Ideas for Shepherding a Group

Easy ways to encourage and uplift your group.

1. Send a Note of Encouragement

It's always great to get home at the end of a long day and find a personal note from someone offering a word of encouragement.

It takes just a few moments to write a note, and you can cover the whole group in a few months by writing one a week. If you invite the group to get involved (as in phone calling, #4), then everyone will get a note in the same time period!

With e-mail growing in usefulness, it is easy to send a note with no postage is necessary. In my groups, we pass out a group mail-list which also includes the e-mail address of everyone who has one. E-Mail is sometimes easier than mailing a note. There aren't the restraints of having to buy a greeting card, post card or stamps.

I find that just a simple greeting and a note to remind the person that I appreciate them, or a scripture reference or to let them know I am praying for them, can really turn a person's day around or add the finishing touch to a day that is going well. Don't get caught up in the idea that you have to spend a lot of time (or money) to do this right. Just do it, and the people in your group are sure to appreciate it.

2. Take the Time to Notice

Take the time to notice others. People feel included and encouraged when you notice (and tell them) they changed their hairstyle or are wearing a piece of clothing that enhances their appearance.

Noticing personal growth is a meaningful way to care. For example, someone who has worked on changing his behavior that was previously distracting or destructive needs to be told that you see the progress he is making. Look for little, incremental changes. Don't wait until he has worked at something for months. We need to recognize and applaud small steps in the bigger process. "I notice ...

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