The title of this month's article could be read two different ways: "Great SMALL GROUP Leaders" or "Great SMALL (Small) Group leaders!" The intentioned reading is the former, but I want to take a look at the latter. First, we have to acknowledge that young people can run small groups. They have the potential, and can safely be released to lead other young people. The next issue to address is "were they born that way or can they be coached to be that way?"
First: Born that way.
If you watch any group of young people, you will see that there are some who by virtue of their personality draw groups of other young people to them. Others very naturally look to them for leadership and will willingly follow anything they say. This can be good or bad! These "natural" leaders often lead by personality or gifting, but can also be accompanied by threats (bullying) or other unseemly methods. In either situation, they have followers, and therefore become leaders even if they would not necessarily give themselves that title.
Saul of Tarsus was a leader in the sense of the latter but God saw his leadership potential, turned him around, and took that potential so that even today we still "follow" guidance given through him.
Young people, when born again and filled with the Holy Spirit are ready to continue their ability to lead others. However, I have never seen a young person walk into a small group and be able to lead consistently without modeling, coaching, and training. Sadly, many do not think young people need the equipping that is given to adults. Churches have weekends for leaders, training sessions, internship, prayer, coaching, and many other resources available to adult small group leaders. Young people need coaching too.