Have you ever had to explain what chocolate tastes like to someone who’s never had it? I LOVE chocolate – it is probably my greatest weakness in the food category. Over the years I have tried to explain my insatiable obsession, but I’ve never had to actually explain to someone how it tastes. Do you start with the amazing texture when it melts into yummy goodness in your mouth, or maybe the way the magical aroma of a baking chocolate chip cookie tastes the same way it smells? Where do you start?! Probably the best way to explain the taste of chocolate is to give them a taste of the real thing. Not just chocolate bunnies from the Dollar store but the crème de la crème — the best you’ve ever tasted — I’m thinking now of a delectable chocolate cake that my amazing friend Barbara shared a few months ago. It was one of those desserts that makes you want to break a leg just so she’ll bring cake to enjoy while you recover!
So have you ever tried to explain why you love Leading Small to someone who has never lead a small group or is having trouble connecting with their own small group? Volunteering on a week-to-week basis can be discouraging. The task can seem daunting. But when you are focused on your few and truly leading small, it can be as fulfilling as a decadent triple fudge brownie — and the experience is just as fun to share!
Don’t be afraid to share with other volunteers the joy you are experiencing in your small group— how much fun it can be! This can be a challenge if you are with your few on a consistent basis and the people you are trying to encourage are there once every few months. One way to address this is to meet up with your friends and fellow volunteers to share about your experience. For example, if there are 15 volunteers signed up to lead three-year-olds, even if that includes leaders that are serving once every two months, invite everyone to a lunch after church or a potluck at someone’s home. Let them “taste” some authentic community.
At my church, we’ve started having small gatherings of leaders like this with great success. The lines of communication between small group leaders and potential small group leaders are best built by a leader of a few sharing some small group life stories over s’mores! Before you were a small group leader, what would have inspired you more to take on the challenge of leading a few? A Children’s Pastor trying to explain what being a small group leader “tastes” like, or the person who is neck deep in the chocolate inviting you to jump in?
How do you think you could best invite people volunteering around you to step up to lead small? I’d share a few more thoughts, but I think a left over Halloween Twix bar is calling my name!