When it comes to small group ministry, the need for leaders is always great, yet people are often hesitant to take on this role. Being asked may open the gate to a herd of excuses:
"I'm just too busy."
"I don't have enough knowledge of the Bible."
"I'm not the leader type."
But as Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, says, "A small group leader doesn't have to be a spiritual giant, a Bible scholar, or even a great orator. You just have to have a willing heart."
Likewise, Scripture teaches us that the Father searches across the earth seeking those whose hearts are fully His. Ultimately, it's ordinary people used by an extraordinary God that really make a difference in the lives of others.
Perhaps you might be a candidate for small group leadership. Maybe God is calling you to help shepherd a few. Let me take you through an acrostic that might help you determine if you are the type of person who can care for others. It's HEART:
The "H" is for Hands. Hands open before God. Are your hands open saying, "Father, these are ordinary hands, but I want You to use them in this life to touch the life of another"?
Next is Experience. As you experience life together in the context of community, God can show you how he has designed you for ministry. Through community, you can discover your life mission, as well as how to reproduce your life in another. Have you had others point out abilities or gifts that would help you shepherd?
Availability is also a key factor. Are you willing to be used by God in a way that you never thought you could be? You've been blessed in order to be a blessing in the lives of others. That's ultimately the purpose and the path of life. Are you willing to be available?
You'll probably be Reluctant on some level. Just think about Moses. He had five good reasons why he didn't think he would be God's man for the moment, but God said, "You are." Then there was Peter. Jesus reminded him three different times to shepherd his sheep. People who are hesitant are sometimes the best candidates.
Lastly, you must be Teachable. Are you willing to listen to the still small voice of Jesus in your life—to move away from sin, to move towards others? God wants people who are responsive to him.
Jesus looked over the multitude and saw the need for finding a shepherd for every sheep. His own small group is a model not only for caring for the sheep but for cultivating an unlimited harvest of shepherds. Matthew 9:31 says, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."
Are you willing to be sent out into the field?