5 Ways to Celebrate Small Group Leaders

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Over the past year, our church has been focused on learning new ways to better care for our small group leaders. One of the most essential roles of a Small Group Point Person is to celebrate the effectiveness of those participating in the ministry. While at The Lobby, I sat down with several small group leaders to hear how they celebrated and cared for their small group team. I want to share 5 fun and creative ways to add life into your role as a Small Group Point Person!


Several group pastors I spoke with talked about how effective a simple party was to start or end a small group semester. The parties shifted depending on the season and purpose, but stories of successes were paraded across many platforms to show how small groups were making a difference in the local church and community. A couple point people even mentioned the laughter that occurred when sharing those awkward moments that we grow to love in groups and funny failures that make us cringe at the moment.

One unique idea was shared by Mark Kendall of Minnesota. He hosts nights at ball games, event parties, and looks for local events to bring the whole group team together in. Can you think of a local festival that is perfect for celebrating your team AND community at the same time?!


Spending your lunch break or catching coffee in the morning may be difficult for some, but this goes such a long way. Find a rhythm that works for you and members of your team. Maybe it’s an early breakfast, quick lunch, or dropping off some doughnuts at their place of work. Spending time during someone’s hectic work week to celebrate what they do for the kingdom is an eternal investment!

Jon Laster, of Tennessee, said he really enjoys carving out moments to meet up with leaders to make that personal touch. It not only encourages the leader but reenergizes Jon to keep focused on his ministry!


Many group point people utilize consistent emails to share stories of wins, but a great, personalized tool is to write handwritten notes. JW Hilliard carves out time each week to pick up a pen and show his appreciation for a few particular leaders and the care they show their community. He shares how this always seems to be a pleasant surprise during the week for each recipient. 


My favorite (and already borrowed!) idea was given by Andrew Camp of Utah. Andrew is not only a small group guru, but he is also a chef! From time to time he holds a giveaway or raffle with the main prize being his culinary services at the winning group’s next meeting. He gets to spend face to face time with not only the winner but also their group and serves them up with a world-class meal. 

I am not a cook, but we have a couple group leaders that are, so I approached them with the idea and BAM! our spring feedback survey was the entry to winning a night with me and (more importantly) a chef! We had record feedback!


Many churches have the complete support and backing of senior leadership, and thankfully, this list continues to grow. Unfortunately, there are still some that need help in partnering with senior leadership. No matter what side of the spectrum you fall, there is always an opportunity to bring your senior leader into the ministry of small groups!

Reid Smith and Danny Bias are both at churches with healthier group cultures, but they shared the extreme value of consistently sharing success stories with their senior leadership. Their consistency provides increased opportunities for mentions from the stage, church emails, and inclusion in sermons. Success for many varies on the senior support, so find ways to let your leadership celebrate what God is doing within your small groups!

These are just a few quick ideas that I learned this past Lobbyto bring life to celebrating a small group team. I hope they are helpful additions to your ministry arsenal and help lead you to discover some that you can add at next year’s Lobby!


  • John Tyler Black

    JT is the Small Groups Pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, GA. He enjoys connecting families with others and the local church. When he is away from the desk, he enjoys being with his family and all things basketball.

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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



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