Are Sunday mornings crazy at your house? I often hear from moms how hard it is to get out the door and get to church on time. I wonder if it is because Sunday morning has a different rhythm than every other day of the week. It’s not a work/school day which typically has a normal routine (whatever “normal” is). It’s not Saturday that consists of sleeping in (for those of you that don’t have preschoolers), pancake breakfasts at 10am (noon for some of you), and Saturday morning cartoons (do those even still exist?).
Sunday is a little mix of the two. It’s still the weekend, so we want to incorporate a little bit of Saturday’s goodness. But we have somewhere to be—church. So if you’re like me, you sleep as long as you can, leave just enough time to make yourself (and your kids) look presentable, skip breakfast, and get to church just in time to get the last space in the back of the parking lot.
You show up to your small group frazzled and unprepared with a cup of steaming hot black caffeine in hand. But at least you showed up, right? Well, maybe not so right. While showing up consistently is a big part of your job, showing up mentally is just as important.
Showing up mentally is. . .
- Giving yourself enough time on a Sunday morning to not be rushed.
- Getting to church a little early to take a few quiet moments to clear your mind.
- Forgetting your email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for an hour or two. I promise that they’ll still be there after church.
- Engaging with your students. Be interested in what’s going on in their lives. Their lives are important to them. Show them they are important to you.
Being a small group leader is more than just checking each activity off as you get them done. It’s about impacting the lives of those few kids in your group. And being present—mentally as well as physically—is such a crucial part of that impact because it tells your few that you’re there for them. Really and truly there for them.
I have a friend with a third grade little girl named Lily. Lily had a prayer request that she shared with her small group leader one week. She was getting braces, and she was nervous about it. The next Sunday at church, her small group leader told her he had thought about her during the week and prayed for as she got her braces. Lily’s eyes widened. She admitted that she couldn’t believe that he had remembered. And she couldn’t believe that he actually cared enough about her anxiousness to think about her and pray for her that week. Asking for prayer had been Lily’s way of being vulnerable. But actually thinking about her and praying like he said he would was the job of that small group leader. THAT is showing up mentally. And the truth is that if that small group leader had been sleep deprived and un-engaged that Sunday, he would have never remembered sweet Lily’s prayer request seven days later.
So get a good night’s sleep. Resist hitting the snooze. And be mentally engaged with the small group of young people God has entrusted you with. Show them you care! Be present both physically and mentally!