ONE IS the Loneliest Number!
The opening line of the Harry Nillson song goes like this; “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do”…… Nillson’s song was covered by the band Three Dog Night and reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.
That is a long time ago, but the opening line remains SO true and I think at one time or another has been sung loudly by most small group leaders. Many of them feel isolated, disconnected and alone when it comes to leading their small group.
So, what can we as Small Group Ministry leaders do to help? Have a think about these ideas.
Start by creating a ‘network’ vision for your small group ministry. We are better together! While each individual small group is important, each group is connected to all the others and together your congregation’s small group ministry is key to helping fulfil the overall mission and vision of the church. Communicate your small group ‘network vision’ whenever and wherever possible.
Then think of creative ways to help leaders connect. One way is to intentionally develop leader clusters. Allocate leaders to a cluster and ask them to gather together on a regular basis, say once a term. You may have to meet with them one or two times but aim to have them gathering independently as soon as possible. I see a twofold benefit of placing leaders into clusters;
1. It helps leaders to remember:
- that they are part of a team or a network of Small Groups
- that they can encourage others and be encouraged by those journeying alongside them as small group leaders
- that together as a ‘network of groups’ they are fulfilling God’s call, vision and mission
2. An intentional structure enables leaders to proactively:
- care for those in their cluster
- pray for those in their cluster
- share ideas which have worked in their group
When I looked up the definition of the word ‘cluster’ this is what I discovered; “a number of things of the same kind, growing or held together; a bunch”. Sounds like a wonderful definition to me – and a great way to overcome one being the loneliest number!