This Is How I Small Group is a periodic series getting to know members of the small group. Some will have decades of experience, others will be brand new to small group ministry. Each one has a unique perspective that makes them invaluable to their church and to the small group network.
- Name: Sarah Haun
- Current town: Kingsport, Tennessee
- Current church: Celebration Church
- Current job title: Adult Ministries Director
- How long you’ve been in that role: 3 months
- One word that describes how you work: In bursts
Q. You mentioned when we reached out that you are pretty new in your current role. How did you come to be here?
A. It truly is the Holy Spirit. I have been actively involved in my church for many years, hosting a small group of my own among other volunteer roles. When I heard that the Adult Ministries person was retiring, I felt a strong calling from the Lord. I prayed about it and yet without me actively pursuing it, I was called by our leadership to fill the role. I am realizing that I was created with a desire, passion, and natural skill to connect people, so the Lord has been growing me in this area for some time now.
Q. What does a typical work day look like for you?
A. I’m a mother of 3 children, ages 2, 9, and 13. I am only a part-time employee at the church. So my schedule is very sporadic. I work in between meals, housework, naps, and shuttling kids around. This means I do my calls from the carline and emails from my phone in between chores. I try to set aside some time each day, but it’s never truly dependable, so some things are done at night after kids are in bed. While I want to take the credit for being a great multitasker, I know that the reality is that the Lord empowers the short bursts of time I put into it and He multiplies it like fish and loaves.
Q. What about groups ministry have you been the most fulfilled by?
A. My life was dramatically impacted by small groups. I’ve found that transformation truly takes place when in relationship with others. From our first small group that walked with my husband and me during our most difficult trial to hosting groups and seeing others surrender to Jesus hand-in-hand with their brothers and sisters in Jesus, I am always fulfilled by the connection and transformation that happens when we are attached to Jesus and to each other.
Q. What tools, apps, subscriptions, etc are most helpful to you?
A. For design, I love the Canva app and Studio app on my phone. I use Canva on my computer for any signs or printed material. For spiritual growth and maturity, I have been a part of a Journey Group through Deeper Walk International. This has been critical in my own personal spiritual maturity but also learning how God created us to connect with others and disciple one another. I would not be comfortable being in a ministry leadership role without this group of people that I meet with once per week. I also highly recommend the book called The Other Half of Church because it helped me see church relationships and discipleship in a whole new way.
Q. What are your best work tips or productivity hacks?
A. I find that my style of working is somewhat more modern. For me, I rely on my phone for almost everything. If I’m in a meeting, I send myself emails for tasks that are thrown my direction. My inbox serves as a great to-do list. Otherwise I’d forget most things. I also love Loom, a great video tool for using in emails. It’s a great way to encourage people via email in a more personal way (video vs written text). It’s crazy how important facial expressions and tone is when you’re in ministry. I find that video is always better than text.
Q. What have been your biggest questions since you began your role and how would you say they’ve been answered?
A. Most of my questions have been spiritual ones, especially in regards to being a woman in a ministry role of our church. However, I am very blessed with great leadership at our church and they are always great to help me with my questions. I find that it’s always best to ask questions rather than worry. And a lot of my questions I have directed to the small group leaders that have been around for a long time at my church. I find that they are an incredible resource and they appreciate having their voice heard.
What is your current biggest struggle? My number one struggle has been getting people to communicate well. Compared to the business world, church communication tends to be much more casual and laid back. It has been challenging to figure out who likes what form of communication and how to motivate people to communicate in general. I tend to be an over-communicator though, so some it is my own maturing that is still taking place.
Q. Would you describe yourself as more of a processes person, or strategy/ideas person, or something else?
A. Every day of my childhood I woke up with a list from my mother with my chores for the day. I guess you could say that I was raised to be a process person, but I have been asking the Lord to help me grow in being an ideas/strategy person. He has been faithful, mostly by putting me in places that challenge me in that area. I’ve learned that it’s worth the risk to step out in faith and try even if it’s not easy. I try not to fear failure but instead, ask for Jesus to guide me in the areas that I’m weak and then trust that He is who He says He is. After all, His perfect love casts out fear.
Q. Are you currently in a small group, and if so, what makes your small group unique?
A. I am actually in multiple small groups. The church staff is a small group in our church, meeting weekly to not only discuss the church but also to edify and grow spiritually as a group. This has been incredibly important to our staff and has kept us tightly attached to God and to each other. I also have a small group that my family is in. They are, without a doubt, our closest friends and we are constantly calling, texting, and spending time together several times throughout the week. I have also led a women’s group for about 5 years now. I didn’t want it to be a typical women’s bible study group when I started it. I had found that so many women in church had attended for many years but still couldn’t name any friends that they had at the church. So instead of using a curriculum to spend our group time on, our focus was on sharing our own testimonies, being authentic and vulnerable, and praying for each other through the trials of life. Our group has been more than I ever could have imagined. I encourage having women of all ages and spiritual maturity and I rely heavily on the elder-maturity ladies for biblical truth to guide us in our conversation. We also go out to eat once per month and just have fun. Lastly, I just started an online group for people in our church that don’t attend in person and are seeking connection. My goal is to find a new leader to pass this group on to as soon as the Lord provides the right person. For now, I have enjoyed getting to know some more people that I wouldn’t normally see at church!
Q. In your short time in your role, what are you most proud of?
A. I’m most proud of how many people I’m getting to know in our somewhat large church. Even though I’ve been at this church for a long time, I was volunteering in the younger millennial service up until about the time I started working at the church. So when I began, I didn’t really know many people in the main services. But I’ve really made an effort to get to know people in the lobby before and after services, and this has been the most fulfilling part of my job. I love getting to know our people and seeing them every week!
Q. If you could offer someone starting day one as a small group point person, 1 piece of advice, what would it be?
A. Focus on your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ above all else. He has placed you in this role and He will lead you in every detail of your job if you stay attached to Him. I find that the times I have anxiety or fear is when I am not attached to Jesus and reconnecting with Him always guides me in my ministry role. I’m so blessed to work for a church that believes that as well. Their expectation of me is to follow Christ – everything else will come from that.
Q. Who would you most like to see answer these questions (either because you want to know what they have to say or because you think everyone else should hear what they have to say)
A. I don’t know very many people in this group yet because I’m so new to the group. To be honest, I’d love to hear from someone who is in a church that is experienced in growing the small group ministry for the younger generations. This is where our church needs the most help. I need help connecting people in their 20s and 30s and offering options for them.
If you are interested in being interviewed for This Is How I Small Group, or if there is someone you’d like us to interview, let us know by emailing James Browning