Be an Owner, Not a Renter

Last Sunday I walked through a room filled with elementary small groups. If you were standing next to me scanning the room you’d see a variety of SGLs leading their few. Some men. Some women. Some younger. Some older. Some are navigating the high-school adventure. Others are enjoying their college years. While others are parents with kids of their own.

Their life stages vary. But their purpose as SGLs is the same.

They want to do something significant.

Panning that small crowd of groups that day, all appeared engaged with their few in a meaningful way. But if you could tune in closer and watch a little longer you’d see a striking difference between those groups.

Some are doing the activities. Others are engaged in an adventure.

And there’s a big difference between the two.

To me, it’s the difference between owning and renting. When you rent something, you care for it just enough to avoid investing more than you absolutely have to. It isn’t that you DON’T invest. But what you invest is just enough to get by.

When you own something, you care for it with a long term mindset. You dig deeper and go a little further knowing it will last longer if you do. You make higher quality choices as an owner because you assume you’ll be around long enough to see the payoff.

As a Small Group Leader, we want you to be an owner, not a renter.

In the SGL world. . .

A renter shows up barely on time or maybe just a little late. Your smile isn’t the first thing your few see, but that’s okay. They still get to see you.

An owner arrives early enough to be in place so when their few arrive, they are ready to jump in and start. They’re ready to high-five, fist-bump or hug their few as they arrive.

A renter glances at the lesson during Large Group time to see what the main point is and the activities. You might have to muddle through some of it but that’s no big deal. It’s not like they’ll notice.

An owner reviews the lesson before they arrive. They don’t attempt to memorize, but they have a good idea of how their activities will flow, know their main points and know which activities their few will likely connect with the most.

A renter gets through each activity for the purpose of simply completing the activity. Whether or not their few connect with the point is not as important as getting through the lesson.

An owner leads through an activity watching for who is connecting and who is not. They’re working to involve their few in a meaningful way. They explore activities together knowing they have just as much to learn as their kids.

A renter ends the time together with a smile and a wave and off to the next thing on their schedule.

An owner invests a few minutes to write a note to a few of their kids. A simple, hand-written card that hits the mailbox in the middle of the week. A simple way to show up randomly in the lives of their few reminding them they’re loved.

 

The objective that lies before a Small Group Leader is to pursue a connection with your few. The tools provided for that connection are the activities or lessons and your own personal ingenuity.

We think owning is better than renting. Though the differences in approach are small, the pay off is incalculable.

 

Gina McClain April 15th, 2015 0 comments

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“Can you please sit down?”

“Do not put that in her hair.”

“Raise your hand, please.”

“You can do that in the bathroom if you need to.”

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My wife and I have just entered into a season where the rubber meets the road. Our seven-year old son is about to join his first elementary small group

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If you're a good leader you've attended a few training sessions, read a book about how to lead small, and even read a blog

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When the holiday season rolls around routines get a little out of whack.

Between holiday events, school plays, family commitments and seasonal illness... rhythms are thrown off and sometimes church doesn't make it on the agenda.

This can affect you as a Small Group Leader.

Some of your few have gone missing the past few weeks. And though you know there's good reason for their

Gina McClain January 21st, 2015 0 comments

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Something we say around her a lot is that “relationship amplifies the message.” You have important truths to pass on to your few every week, whether it’s something God’s put on your heart to say or it’s written in your curriculum. For some, they’re just words. But when these words come from the context of a relationship, they become something more.

One of the quickest

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After the busyness of the holidays, families are making their way back to church in the new year. That means that familiar faces will re-emerge after weeks of being away.

For some children in your group, returning to church will be a piece of cake. They’ll jump back in, almost as if they’ve not been away at all. For other children, settling back in to

Guest Writer January 12th, 2015 6 Comments

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As an SGL of tweens, your few are in a funny season of life.

They are capable of going deeper, yet tend to keep things frivolous when they want to. A 5th grade SGL recently confided in me...

"Sometimes I have to orchestrate my first response. When I ask a question, the first response tends to set the tone. And all other responses fall in

Gina McClain December 9th, 2014 3 Comments