I thought I would post a few practical suggestions for small group leaders on how to lead a small group. While it is implied that one would lead the group, how can one lead more effectively?
Commitment: Here are a couple verse to emphasize this point, “In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful” (2 Chronicles 31:21) and “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23). The truth is that a leader is committed.
- Keep in touch with your attitude.
- Set the example for the group.
- Study the Bible before coming to the meeting.
- Practice patience with yourself and your people.
- Practice and model godliness.
Creativity: “for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16). The principle at work is that a leader is creative, which God will grant to the leader when asked.
- Plan your study with an aim or purpose.
- Plan the timing and the place for the study.
- Introduce new ideas in creative ways.
- Lead with suggestions to help others discover truths for themselves.
Confidence: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6). “And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear” (Philippians 1:14). “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:8). The spiritual principle is that a leader is confident.
- Confidence comes from good preparation.
- Confidence comes in answer to prayer.
- Confidence comes through practice.
Perseverance: “Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies” (Zechariah 4:6). The principle is that leaders are developed over time.
- Pray for patience.
- Pray for persistence.
- Pray for power.
Here are a Few Tips for Leading a Small Group:
- Before the Class: be the first to arrive, arrange the room that way you need it, and bring all the materials and tools you plan to use.
- During the Class: begin on time, incorporate new people into the group, encourage discussion, practice how you might respond to different situations.
- Long and drawn out answers.
- Problem areas and people.
- Controversial topics.
- Aggressive or disruptive group members.
- After the Class: Learn from your mistakes (leaders need to be FAT… faithful, available and teachable), welcome suggestions for improvement, ask yourself and a trusted friend or mentor some tough questions, and keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ and you goal in leading the group.