This past week, I had an unusual experience – I gladly let one of my few steal the show for a few minutes! That is not something that happens too often, we try to share everything, including each other’s time. Each week, I find myself prompting one of my few (usually the same one) to let someone else have a turn to speak. But last week, I had a small celebration in my mind as one of my quiet few was finally comfortable enough that he didn’t want to stop talking!
I have been serving with a consistent small group since August of this past year. Before August, our church had been less intentional about having leaders lead small with a consistent age group. I had been floating around, filling in where needed, so I was familiar with some of my few. From what I knew of Robbie, he was really quiet and his grandfather always dropped him off. Usually he didn’t participate much in our large group time and would do some activities, but pretty much kept to himself.
What a difference these past 5 months have made! Over these months, I’ve met Robbie’s grandparents at a church-wide picnic. I know where he goes to school, and am finding out more about his siblings and home life. When Robbie comes in now, he is immediately engaged in whatever activity we are doing, actually sings in our large group time, answers questions and on Sundays like this past one, when we are talking about fish, entertains the other kids with a story about how he caught a shark with his bare hands! One of the principles to LeadSmall is to Be Present – included in that is the practice of showing up predictably. Showing up predictably is essential at every age level – including preschool! When they know you’ll be there, your few feel comfortable, loved and accepted. The entire feel of the environment changes. There is no worry of being made fun of, or teased or left out, or many of the other fears that your preschool few may have. If your few know they are in a safe place, they feel free to share – even if it’s stories of catching sharks with their hands! I’m so excited about what the rest of this year will bring. Seeing the change in Robbie inspires me to keep showing up predictably for the few I’m privileged to lead!
Have you seen changes in leading your few when they realize you are going to show up predictably? What do those changes look like?