Twice a month I meet with a group of guys. These young men are leading community groups, some for the very first time. We recently covered some nuts and bolts of leading a group I think you may find helpful.
Why People Come to Your Group
What you do outside of your group is what makes your group worth coming to. I have found this to be true of preaching as well. Admittedly, I’m not a fantastic or even seasoned preacher, but people come to hear me preach. The reason they come, I’ve learned, is the same reason your group will be successful. People come because I have cared for them.
This is the hat of a pastor and shepherd. It often looks like mid-week texts to check in, moving furniture, coffee meetings, and constant prayer for your people. This is what makes a group worth coming too. A phrase we use a lot is, “care for the people you have, not the people you hope to have.” If you do this and do a good job, more friends will come.
Next Steps over Numbers
Recently as we sat in a diner waiting for others to join, a leader told me, “I had 15 people at group this week!” I was fired up. I love to see growth, but more than that, I love seeing people take next steps. The most successful group we have ever had in my opinion only had four people in it. However, all 4 of them took next steps including trusting in Jesus, being baptized, and eventually becoming leaders. That’s the real win.
Leaders Go First
It’s easy to get away with using “we, you, and us” language in your group, but something really happens when the leader goes first and says “me.” People connect and relate much quicker when the leader is able to show their scars and talk about their wounds. If the leader won’t confess sin or struggles, why should the group? One simple way to connect with your group is to share your story of how you met Jesus. You never know how your story can connect with someone else’s.
Furthermore, what if every time you gathered someone shared their story? I believe two major things would be accomplished: deeper relational connection in addition discipleship and development. If they can do that in a group, they can do it outside as well. The one thing I have learned is to care for the people you have like a plant in the garden. If you care for it properly, it will grow.