With four daughters growing up in our home there are very few quiet moments. My husband and I smile often as we listen to them talk incessantly about everything with great passion. What strikes me the most, though, is when I hear one of them come to me screaming, "She hit me…ON PURPOSE!!!" or "She took the last brownie…ON PURPOSE!!!" Don't you love those two words: ON PURPOSE? I do. All it takes is one look at the one who did "it" on purpose and the glint in her eye is captivating. Webster's Dictionary defines the word purpose as: "The intended result; goal; aim." Its synonyms include "reason, point, why, guiding principle, motivation, driving force, objective, destination, vision, dream and devotion." The meaning behind this word encourages me to take a good look at the small group I lead and evaluate its effectiveness. I believe the concrete evidence of my group's efficiency lies not only in each person's personal growth and the development of the group, but in the purpose that lies behind the growth. I need to know why I am leading a small group. I need to know God's purpose.
I personally lead with the purpose that my small group members are nurtured in their walk with God and equipped for mission and ministry to the believing and unbelieving in our community.
To stay consistent in my purpose I began asking myself the following questions on a regular basis:
- Am I pastoring my small group with a complete team? Do I have a Host Home Provider? Do I currently have an Apprentice? Is there someone keeping a prayer journal for the group?
God never intended for me to lead alone. Sharing the responsibilities of my small group helps me avoid burnout, gives the members of my group ownership of the group, helps those in my group to mature by developing their gifts, and forces me to give up control.