Although I've championed small groups in several big churches over the past decade, and even though it's been almost twenty years since I led my first small group, I still remember the day I led my first group like it was yesterday.
My palms were sweating, and I thought my heart was going to thump right out of my chest. But even though I was terrified, I knew God was there with me. He knew exactly where I was and what the group needed. In just the first six weeks, the Holy Spirit managed to pull us together as a group and even motivated two guys to ask Christ into their lives.
I believe God sent me one person to help in that first experience: a guy named John. He was my Small Group Champion. He came alongside me to help me lead that group successfully.
He said a couple of things that really mattered. One, he said, "Brett, you can do it." This may seem silly, but I really didn't feel like I could do it. But when he shared his confidence in me and showed he believed in me, it gave me the confidence to lead well.
The second thing he said was, "I will help you." And he did. He was there for every question or concern I had—no matter how silly they now seem to me.
These two simple statements sum up well the role of a great Small Group Champion. If you are a Champion, I encourage you to make sure your Leaders know you believe in them and are there to help. If you are a Leader, take advantage of the support your Champion offers. Take it from me, the relationship will take you far.