As a leadership coach, you have a crucial role in sustaining the small group structure of your church. Without this layer of your leadership, small groups stand on shaky ground for the simple reason that their leaders feel unsupported and therefore unwilling to take ownership of the group and its mission.
To keep this from happening, you need to let your group leaders know that they are most valued people in the life-change process of your church. You do this by honoring them and building them up—in front of the senior leadership of your church.
This past January at Saddleback Church, Rick Warren attended a conference with over a thousand small group leaders. He broke down in front of them all, telling them how much they all meant to him. He said, "I can see every one of you taking care of a group of ten kids or five guys in a coffee shop or a Celebrate Recovery 12-step group or whatever it is you do."
By saying these words, Rick brought value and honor to each of them. Those leaders left that conference ready to pass that blessing down to their apprentices and and every member of their group. This model is based on Jesus' approach: He focused on the few—and blessed them—in order to reach—and bless—the many.
By establishing this "trickle down" model of honoring, everyone involved in a small group gets cared for and coached at the same time.