Guilt. Burden. Overload. Nathan wondered how he could continue leading his small group with a full-time job, young family, and worship ministry on Sunday morning. Now his visionary pastor was piling on new leadership responsibilities, asking him to build weekly relationship with group members.
Like Nathan, many leaders slowly, imperceptibly slip from the radar screen of small group leadership. The leader's coach might discover the problem through a resignation e-mail or phone call. "I think I'll try another ministry for awhile," the small group leader might say, although in reality the leader is looking for relief from an overly demanding schedule.
I've written on many occasions about what small group leaders must DO during the week to stay on the cutting edge (e.g., Home Cell Group Explosion, Touch Publications, 1998). But just as important is what NOT to do.
#1 DO NOT build all the relationships
Group leaders should not feel the need to develop all the relationships. Rather, the leader facilitates relationship building within the group. Most of the relationships should occur among group members.
Small group leaders already have enough on their plate and should not be expected to develop all the relationships. The members should be involved with one another.
In his book Cultivating a Life for God (ChurchSmart Resources, 1999), Neil Cole promotes the establishment of smaller, gender-specific, one-on-one groups, patterned after the early Methodist bands. Two men from the same small group, for example, might meet together before going to work to encourage one another by asking probing questions like, "How are you doing with Jesus? Is God helping you overcome besetting sins?" Learn more about these one-on-one groups at http://smallgroups.com/.../feature1.html ...