Small group leaders are like us, they have similar needs, limited amount of them are self-starters and some have the internal wiring to take the necessary steps to grow on their own, while others do not. One thing all small group coaches and leaders need is someone to develop and disciple them.
A concept we have put in place in our small groups is that, what we want to happen in the lives of our group members must happen in the lives of our leaders first. Simply put, if life-change does not happen in the leader, then it will be difficult for life change to take place in the lives of the group members.
Our goal at The Church LV is that our leaders are being developed and discipled. It is by doing so that we can produce leaders and groups that will result in life change. This is why we have hub leaders and coaches in place so that everyone is cared for and intentionally developed. These are a few things I believe we can do to and for our small group coaches and leaders;
1. Offer encouragement and guidance. This means providing guidance that is unsolicited and that which is requested from the beginning.
2. Provide them with a sense of family. We should make getting to know our small group leaders and coaches along with their family a priority since the basis of our groups is community and relationships. A small group leader cannot give away what they have not received. If we want our groups to develop a sense of family, our leaders need to have experienced it first.
3. Get to know our leaders. Ask the right questions. Proactively listen, Lean in. Experts say that it takes about three months for most leaders to learn everything they are going to need to know about technique. Our goal at The Church LV is to develop and disciple our leaders, we believe this happens when we get to know our leaders and they get to know us. We take this from Jesus’ example that spent his time with his disciples.
4. Pray for them. Prayer is the foundation of our personal lives and foundation of The Church LV. This is why we seek to make this part of our small groups and those leading small groups. First, we can ask our leaders how we can pray for them. Then, we can stop what we are doing and take a few moments to pray for them while we are with them. Lastly, it is important that we follow up and ask them about their prayer request.
5. Help them identify their spiritual next steps. Here at The Church LV we aim to lead a thousand people move one-step forward rather than move one person a thousand steps forward. Our role is that which was played by Paul to Timothy. Paul implored Timothy to, “follow me as I follow Christ”. Someone who is known and not a distant role model can best fulfill this role. In order for a leader to become more than a good facilitator they need to be able to help group members take next steps. In order to this well, leaders need to have experienced genuine and loving accountability. The primary goal is to help our leaders move one step towards Christ. Our role is help our leaders identify where they are spiritually and then simply help them move one step closer to Christ. Proverbs 27:23 “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds”.
6. Model. This means modeling what we need our leaders to do to and for their group members. Our lead pastor, Benny Perez, operates as a role model for his leaders, hub leaders operate as a role model for their coaches, coaches operate as role models to group leaders, and group leaders operate as role models to group members. We believe that we are most effective when we demonstrate habits that we want our leaders to build.