Part of me felt guilty for napping through these presentations. After all, these were people who were giving their entire lives to serve God and others. But their exciting lives and passions weren't reflected in their presentations. What should have been the most exciting nights of the year were the most boring.
We can learn something from these boring presentations. Our passion must be alive and well in us, and we must ensure that it's radiating from us as we minister. As we serve in small-group ministry, we want to exude passion. But how do we do that?
Make a point to pray for your small-group members every week by name. Pray for the requests they've shared during your group meetings. Pray for their kids, their job, and their participation in group. As you pray for your group members, you'll begin to see them through the lens of Christ, and you'll be even more passionate about helping them connect and grow.
Read the Bible
Find passages that remind you of your need for community. Passages like Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 10:24-25, Romans 12:3-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, or any of the "one another" passages in the Bible will keep your focus on the importance of community. The more you get into the Word, the more connected you'll be to Christ and his mission. Let the Word embed deeply in your heart.
Grab coffee with one or two of your group members at a time, making sure you meet with every person each month. Ask them what they love about your group and why they come back week after week. Ask what they need from you and the group. Find out how you can help them grow. Hearing their stories will further your passion for small groups. Just don't forget to actually make changes based on their suggestions.
In all the seriousness of ministry, it's easy to forget how fun small groups can be. But if you're not having fun, nobody else will either. Put the curriculum down this week and go bowling with your group. Or go build a bonfire and roast marshmallows. You could also do a scavenger hunt across your city, go out to eat, or host a game night. As you enjoy your small group, your passion for what God can do through small groups will be restored.
If your passion is fading, it's easier than you think to get it back. It just takes a little intentionality, and it's worth the effort. When you're passionate about your ministry, your passion will infect everyone around you, and your ministry will be more successful.
—Ben Reed is the Small Group Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church; copyright 2014 by Christianity Today.