There are five keys to leading an effective small group: Love
Good leadership is more about love than technical skill or experience. Anyone can lead a small group if they practice these five principles:
LOVE the people in the group
- The best way to lead a group is to love and care for the members of the group. Serve them food or coffee/tea with a smile, remember their names, welcome them warmly into your home/space.
- You learn to love people by praying for them by name. The secret is to ask God to put His love in your heart for each person.
- Learn to see people the way God sees them. Look for their potential and affirm their strengths.
- Cultivate a culture of encouragement in the group - it spreads the grace of God.
- People feel valued when you take time to hear their story.
- Begin each meeting by asking several members of the group to share in one sentence something they are thankful for.
- Establish simple guidelines for group participation (e.g., each person has opportunity to share once before others share more than once, etc.)
LIFE outside the small group creates deeper life in the small group
- The depth of life inside the group is determined by sharing life together outside the group. A small group can be more than a meeting - it can grow into a caring family.
- Call people after small group meetings, or text them, or get together for a cup of coffee. Let people know you are thinking about them and praying for them.
- Encourage people to get together between meeting times. You don't have to meet with everyone in the group, but encourage everyone to meet with someone.
- Encourage everyone in the group to form a prayer partnership with one other person.
LISTEN to people's stories and experiences
- Ask open ended questions.
- Hear hearts - learn to read body language.
- Be a good observer and pray for discernment.
- Acknowledge people's emotions (tiredness, discouragement, joy, etc.)
- Ask one or two members to share a need and take time to pray for them.
- Celebrate honest attempts to grow even if there is failure.
- Create a safe place for people to be real.
LEARN by obeying not by focusing on knowledge
- Take pressure off yourself to have all the answers.
- Don't give the answers and tell people what to believe. People remember what they observe, not what they hear.
- Holy Spirit is the best teacher - let Him do His job.
- Self-discovery is a more powerful way for people to learn.
- The Bible is the source - keep pointing people to the Word of God.
- Don't be a talkative teacher - be a fellow learner.
LEAD with simple skills
- Be a facilitative leader - "set the table" and invite people to eat.
- Agree on guidelines for discussion and confidentiality.
- If you need help seek advise from your leaders.