I love to bake. Especially at this time of year, I am constantly setting sticks of butter on the counter to soften in preparation for another irresistible Pinterest recipe. I try to keep as many of the basic ingredients on hand—flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla. And salt. There is always salt.

It’s funny, isn’t it? Salt may not be the first item that comes to mind when it comes to decadent, delicious Christmas cookies. But it exists in almost every recipe. And each recipe typically only calls for just a pinch. A little goes a long way—much like the efforts we make to partner with parents.

As a small group leader, sometimes I overwhelm myself with the large “ingredients” that I mistakenly think are necessary in reaching the moms and dads of my few. For example, at the beginning of the school year, I created a closed Facebook group for my parents. I initially planned to post on it weekly. Let’s just say that I have severely fallen short of this noble goal.

In a perfect world, I would attend every extra-curricular activity that my few are involved in. Partnership is so beautifully developed on the sidelines of a soccer game. But realistically, with all that I have going on in my own life, I cannot make that happen.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These are wonderful ways to connect with parents.  But do you know what I have found matters the most?  A pinch of “salt” here and there.

A couple weeks ago, I chatted with a single mother who rarely makes it to church. I had heard she recently got engaged, and I took a few minutes to congratulate her and ask her about the wedding.  Her daughter, Meredith, has now shown up in my group for two weeks in a row. That’s never happened before.

There’s Liam who is quiet and reserved, but over time has revealed to me that he plans to be an author/illustrator someday.  He sometimes brings some of his work for me to read. I praise him for his talents. But I also make a point to tell his mother how gifted her son is. And when I do, she lights up like a Christmas tree.

Carter’s dad is battling cancer. He is currently undergoing rigorous chemo and radiation treatments, and life for their family is pretty rocky right now. I have made meals for them, and I have paid a few visits. But what has mattered tremendously to Carter’s mom and dad are my texts here and there which remind them that I am praying for them. They just need that simple reminder that they are not alone.

A little goes a long way. So keep this is mind, fellow Small Group Leader, as you plow through this Holiday season and into the beginning of a new year. Remember to sprinkle the salt in areas where it can make such a difference. After all, the results of a well-salted cookie are quite pleasing.

Written by Ashley Litton
Liberty Baptist Church
Chesapeake, VA

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