Being a small group leader can be one of the most amazing but challenging experiences all at the same time. Small group leaders do ministry in the trenches and have the amazing privilege to have a front row seat to watch life change and God work in only the way He can. Small group leaders are constantly giving of their time, talent and resources and are in constant need of encouragement, prayer and support.
It’s easy for a small group leader to get the “castaway” syndrome. Feeling like they are all alone on a deserted island with no one to help, not even a “Wilson”…
We have the opportunity as ministry leaders to be their rescue boat. We can provide the coaching, support and encouragement they need so that they can last the long haul. One of the quickest and easiest ways to give a small group leader a quick shot of encouragement is by sending an email, or even a text.
Here are four points you should always consider including in an encouraging note to a small group leader:
- Thank You
I know this seems super simple and a no brainer, right? You would be surprised. A lot of times when we are emailing or texting our leaders we usually have an agenda and guess what, they pick up on that. A simple thank you for what they do can go a long way and encourage a leader who is on the edge of burnout.
- Celebrate Their Wins
If you know that their group has grown (spiritually and numerically), baptized someone, done an outreach, or even finished a study, celebrate that. Not all wins have to be “mountain top” type wins in order to be celebrated. It’s the “in the depths of the valley” type wins that need to be celebrated. Acknowledging these wins give leaders the hope to lead through burnout and help them see that God is at work in the valley as much as he is on the mountaintop.
- Cast Vision
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Vision is hope. Vision is energizing. Having leaders who understand and buy into vision are leaders who are encouraged and excited about the future.
- Pray In The Gaps
Know your leaders, know their struggles, know their needs and take every opportunity to pray for and with them. If our leaders know that we are praying for them on a regular basis, they feel valued, known and loved. Prayer is encouragement for the soul, and the best protection from burnout.
A word of encouragement spoken to a small group leader that is personal, genuine and heartfelt, will build strong relational capital and will motivate a small group leader in ways few other actions will.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 [NIV]