PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
Connect to their faith to a community
SHOW UP PREDICTABLY
For most of you, that means weekly. You cannot lead a small group without trust. You cannot build a community without trust. And the first step to gaining the trust of your few is making sure they know that you will show up. Predictably.
SHOW UP MENTALLY
Check your phone at the door! When you show up mentally, you commit to engaging your few in meaningful discussion and to listening, really listening, to what your students have to say. This means knowing the content ahead of time and being mentally prepared to shed some light-some scriptural insight-into their world. They're worth an hour of your attention.
SHOW UP RANDOMLY
Never under estimate the power of showing up randomly: a phone call, a birthday card, a ballgame, a text message, a Facebook post, a postcard from your trip. These small connections may seem significant, but when you choose to be present in an unexpected way, outside of your weekly group time, you reinforce your students connection to the community you are creating.
The best way to be present is to lead to small.
CREATE A SAFE PLACE
Clarify their faith as they grow
LEAD THE GROUP
- Lead your group to value acceptance
- Lead your group to value confidentiality
- Lead your group to value honesty
hen you do, your few will feel will feel safe to be themselves, share doubts, ask questions, and admit their struggles and clarify their faith in an authentic way.
RESPECT THE PROCESS
Authentic faith is a continual process. It is not static. It is the molding, crafting, shaping and changing the face through time, life experience and reflection. End of the process isn't the same for everyone. Each individual is different. So, celebrate their steps. Refuse to get impatient with the process. And let God do what only God can do.
GUARD THE HEART
Faith is personal. We often process the most difficult times in our lives through the filter of faith, which is why, as a small group leader, you should expect some pretty tough, even shocking things to be revealed during small group time. Your job is to know when to respect confidentiality and when you need outside help.
The best way to create a safe place is to lead small.
PARTNER WITH PARENTS
NURTURE AN EVERYDAY FAITH
CUE THE PARENTS
When you cue the parents you give them just the right information at just the right time so they can make a move to do more than they would otherwise do. Cueing the parent is pretty easy, let them know who you are, and tell them what you're talking about.
HONOR THE PARENT
Some children struggle with authority. No, scratch that, all children struggle with authority. But remember this: if you're not on the parent’s side, you're not on the kid’s side. Model what it means to be respectful not only to your own parents, but theirs as well.
REINFORCE THE FAMILY
All the parents potentially have 3000 hours a year a possible time with their child, it's not always the same quality as the hour you have with your few. So, when you plan your events and small group outings, be strategic. Don't steal critical family moments. Christmas Eve is probably not a great time for sleepover.
The best way to partner with parents is to lead small.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Inspire their faith by your example
LIVE IN COMMUNITY
Weather hosted by your church, formed organically, or brought together through another local ministry, your own community provides the healthy-and necessary- outlet for you to process faith and away you can't with your few.
One of the best things you can do for your few-and for yourself-is to make your priorities clear. They need to see what you value. And when they see the way you prioritize your life, and might even inspire your few to think about their own priorities.
Find ways to relate to your few without compromising who you really are. It's more important for them to see a real, life person that is still growing, learning and trying to live out authentic faith than it is for them to have another friend.
The best way to make it personal is to lead to small
MOVE THEM OUT
Engage their faith and a bigger story
MOVE THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE
The truth is, today, as we speak, while you are still there small group leader, your if you need other positive adult influences in their lives. Your if you are going to connect with other leaders who will teach them something about God, help them discover something about life and experience something significant together. And that's a good thing. So do your part to encourage other adult influences in their lives.
MOVE THEM TO BE THE CHURCH
In this sense, the church is more than just a building or a location. The church is a growing, changing, moving, living being that your a few get to be a part of. Never under estimate the importance of letting them pass out goldfish at a snacktime, participate in telling the Bible story, or lead worship for younger kids the options are endless.
MOVE THEM TO WHAT’S NEXT
No matter what is next in their lives, do anything you can to set them up for that transition and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.