One of the most rewarding roles in the local church is serving as the point leader for small groups because you get to be a catalyst for growing the kind of community we see in Acts 2:42-47. However, I’ve found it can be one of the loneliest roles on the planet. Ironic, isn’t it? The champion for biblical community can oftentimes feel the most alone, swimming upstream against so many other factors that compete against the healthy growth of small groups.
The most meaningful moments for me personally, and the greatest strides I’ve experienced in growing a healthy small group ministry, have a common-thread: Connection with other point leaders who have the same end goal. A vision for biblical community where God’s people are living out Jesus’ Great Commission and great commandment together is an exciting burden that can’t be carried alone. Regardless of your level of influence right now, there are four things the Lord wants for you as a community-building leader in your church:
- Encouragement – Small group point leaders identify with each other and find a lot in common from strategies to struggles. This is why people who are part of our Small Group Network feel a sense of “tribe” or belonging, which is in itself uplifting. The encouragement that comes from people who know what it’s like to do what you do builds confidence and makes you sharper and stronger in your leadership. (Prov. 27:17; 1 Thes. 5:11)
- Accountability – There is something about having others cheer you on that inspires you to accomplish things you wouldn’t otherwise do if you were left to yourself. As passionate as I am about growing biblical community, I need other leaders calling me up and reminding me of the importance of the action steps necessary to make a faith-stretching dream a reality. (Heb. 10:24-25, 12:1-2)
- Spiritual Backup – The enemy works hard to tear down community-builders. You need other leaders who know you and relate to what you’re experiencing. The forces of hell resist kingdom advancement and the battle is real every day so find people who have your back. We’re better together and stronger together! (Eph. 6:18-20; 1 Pet. 5:8-9)
- Exchange – You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The best idea wins!” Some of the greatest break-throughs I’ve experienced in growing healthy small group ministries have come from other people. There are ideas, resources, and relationships that are exchanged through networks like this one that help leaders in the trenches go exponentially farther in their leadership and ministry. (Prov. 18:15; Php. 4:9)
These four things are important for every point leader to experience, especially those who are implementing a plan to start or accelerate their small group ministry. What is your plan for launching or developing your small group ministry so it keeps growing healthy? As a first step, read Planning Small Groups with Purpose or attended an Accelerate! Workshop, then Start or Join a Community of Purpose (C.O.P.)!