On reflection of the small group I led this semester at Clover Hill AG, I wanted to share some thoughts on common challenges I’ve heard from other group leaders over the years. By no means are these thoughts perfection and definitely not the ONLY way to do groups, just some reflection.
Challenge 1 | Lack of Commitment
Answer: Keep it Small
The larger you get, the easier it becomes for attendees to miss a group meeting and it not be that big of a deal. Our group this semester was 5 deep. We started together, chose to keep it at 5 for the 12-week semester and committed to being at group. Rain or shine, snow storm or whatever, we were there. If Jesus led 12, and He was Jesus, I’m guessing I shouldn’t try to do more than that so I can stay on the effective train. You may touch dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands, but how many are you truly discipling? Realistically, I felt good with 4 others.
Challenge 2 | Lack of Momentum
Answer: Keep it Fresh
If things seem stale, I encourage your group to take a break this next semester and have your participants try others groups. You have a God given design and destiny and so do the people under your care. Use the Growth Track to help them find that identity and run with that call. Maybe it’s time for them to launch a group, ministry, or something else. Your relationships remain in tact if they were formed well, but stale things need to be thrown out!
Challenge 3 | Lack of Interest
Answer: Keep it Fun
Relationships are at the core of our Faith. Our relationship with Christ, His Church, and everyone else. Relationships will drive the success of your group, not your teaching, study or anything else. Groups exist to create another means through which we can connect one on one with each other OUTSIDE of group time.
As a group, we’ve laughed a lot. There are times where we’ve come legitimately prepared to discuss Scripture, but we divert because of a conversation. That’s ok. The flexiblity allows for interest to stir conversation toward real life issues. That keeps it interesting. That keeps it fun.
Challenge 4 | Lack of Genuiness
Answer: Keep it Real
There’s no other way to say it. Your group is as real as you’re willing to be. Lead by example. It may require you to remove a mask first and be vulnerable, but I’ve found the realness stirs realness in others. If others stiff arm being real, it’ll only be a matter of time before they remove themselves from the group.
Having said that, I led the charge and shared my story. THAT was not easy, but very freeing.
You’re the leader. You set the tone, the direction, and the overall pulse of the group. Authenticity will crush the lack of genuiness, and we are a Church that are committed to keeping it real!
Challenge 5 | Lack of Opportunity
Answer: Keep it Moving
Perhaps it’s time for you to step to the plate. We lauched our group with 5 people. Lord willing, this group will become 2 groups next semester adding 2-3 more people. These guys are capable, and I want to fuel their opportunity as we send them out in two’s. We will teach you everything needed to be a successful group leader, coach you and make sure you are positioned for success. You are a key part of the Church. It’s time!