As you support small group leaders who are building and balancing many aspects of ministry, do not forget to…INVEST!
[I = Intentional] Be intentional when you meet with your leaders. Do not make it a business meeting, but a meeting with a friend. Listen actively and with the heart of God.
[N = Next Step] Remind the leaders of the overall goal—to get their members to take the next step closer to Christ during their semester time. Ask them important questions like: "Where are your people at on the scale toward maturity?"
[V = Validate] Validate their feelings and the effort they make to step out and trust God by leading a group. If you are not the one validating them in Christ, who is?
[E = Engage] One of the greatest mistakes we make as a Pastor is asking our people to engage in OUR life without engaging in the life of our people. Do not make this costly mistake. Engage in their life's journey also.
[S = Simplify] We can overwhelm our leaders by asking too must from them. Keep it simple! When we simplify the overall mission with clarity and purpose, they will grow individually and their members will too.
[T = Time] We can talk a lot of talk and say we want our people to grow spiritually with the outcome being fruit in their lives, but if we never spend QUANTITY TIME with them, it will not happen. Imagine only seeing your children once a month, or once a semester? Would they grow? This is why it is extremely imperative to maintain contact with your people. Some require daily contact, others weekly. Whatever you do, spend time with them.
We are where we are because Jesus invested in us. I cannot think of anyone more intentional who constantly reminded his disciples of the next steps to come. He constantly validated their feelings and asked great questions. Jesus engaged in the lives of so many, going from town to town, pulling a tax collector out of a tree and meeting an unclean woman at a well. He stopped by the lake and asked a couple of fisherman to follow Him. Jesus was the master of engagement. Jesus also made it very simple. When asked by the lawyer (Biblical Law) what is the most important commandment, He simplified it for everyone. Love God, love people. Jesus went from house to house, city to city, and ate with the people. He taught the people periodically and spent an enormous amount of time with those he loved. It started early, at 12, when He was suppose to be with his mother and father, he was found in the temple courtyard spending time with His people. Be like Christ, and invest in those who He has given you.