My Advice to Small Group Leaders

Small GroupHere is a very simple list of advice that I shared with a group of Small Group Leaders I was invited to speak to. I thought I would share it with you too.  Maybe you are in a church that has some form of these groups.  I like them! Believe in them. I just wish that churches actually called them churches and released them as such. Sadly, I think most churches just see them as unofficial groups that could not possibly be the full expression of church. Anyway, that is for another discussion. Here is some council for small group leaders:

  • Meet as often as possible. The more the deeper. The more the closer. Weekly plus.
  • Bring people far from God to your group. If at all possible, do not meet without lost people present.
  • Everyone talks. No one gets the luxury of hiding.
  • No one dominates. If someone talks way more than the rest of the group. they need to be lovingly asked not to. (including the "leader")
  • Bible is central to any healthy group. Center on scripture.
  • Interact around tellable stories, not complex topics.
  • Stay in one place In bible. Do not allow anyone to verse hop from place to place. It is often done haughtily and it makes lost people feel marginalized and unqualified from the start.
  • Draw people out. They are deep wells. Especially quiet people. They often have deep things to say.
  • Allow for long awkward silences in the gathering. Often, what God does just after periods of silence is the most meaningful portion of the gathering.
  • Include pre-beleivers in your group.
  • When the discussion gets off track, point back to passage of the meeting.  Bible re-aligns.
  • Push everyone in the group toward one on one discipling relationships.
  • Ask the more vocal people to take a risk and talk less.
  • Ask the more quiet people to take a risk and talk more.
  • Invite people far from God to join you. Or did I say that already? A few times? Oh, sorry.
  • I Caution against DVD studies or topical book studies. I feel strongly that we need to cultivate the Word of God as the main source of our content, at least until we start to repair some of the drifting we have done as the church.
  • Look for leaders- train and coach them towards starting a new group.
  • Keep all you do super simple and the same so you can reproduce easily.
  • Actually, Reproduce!
  • If your group is all Christians, please invite and bring people far from God to join you.
  • Oh, and reproduce!
  • Oh, and invite people far from God
  • Oh, and keep the Bible at the core as final authority.

Hope this helps. Remember, any group of people gathering to love God, love each other and love those that do not yet know God are CHURCH!  Regardless of title.