Equipping Small Group Leaders

When I was on staff, I loved our small group leaders. In ministry, no matter your role, you can only have 2 views towards your small group leaders:

1) They are the extra people in the room, so middle schoolers don't sneak out unnoticed to make out in the bathroom. They help me promote my events and get their girls to them. That one mom always brings free food, so I am within my budget every time.

2) They are your co-laborers. Your job is to equip them to serve. You are to care for, pray for, and partner with them to make disciples.  

You may think I’m exaggerating the difference between the two, but I'm not. I’ve had the privilege to travel all over and train small group leaders. I’m using examples of statements that I’ve heard while at these engagements.

Ephesians 4:11-13 remind us:

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."

As a teacher you are to equip the saints so we can all reach unity in the knowledge of Christ and become mature. 

I cannot give you a list of what “equipping” looks like. How leaders need to be equipped will vary depending on the needs of the individual person. I can share a few things that I did, and hopefully it will spark some ideas for you.

Learn Names + Faces

My first week I asked for a list of all the small group leaders including: what grade they led, phone number, address and a picture. (Our admin did this for me, and pulled many pictures from Facebook.) I wanted to learn names and pray for them by name several times a week.

Write Thank You Letters

Every Monday we had staff meetings for most of the day. I had 2-3 hours with no meetings so I used that time for small group leaders. I wrote 1-2 thank you letters thanking leaders for serving with us. I tried to “catch them doing something well.” For example, a letter might say, “I overheard you praying with your small group yesterday. It is such a blessing to serve with you and hear your heart!”

Get To Know Them 

I met with a different leader every Monday for lunch. At that meeting, there was no agenda. I didn’t give them info for upcoming events. I wanted to get to know them. I asked them their testimony.

Ya’ll. This was one of my most favorite things I did in ministry. I heard everything from one leader was born completely blind and the Lord healed her around 6 months old to another leader who served on a youth staff for 10 years! I had no idea!

I listened to their stories, sometimes cry or clap at the table, then ask how I could pray for them and serve them. Make time to call and set up lunch appointments. It's important to know each leader even though it takes time.

It is important as the leader of leaders to model equipping the saints to serve. It is important to ask questions and listen. Some leaders may need community, mentoring, or just a hug and a thank you. Leaders who feel known, cared for, and equipped are more likely to equip their girls to serve.

Which posture do you have? What culture is that creating among the leaders you serve? - Amy