Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first half of your first, second, maybe tenth school year as a small group leader! And whether your circle is made up of a few toddlers, tweens, or teens, you are already making a HUGE difference in their lives. But the new year is the perfect time to renew your passion as an SGL and make a few resolutions related to taking that circle to the next level.
Leading small is built around five important practices:
- Be Present.
- Create a Safe Place.
- Partner with Parents.
- Make it Personal.
- Move Them Out.
So why not commit to take those five practices to the next level. How you say?
So you already show up every single week with a smile on your face ready to engage with the few in your circle. Try being present in a whole new way by showing up when they least expect it. A card in the mail. A familiar face in the cheering section of their basketball game. A call or text with a favorite verse from scripture. Challenge yourself to take your circle to the next level by being present in an unexpected way.
So you have already set the stage for a group that values acceptance, confidentiality and honesty. Try creating a safe place where they can ask the questions that are on their minds without judgment or ridicule. Was I once a monkey? Will my Buddhist friend go to heaven? How far is “too far”? There are so many questions on the minds of your few when it comes to their faith. Challenge yourself to take your circle to the next level by creating a place safe enough to discuss even the most taboo topics.
So you sent out an email at the beginning of the year to the parents of your few introducing yourself as their child’s new role model. Try partnering with those parents by consistent communication. Start a rotation of phone calls each week so you can catch up with what is going on in the lives of your few outside the little time you have with them. Let the parent in on some great ways to tie what their child is learning at church into their everyday home life. Ask how you can help reinforce whatever practices the parents are focusing on these days. Challenge yourself to take your circle to the next level by prioritizing your partnership with parents.
So you shared your testimony the first week of group along with everyone else. Try making your faith personal by committing to spending fifteen minutes alone with God each day. Journal. Pray. Paint. Sing. Dance. Read. Challenge yourself to you’re your circle to the next level by focusing on your own spiritual life—by refueling in your free time so you have something to offer your few each week.
So you passed out a flyer about serving at last year’s Christmas Eve service. Try moving each one of your few out by giving them a bigger purpose. Commit to placing one, half, or all of your group in a consistent role of service. Put your toddlers on a classroom helper rotation. Decide to adopt a local charity as a group. Plug each one of your few into a volunteer role that sparks their passion and showcases their talents. Challenge yourself to take your circle to the next level by moving them out to be the church.
Be present. Create a safe place. Partner with parents. Make it personal. Add these five practices to your list of resolutions, and make 2017 the year you take your circle to the next level!