Shedding Light

I love light.

In the evening, as the sun sets, I walk around my house and turn on a few lights and lamps.

I’ve never been a fan of dark. Maybe it’s some childhood heebie-jeebies lingering from my past.

I remember feeling like the biggest chicken as a kid when I visited my grandparents. When bedtime rolled around, I had to make the dreaded trip up a dark staircase to the room where I slept. I imagined all kinds of things lurking in the darkness ready to pounce on me when I reached the top. My stomach would sink and my hands would sweat every time I faced that dark ascent.

All I needed was a light to illuminate the darkness and I’d be fine. Then my grandpa showed me a trick. The light switch. I had no idea it was there because it was obscured by a decorative plant. Who knew?!

Life changed for me after that revelation. Fear of going to bed was immediately eliminated. Whatever it might be that mysteriously ‘lurked’ in the darkness, was easily dispelled with a little light. I just needed to know where to find it.

As a SGL, you are a giver of light.

When you show up predictably in the lives of your few, you create an opportunity to shed a little more light into their world. To look them in the eye, smile and invest encouraging words into them.

Most of us have no idea what is happening in the lives of our few once they leave our church. But we know they face their own ‘dark staircases’. If you take the time, you’ll probably learn about some of them.  Yet many will remain off your radar.

But you don’t have to know about the ‘dark staircases’ to help them. You only have to show them where to turn on the light.

Because you choose to Be Present by showing up predictably and mentally in the lives of your few, you position yourself to invest more light into their hearts. Your words hold the power to illuminate the truth for them. When you encourage your few, you invest that light into their hearts.

And with every week you invest those words, that light grows brighter.

And with every week that light grows brighter, the more they want to know about the Source of that light.

Being a Small Group Leader has less to do with managing a group of kids through a series of activities while their parent(s) attend ‘Big Church’. It’s more than just an hour of babysitting.

Being a Small Group Leader is being a conduit of light from your Heavenly Father to your few so that over time, they learn how to connect to Him, too.


Gina McClain May 22nd, 2015 0 comments

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

Gina McClain April 15th, 2015 2 Comments

Challenging Kids

“That doesn’t belong in your nose.”

“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.”

These are just a few of the things we find ourselves saying to those EGR (Extra Grace Required) kids. We see them coming a mile away and everything in our being wants

Guest Writer March 16th, 2015 3 Comments

3 Simple Steps to Cue the Parent

You have 5 minutes left before parents arrive to pick up your few. As you wrap up your prayer activity, you invite your few to help clean up the supplies from small group time and grab their jacket & bible. In a matter of minutes, a shift will occur and you need to be ready.

It's parent pick up time.

If you're anything like me,

Gina McClain March 11th, 2015 1 comment

Good Night

It’s dinnertime on Saturday and cars line the street. With the doorbell ringing every few minutes, it doesn’t take long for things to get cranking. People troop through the house, depositing soda or side dishes in the kitchen as they go. Some of the moms stay behind to peel off the Saran Wrap and stick serving spoons in the bowls. Most of the adults, though,

Melanie Williams February 17th, 2015 1 comment

Three Things Parents Need From a SGL

As a small group leader, one of your primary roles is to partner with parents. How that plays out often depends on your few and the parents of your few. But let’s get a little practical.

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

Kenny Conley February 6th, 2015 2 Comments

Answering the Why Questions

So you lead a group of kids. You are their small group leader. Once upon a time, maybe last month, maybe last year, maybe a decade ago…you signed up for this role as the adult that leads a group of children.

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

Jonathan Cliff January 27th, 2015 2 Comments

Remind Them You’re Still There

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

Helping Kids with Their Hurts

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

Kenny Conley January 19th, 2015 4 Comments

Six Ways to Reconnect in the New Year

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