Promoting Partnership and Teamwork in Small-Group Ministry

Promoting Partnership and Teamwork in Small-Group Ministry

The importance of sharing as a leadership trait.
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  • The Head. I have known some leaders who are really good at everything―except building a team. Even though they have exceptional facilitation skills and Bible knowledge, their groups are unhealthy, stagnant, and sometimes struggle to survive. Why? Because group members sense they are not needed. The leader does everything. The rest of the group just attends meetings. They learn a lot from the studies and they like the other members of the group―if that is enough to satisfy them, they will stick around, but not much more.

If you have trouble building a team, what is your obstacle?

If it is the heart, ask God to help you change your attitude. Ask for humility―humility precedes surrender. It is not too difficult for a humble leader to surrender control of the group. Begin by asking God to change your heart to be more like Jesus’.

If it is the habits, you can do several things to correct this. Start by learning the skills of building a highly functioning team. Next, change your habit. Then, let your group know things are going to be different, apologize for not giving each of them opportunities and responsibilities in the past, and ask them to remind you to let them be involved.

If it is the head, you probably need to recognize the issue and simply back off from doing everything. Swallow your pride; other group members may not lead the same way as you. Another attitude you may need to deal with is perfectionism. If that is you, work at becoming perfect at letting others get involved, even if they are not as good as you!

With God’s help, you can turn around the situations by removing the obstacles keeping you from building a team. One of the qualities of a great team is that everyone is working together toward a common goal. As a team, be sure to identify your goals―your God-sized plans―together, and then, as a team, just do it!

―Michael C. Mack is the editor of Christian Standard, a church leadership magazine started in 1866, a small-group consultant, and the author of numerous books. This article is excerpted from his book World’s Greatest Small Group: 7 Powerful Traits of a Life-Changing Leader. Used with permission.

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