What words do you think group leaders like to hear from members when asked about the small group conversations they lead? Do any of these responses capture what you are thinking?
- They are really informative
- I enjoy learning about the other members
- They are uplifting
- They have changed my life
The Small Group Conversation
Recently I had the privilege of being a substitute group leader. The leader went on a vacation and I was asked to fill in. I enjoy doing this. I really enjoyed this particular evening.
Before this gathering, I was covered by prayer and armed with many questions. During the gathering, there was significant small group conversation during the Bible study portion from ALL of the members. In fact, I was amazed that the conversation naturally flowed in the direction of my written questions without having to ask each of them. Members became more and more vulnerable and authentic as the conversation continued. They supported and challenged each other.
It was a great experience for me. I was uplifted. I learned from everyone.
I Was Hijacked
When the group leader was back, she asked one of the members how the meeting went. I was present for the discussion. The response was important to me because I always want to find ways to improve. In the middle of the response, this was said:
“We hijacked the conversation.”
The sentence caught me by surprise. I believed the small group conversation was exactly what was needed. However, this member was sorry because the group hijacked the conversation from me.
That night I was wondering what I could change to improve my leadership based on the comment made. Then I realized I shouldn’t take it as a negative critique. That comment demonstrated the group took ownership of their conversation!
The group leader is a facilitator in the conversation. What is important is whether the conversation moved the members to be more like Jesus. The care and concern should be on the members.
Be a Servant Leader
When I started leading small groups decades ago, I was a nervous wreck. I would go through the meetings with sweat pouring down my face. Regardless, God still used me. People went out of there way to be a part of the groups I led. I didn’t understand it then. I think I do a little bit now.
It’s called servant leadership. When you are more concerned about others than yourself, people are drawn to you like a magnet. Even when you are full of nerves.
Much of my nervousness has gone away over the years (not all of it). But what really matters is not whether group members believe they hijacked a small group conversation I was facilitating. What really matters is that I lead with a servant’s heart.
Do you worry about what others think of you? Do you think you are not polished enough to do what God is calling you to do? Don’t focus on those things. Do what God is calling you to do and…
Be a servant leader.
Question: What are some characteristics of a servant leader? what benefits can a small group realize when the leaders and members take on the heart of a servant leader? You can leave a comment by clicking here.