I believe that small groups are essential and the best way to do effective student ministry in today’s culture. To have an effective small group, you must have an effective small group leader. I would venture to say that the effectiveness of your small group ministry hinges on the small group leaders. You get the point. Small group leaders, you are very important to the success of the student ministry. I want to share 5 thoughts that are on my mind this morning that I want small group leaders to know:
- You get what you put into it– You know the saying, “you get what you pay for?” It simply means that if you go cheap, many times, you get a cheap product. If you go expensive, many times you get an expensive product. It makes sense. In small group ministry, you get what you put into it. If you put little time into it, your small group will be of little value. On the contrary, if you put a lot of time into your small group, your small group will be of great value. So, it is up to you. Put time and effort into your small group. Target a student not there, and go out of your way to contact them encouraging them to get back involved. Speak with your students outside of small group time. Put time into them, and you will see results. Do not be frustrated with the lack of results in your small group when you as the leader have not put time into the small group.
- Being on time and consistent is more than you realize– I understand things come up, we get sick, we have to work late, but being on time and being there consistently is important. First of all, your example is on the line. If you are not consistent, how can we expect our students to be? Secondly, consistency is important, because students need consistency from their small group leader. They will open up to someone that is consistent week in and week out more than someone who they see once a month. Leaders, try to be consistent! Your students need it. Also, being on time each week shows students how much you care and value their time and your investment in their life.
- Never underestimate the power of love– Every student needs love from their small group leader. Students will make mistakes, and they will annoy you at times, but remember to always love them. Love them in the good and the bad. Do not use your leadership at the small group to only discipline and boss them around. Use it to love them.
- Set the example– If we expect our students to do their daily devotions with God, we need to be doing ours. If we expect our students to be consistent in coming to youth group, we must be consistent in coming to youth group. If we expect our students to attend events, we must try to come to events. Good leaders duplicate themselves. I am afraid in many cases though that bad leaders duplicate themselves as well. Students will many times emulate what they see from you so be consistent and set the example.
- Minister to the entire family– if you have not tried to meet the parents of your students, you are missing the point of family ministry. You are not called to simply meet the individual needs of the students, but we signed up to minister to the entire family. You are not the parent, the parents are. We must inform, educate, and encourage the parents in their position as the parents. Get to know them, talk with them, and encourage them. Share positive growth about their student to them. Share concerns in a loving and mentoring way with them about their student. Pray for them and pray with them!