A Leader's Friends

“Effective leaders spend time with their followers. Followers become friends. Personal association as a lifestyle was Jesus’ primary way of training and equipping His disciples. Jesus drew men and women close to Himself. His disciples were not distinguished by a particular doctrine, but by being with Jesus. He took His disciples with Him on trips, visits to people’s homes, outreaches and retreats.

Jesus taught His disciples in the rabbinical style of question and answer, not in the Greek style of abstract philosophy and theory. He was up close and personal - mentoring, walking a journey with them in life. Jesus told them stories (parables), listened to their questions and heard their fears. He taught them by how He lived His life.

Have the pressures of life and demands of work and family caused you to withdraw from people, the very people you were called to serve in leadership? If so, …”

To Read more, check out Floyd’s book, ‘Leading Like Jesus’, available on Amazon Kindle. Click here to find it…

10 Benefits of Small Groups

  1. Small groups create opportunity for personal development and spiritual growth.
  2. Small groups are great places to meet new friends and build personal relationships.
  3. Small groups allow a movement or large community to communicate and network.
  4. Small groups are the best platform to find purpose: large meetings build identity but small groups build purpose.
  5. Small groups provide connecting points for people.
  6. Small groups are an ideal setting for leadership development: they are a pipeline for feeding leaders into the larger community and movement.
  7. Small groups meeting in homes are a more intimate and secure setting for people to share their lives.
  8. Small groups encourage people to meet each other's needs.
  9. Small groups provide family for those who are separated from their biological family.
  10. Small groups provide an ideal opportunity for honest question asking and discussion.

10 Habits of Highly Effective Small Group Leaders

They are positive and encouraging They pray for their members

They are a servant facilitator to others

They keep the group looking outward to reach others

They contact members of the group regularly

They mentor an apprentice leader

They plan fun times together

They are vulnerable and approachable

They are learners with everyone else

They don't dominate discussions with their opinions

Five Keys To Effective Small Group Leadership

There are five keys to leading an effective small group: Love

Life

Listen

Learn 

Lead

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.

 

 

Worship. Mission. Community.

Three short quotes from my book, Follow (published with the title Following Jesus in South Africa) "The first disciples did not just attend meetings…: gospel intentionality was their life. … Christian community was the very center of their lives because they knew it was the center of God's purposes on the earth."

"How you love Jesus determines what you believe about mission, and what you believe about mission determines how you do church. … Our love for God fills us up and overflows into our love for one another, and that love then empowers us to love the lost."

"When we come to faith in Jesus, we become part of the people who are sent by God into the world. This means that God's mission to save the world is our mission as well. … God has one mission and one group of people to accomplish His mission: the church. The church exists to love and enjoy God by aligning our hearts with His great longing to bring glory to Himself in the whole earth. There are not 'missionaries;' and 'nonmissionaries,' but the obedient or the disobedient."