Spread the Wealth!

A leader doesn't have to take on all of the ministry roles in a small group.

"Darryl likes leading his group both facilitating meetings and shepherding the group. But there is one thing he does not like doing: hosting the meeting each week. He never has time to clean up the house … and it shows. When people are arriving, he's usually still sweeping the floor, doing dishes, or some other task he doesn't like doing anyway. He'd love to prepare wonderful culinary concoctions, but his cuisine usually consists of chips and dip."

What should Darryl do?

Sometimes when we start a small group, we end up doing everything ourselves. Some new leaders do this because they are so enthusiastic. Others do it from a need to control, to make sure everything is "just right," or from the fear that no one will show up if they are asked to help. Experienced leaders say, "Nonsense!"

Many churches set up their groups to deliberately spread the wealth, but a lone ranger leader may have to learn this the hard way. There are three reasons for spreading the responsibility in a small group. The first is the practical need that Darryl is experiencing. When one person, no matter how capable, tries to do everything, he will soon burn out. That's what Darryl is experiencing now. And the result is that, over time, his leadership will suffer. He'll be less effective at facilitating and shepherding.

The second reason is that groups work best when everyone is using his or her gift(s). Darryl's gifts seem to be teaching, leading, and shepherding. He probably isn't gifted in hospitality. But someone else in his group is. If he asks, someone will be willing to open his or her home-in fact, they may be delighted. Someone else who loves to cook can bring refreshments, or members can take turns. One goal of a leader is to help members ...

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