the most significant to you? And how can you be intentional to grow in that area this week? Post your comments or feedback below. We’d love to hear from you!

Also, if you are interested in becoming a small group leader at Milestone Church, click Small Groups for more information.

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