4 Influencer Imperatives in Small Group Leadership

Bill Hybels in his 2005 Global Leadership Summit address “These Things We Must Do” gave four points, imperatives, we as leaders must do.  He implored us to:

  • Keep the vision clear
  • Keep the people engaged
  • Make your meetings memorable
  • Pace yourself for the long haul

This is a great list. It is simple and doable.  It can revolutionize how effectively we influence leaders if we will incorporate these imperatives.  But it makes me wonder, how are we doing as we influence so many in the groups in our churches?  Are we articulating a clear and compelling vision for small group ministry or are we just reading a recipe and rolling out a system?  Are we prioritizing group member engagement or simply attendance?  Do we make the meetings memorable or are they just another commitment on the calendar?  And how are we as leaders practicing self leadership and empowering those we lead to lead themselves well for the long haul as well?

It seems to me if we can get these questions right we are well on the road to small group health.  Over the next several months I hope to begin to explore some of these questions.  For now I want for us to begin to think about what it would look like to have engaged small group leaders.  Imagine your church and groups ministry being lead by men and women who are inspired, compelled and ready to accomplished not many different outcomes, but a shared vision.  Imagine if our meetings and gatherings weren’t just dates on a calendar, but compelling and looked forward to.  How would our leaders and those they lead grow in an environment like that?  Imagine what you bring to the table for another ten, twenty or thirty years by simply pacing and leading yourself well.  That can be reality if we lead well and incorporate these imperatives.

There are some great articles and podcasts from the network you can begin to look at to begin to incorporate these imperatives.  This Group Talk will help you begin to think about formulating a compelling Group centric vision.  You may also find these quotes from this year’s Lobby conference to be especially beneficial as you formulate language for your vision.  If you are looking for ways to keep leader engagement high, this article is a great place to start.  Here, Steve Gladen gives a thoughtful article on thinking strategically about your meetings.  When it comes to pacing for the long haul, I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave and the man I am becoming, for that begin here.

As leaders we are called to influence, as we begin to incorporate these imperatives we will see our leadership capacity increase and our influence soar.


  • JW Hilliard

    Passionate about empowering others to live boldly for Jesus through biblical community, JW serves as a Groups Director at Southside Church in Peachtree City, GA. He enjoys hiking, coffee, good books, and great conversations. He's blessed to serve Jesus through the local church and to share life with his amazing wife Melissa and two awesome sons Cade and Zechariah.

Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

Upcoming Events


Feb 20-22: The LOBBY Gathering SoCal
Learn More


Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Daniel Thomas

Connections Director



Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



Individual Registration – $209.00

Team of 2 Registration (price per person) – $199.00

Team of 3 or more Registration (price per person) – $189.00

*Registration ends on Nov 8th, 2021. Walk-in registrations are not available.