When we think about hosting a small group, there are bound to be doubts. We doubt our own abilities in leading, teaching, guiding, and drawing the people who God has called us to be in community with. But our energy is best utilized by handing all theses doubts off to God. This is His plan, His church, His small group. They are His problem. I knew a pastor who prayed for the “sheep” of his church in full stewardship mode, praying in a way that said they were clearly not his sheep but God’s. “Lord your sheep are grumbling again and your sheep are fighting with each other.” As stewards, we don’t own them or their troubles. We are simply there as a facilitator of what God is already doing. When we embrace this concept it is enormously freeing. We are uselessly carrying around all the responsibility that really belongs to God anyway.
That isn’t to say that we won’t be the recipient of some unreasonable attitudes, challenges and logistics issues. Caring for people gets a little messy sometimes. But there are some fundamentals that will help us stay calm in the face of any doubt we may have about our own ability.
1. Know God is the One who changes lives.
2. Envision how God will bring on-going life change for you and your small group.
3. Be a friend who cultivates healthy relationships throughout the small group.
4. Lead by example through participation in the group and local church.
5. Look for potential in everyone in the group to become a small group leader too.
6. Act on that potential by sharing the role of leadership whenever possible.
7. Grow by availing yourself of the resources written by successful small group leaders.
8. Your small group is built of different DNA so don’t assume that it has to done the same way as other churches do it.
9. Genuine love will always win over mechanical leadership.
10. Pray and then pray again.
This a simple list of ten strong suggestions that should help build you confidence to get out there and host people into a warm, loving community of faith. It is what we were made for.
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