Great small group leaders know the key ingredient is relationship! What separates good leaders from the great ones isn't style or techniques, but rather that they need to get involved in the lives of their small group members.
Karen Hurston, who grew up in David Yonggi Cho's church in Korea, and later served on staff there, now works as a consultant to cell churches (churches built around small groups, that is, "cells"). Karen tells of consulting at a church where she went to see two small group leaders in action. The first leader was acceptable at best. He wasn't very smooth, his concepts weren't necessarily insightful, he did more listening than leading, and yet his group was overflowing. He had been responsible for multiplying his group several times and was ready to multiply again. The second leader was just the opposite. He was a textbook example of how to lead a group: good icebreakers, insightful Bible study, guided prayer. Yet his group was sparse and showed no signs of growth. The difference, she later found out, was that leader number 2 saw his obligation solely as what happened in the meeting. He prepared and then arrived to lead a good meeting. Leader number 1, however, was involved in the lives of the members. The meeting was merely the starting place for his ministry to the group!
Good leaders know that the meeting isn't all there is! For real life change to happen, people have to bring down the walls of their self-protection, and that happens when they know there's a leader who loves them and truly desires to be involved in their lives. But we're all busy—small group leaders as well! That's why we developed the 1-2-3 plan for our small group leaders. Each week our leaders aim for the following:
- Social visit with a group member