Small Group Leaders Give First

Scenario 1: Your small group leader complained in the middle of the meeting about your tardiness. He told you he couldn’t believe you didn’t know the definition of sanctification. He didn’t contact you between meetings even though your prayer request was about a serious medical procedure you had a couple of days later.

Scenario 2: Your group leader thanked you for attending the meeting even though you might have been uncomfortable arriving after it started. He asked the group for a definition of sanctification, but didn’t put any person on the spot who didn’t volunteer a definition. He prayed with you about your upcoming procedure, asked if you needed transportation to/from the appointment, and arranged for a few meals to be delivered to you while you recovered. you were checked on periodically out of concern for your wellbeing and to find out if you needed more help.

Today, your group leader is asking you to take on more responsibility. Which scenario are you more likely to say yes? If you say yes, which situation will you more likely do your best?

In How Full Is Your Bucket? (affiliate link), Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton Ph.D. uses an invisible bucket to represent our emotions and an invisible dipper that we constantly use to fill or take away from other people’s buckets.

The Impact of Filling Your Group Members’ Buckets

When we add to someone’s bucket, we increase their positive emotions. We also give them the potential to be more energetic and have a more positive outlook. Adding to buckets also fills our own. The opposite happens to them and to us when we say or do things that decreases their positive emotions.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they “do not feel appreciated.” But when people receive regular recognition and praise, they are more productive, are more engaged, stay longer, have happier and more loyal customers, and have  less safety accidents.

With this level of impact why don’t leaders build up their members more? The U.S. Department of Labor also discovered in a study that 65% of Americans got no recognition for good work over an entire year!

Do you want group members who are productive, engaged with you and each other, and give to the joy of those they influence? Start filling their buckets!

How to Fill Their Buckets

 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

We need to actively find moments to build people up and not tear them down. Here are a few ways to start filling your members’ buckets:

Down with Negative Comments

Reduce or end making negative comments to others and urge your group members to do the same. This is easier said than done. It requires a focused effort for many of us to be successful.

Of course there may be times when you need to make a negative comment for correction. Even then, Rath and Clifton recommend making at least 5 positive comments for every negative one.

Praise, Praise, and Praise Some More

Look for even the smallest reasons to praise each of your members and praise them often. Don’t fake your praise. It needs to be real and personal.

Surprise Them

Surprise each member with unexpected “gifts” from time-to-time. Be careful your gifts don’t become routine. If they are, the gifts will become an expectation and not have the same impact.

Small group leaders give first. Don’t wait for your bucket to be full before contributing to others. Get started today and watch your members grow and support you in the best possible ways. And if you start filling your members’ buckets today, yours will fill at the same time.

Question: What are some ways you have filled the buckets of others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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