One of our primary tasks as small group point people is to shepherd our small group leaders. Small group leaders cannot shepherd their people if they do not feel cared for and supported. One of the key phrases I like to use when it comes to spiritual growth is model & invite. We as leaders are to model the Christian life to others, and then to invite them to do the same.
Therefore, as I think about caring for my small group leaders, the question I need to be asking is this: “What care do they need to receive so that they are better equipped and empowered to care for their members?” I believe this holds true no matter what size of ministry you have, whether you are caring individually for small group leaders or you are caring for a handful of coaches who are then caring for small group leaders. In whatever ways you choose to care for your leaders, it should be replicable.
Here are some tips/ways you might be able to provide care for your leaders:
- Do not underestimate the power of your presence. Part of the beauty of small groups is that they train us to become aware of God’s presence in our lives in the subtle ways we may have missed before. The development of this habit only occurs as we again model that faithful presence to our leaders.
- Write personal notes of appreciation and thanks. In our technology-driven culture, the handwritten note has gone by the wayside, but people still really appreciate the handwritten note.
- Make your communication with your leaders fun. I send out a weekly email to all of my small group leaders, and if they respond to me that they have read the email, they are entered into a monthly drawing for a $25 gift card. If they respond to each weekly email, they are entered into the drawing four times. It’s a small token, but my leaders have responded well.
- When you gather your leaders together, make it special. Have food available, and if at all possible don’t skimp. Once a year think about and budget to bring in a special guest to do some training. Show them that they are worth the time and the money.
As it relates to caring for leaders, Paul’s words to Timothy seem relevant: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).
What are you going to do in 2017 to care for your leaders?