Let’s be honest. The truth is we don’t always know everything that is going on in the lives of our few. Even the best small group leaders aren’t completely in the know where their few are concerned. But connecting with our few, no matter how much or little we know about them, is so integral to making the greatest impact we can. And we can leverage everything to connect on a personal level with them.
This Sunday, we had one of those moments that you live for to see God show up in the lives of your few. We had a boy who lost his grandma on the previous Thursday, and in spite of that huge loss, he was there for two services. During the second service, I realized that he was sitting holed in the corner struggling to participate. I went over and sat next to him and asked him what was going on. With teary eyes, he opened up to me about how sad he was that his grandmother had passed and that he would be going to Ohio for a funeral. I personally lost my own grandmother almost two years ago, and I remember how hard that was for my 23-year-old self to deal with that loss. I couldn’t imagine what it was like for an eight year old boy. My heart just broke for this kid, and I wanted to work hard to make him feel better.
As an SGL, you’re often faced with this choice: you can either find yourself in a difficult circumstance with one of your few and choose to let that moment pass or you can make it personal and really leverage that situation to teach him or her what it means to be the church. One is easier. One takes more effort. But one of those choices displays the love of God. That morning at church, we decided to make the second choice.
We gathered the whole small group together and explained that our friend had lost his grandother and how sad he was. I asked all of them if they have every lost someone close to them and how they felt when it happened. We stopped at that moment, and we prayed for our friend.
In that moment, my heart filled with joy as I watched this group of children be THE CHURCH. The church is a place of love and community for everyone. And even our elementary age kids can grasp and experience it! Our job is to move them towards being a part of a church and connecting them to the bigger Church. And it’s so important that they learn that now, when they’re young and still capable of easy childlike faith, so that when they grow up, move away or experience hard times, they will know there is a place of rest available to them and a group of people there for them who will walk with them through the good and bad times!
So what is happening in the lives of your few that you can leverage to connect them to what it means to be part of the Church with a capital “C?”
- Is there a crisis that you just need to stop and pray for as a community?
- Has one of your few experienced a big “win” that you can stop and celebrate?
- Is there a cause that one of your few is passionate about that you can encourage and empower them to serve in?
Not every moment with your few will be a magical ground-breaking one. But some of them can be! Use every moment you can to link them to the bigger picture and the greater mission of reaching every life for Christ.
By Claire Ellis